Resolutions are not just for New Years
As my introductory post explained the other day, Apocalypse Theory is an idea I have had for a very long time. It is one of those goals that I knew I needed to start working towards. Yet, it is not the only goal I have. Resolutions are not just for New Years. In fact I would argue New Years Resolutions are bad in general because you are setting them due to some arbitrary date. That may be why so many fail.
Around The Office
In my “Around The Office” category I plan to address issues that while not directly associated with developing my games, or games at all, focus more on the life style of being an indie producer. I say producer and not developer or programmer because many of these lessons will apply to many work at home vocations. I have learned these lessons as an independent consultant with over 12 years of experience.
Working At Home Can Be Unhealthy
Maybe you are thinking, but Azoloth, I already work out and am in great shape. If that is the case then kudos too you. I know many others, including myself, have gotten lazy and developed bad habits. This first article is just going to be an overview. Over the next few months while I am getting ready to start development on my game I plan to go into much more depth on some of these topics.
What are we bad at?
- Realistic Work Schedules
- Getting Enough Sleep
- Eating Healthy
- Exercising enough
Realistic Work Schedules:
We all have faced it.
- The Client has an Emergency
- They waited to the last minute and suddenly gave you 2 weeks worth of work that needs to be done in 2 days
- You procrastinated and now have 2 days worth of work you should have been working on over the last 2 weeks.
- On call 24/7 and end up working for more hours than you are paid.
- Etc… etc… etc…
There can be many reasons that your work schedule has totally ballooned out of control.
Some important questions to ask yourself…
- Am I getting paid for all of the extra time and rush work
- How can I build more robust systems to cut down on the work
- Can I manage my schedule better
- Is the client just unreasonable.
I have been lucky and 99% of my clients have been awesome to work with, I have been very lucky. When I got to the point where I was pulling more than 50 hours regularly I began to change how I did some things. I like being on call 24/7 for emergencies, my clients deserve the stability and attention. My systems are now built so the people using the systems could resolve most of the problems and I just had to check on why the problem happened the next day. I also became better at managing my schedule.
Make sure that whatever your schedule you have time for the important things in life
- Side Projects you love
- Time to Relax
Most good clients and bosses will understand this and work with you to help you find a healthy work/life balance. Any client who will not and expects you to pull 12 hour days and all nighters constantly is not a client or boss you want to work for.
Getting Enough Sleep.
Sleep is very important.
You should be getting anywhere between 7-9 hours of sleep every night. There are many things which can throw off your sleep schedule.
- Working to Late
- Staring at a Screen to much before you to go bed
Those are just a few things that can mess up your sleep schedule and almost all of them you can control.
Working to late ties in with keeping a realistic schedule which we have already.
Make sure you give yourself at least 1 and preferably 2 hours away from screens before you go to bed. Some activities I find useful include reading, spending time playing with the kids, cuddling with my wife, and meditating.
Relax! Many of the same things which I have already mention work here. Meditation, spending time with friends and family, getting away from the computer, and reading.
Dangers of the lack of sleep.
My blood pressure has always been good. I was behind on several projects and pushing hard to catch up. Well instead of my normal 120/70 my blood pressure was at 150/100 one day. I had only gotten 1 hour of sleep that night, and only 2 hours the night before, couples with my weight which I will address later that was not a good situation. What happened then? Well I started to force myself to adopt better sleep habits. I started getting more sleep and when my doctor checked me out the next month it was back down to 120/80.
It is way to easy to eat unhealthy. Rather than fixing a salad it is so easy to order Pizza and have it delivered!
Not only that, so much junk food is addictive with high levels of salt, sugar, MSG, and who knows what else.
Most people do not realize it is almost impossible if you have a desk job to work out enough to burn those extra calories off. Exercise is important for its own reasons, however, to control weight you really need to eat healthy.
My wake up call was being to tired and out of shape to play with my kids to say nothing of what I look like. I had ballooned up to 365 lbs. That is just ridiculous. That is a battle I am still fighting, however, I am beginning to make slow strides in losing some of that weight. Currently I weigh 362.4.
I would recommend looking at the American Heart website for ideas on how you can eat healthy.
I can’t give you to much advice on eating healthy as I am still learning myself, just try to avoid Soda and Fast Food!
This Video also helped motivate me when I saw what an awesome job this guy did.
We all need to stay fit. Recently reports have stated Sitting too much raises risk of death, even if you exercise.
This means beyond a regular workout routine you need to do more. Yet I think we still need those regular work outs to do more than merely standing around can do.
On the workout side
I selected DDP Yoga and I am loving it so far. I wanted something that I could start which would be easy until I am fit enough to move to something like the P90X3.
Both have been purchased.
DDP Yoga has 3 sets of 13 week work outs each getting hard.
P90X3 has 4 sets of 13 week workouts each getting harder.
That is 91 weeks or 1.75 years worth of workouts. Once I finish these up I will figure out what the next step to maintain my fitness level will be.
Some of you may ask why I selected the P90X3 instead of the normal P90X. I wanted the 30 minute workouts instead of hour long work outs. It just fits better with my lunch hour.
Now what to do about sitting down all day?
Well I went with the SmartDesk2 from Autonomous. The price was right at 299, and I needed something that could move up and down. Right now my back can start hurting if I stand up to long, so I stand up and work for as long as I can before taking a break, then back to standing.
I have looked at other more gimmicky solutions such as exercise bikes that fit under your desk, however, they all looked like more of a distraction.