Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Motivation through Accountability

One of the biggest, if not THE biggest, challenges to all this self-"employed" development and promotion is staying motivated and inspired. Walmart had a $20 little briefcase styled bag thingy with a planner, binder and pad of paper inside, and it's helped me stay organized. One of the biggest thing lots of other developers do is track their little accomplishments daily. So instead of giving themselves a deadline of four months from now to finish a game, they'll give themselves weekly goals or even daily ones... Say for example, finishing a particular screen, creating x amount of content, even something as small as fixing one single bug... That way you can look back and see all these little things you've accomplished.

So what I do now is track several different things. As of now the way it works is:

Goals I set for myself are in yellow.

Game development and promotion are blue. Fixed x bug, got another newsletter subscriber, etc. Heck, even posting here in this blog counts as one :)

Weight loss is displayed with pink highlighter and I put down my current weight once a week (if not more, depending on weigh-ins, but at least on Sundays).

Then on the side of everything, I put the month's goals. These are broken down into game development, promotion and weight loss. At least as of now, this is how they work:

- Game Development has whichever games I want to reach whatever state. I will set up to 3 different dates, although at first I simply put the first goal attempt. If I succeed, I write a little 1 next to the goal. If not, I set a 2nd date for it and if I hit that I write a 2, same for 3rd if necessary.

- Promotion uses an amount of money goal for MochiAds for the month, a number of Personal Points (which are attained through daily activities that I track) and a number of newsletter members by the end of the month.

- Weight Loss is done through Fitness Personal Points (also attained through tracked daily activities) and an end of the month weight loss goal.

At the end of the month, depending on how well I've done at certain things, each goal gets a 1, 2 or 3 (it works a lot like golf for scoring, lower is better). I tally up how many 1s, 2s and 3s (as well as 0s, aka Epic Fails) at the end of the month and see how well the month went!

Tomorrow I'll post what this month's goals are, to give a better example of exactly how it works. This is my first month trying this, so we'll see how it goes!

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