It can be easy to work all hours every day with total disregard for your health, especially when you’re working on something you love and more so when you work from home, but this can be detrimental to both you and your product. This is something the core MacGuffin team are finding as we’re grinding on to get the game done.
I’ve got two small children, and I know what’s right for them, eat well, exercise, and go to bed nice and early and you’ll be happier, more stable, and more attentive the next day. But when it comes to me it seems I do almost the opposite, and to what effect? All the opposite traits of those mentioned above. Surprise surprise.
It can be easy to forget about yourself when developing, it’s all about the product, but I’ve realised the two go hand in hand. So I’ve implemented a few changes to turn this around.
No email on weekends
This can be quite hard as because of our timezone I can get emails from the US on Saturday which is their Friday, which won’t be responded to until the following Monday. But without the definite break in activity there’s no time to recharge the creative batteries.
No gaming before bed
It doesn’t help if I lie in bed awake for hours thinking about the game I’ve just played. Though I get scant hours to play games now, sleep is more important for another productive day.
Drink water, eat fruit
I used to do this, but lately my day has been coffee-coffee-coffee, sandwich, coffee-tea-tea dinner. Which is no way to be at my best, it’s just common sense. I couldn’t imagine allowing my kids to do this, even when they’re older.
Get out of the house
While developing I have gone a whole week without stepping out my front door. Yes, really. Going for a short walk at lunchtime can do wonders for the afternoon workload, which is normally filled otherwise by coffee and slouching.
I’m not saying I develop games naked, but there can be very little motivation to change out of what you’ve slept in as you roll out of bed to your desk, but surprising as this may seem, this can turn your mindset from hobby to professional. Put on a shirt, have a shave (if you have to) you’d be surprised what a difference it makes.
Seriously, this stuff is important, and it’s so easy to forget that. I know I did.