Extreme Time Management

I had some Cocos2D topics lined up for today, but did not manage to have the sample code finished in time, so with one kid asleep and with the baby being rocked to sleep, I will have to make this short with a promise for more technical goodness on next week’s post.

I work out of my home office, and prior to two weeks ago, had just our 2.5 year old with us here. He is pretty good at leaving me to work, unless the iPad is out, he seems to have a 6th sense of when to come looking for it. The three of us had gotten into a pretty good routine with work blocks for me during the whole day except for breaks around lunch, and before dinner. You know how they say you never really know something until it’s gone? Yeah… that applies to time too.
With the baby with us now, the thousands of daily diaper changes (I’m sure @owengoss can relate), and unpredictability of a newborn, I’ve had to squeeze in work and writing at all the little free bits of time I have.

Previously it would take me sometime to get into the zone, well if I work that slow now, I would never get in the zone, interruptions happen pretty often. I use the following tips to keep the context off my head so I can go from Xcode, to crying baby (or was that the 2 year old), and back to Xcode without much trouble, at least most of time. It usually only takes a minute or two to pick up where I left off.
@noel_llopis had a great tip a while back on using JustNotes, I too use it now in conjunction with EverNote. Here is my setup:

JustNotes for what I am working on now, and any todos for items I plan to finish today.
EverNote for longer term notes, todos, and other items, like planning what goes into the next chapter, or the next edit, or new games, etc.

The other trick to my productivity? A standing desk. I’ve been looking for a one a while back, and had tried a hybrid setup with boxes piled on top of my regular desk. My feet were killing me for the first week, but now my chair stays in the corner collecting dust, as I stand up most of the day. After a month or so of trying out the hybrid setup I saw Noel post on his GeekDesk, and ordered mine. I got it last week and it is great! I find that standing up all day keeps my energy up a lot better, and as an added bonus, it is high enough that the my son can’t reach my Mac.

I don’t take the lack time as a negative, the trade-off of having a new kid is more the worth it a thousand times. It is really great to have a new baby boy with us for the holidays, new life is pretty amazing stuff. :-)

Hopefully this can help you if you are short on time due to too many projects, or a new baby. Just expect interruptions and keep the context off your head!

Let me know what Cocos2D (or game dev) topics you want to hear about,
Thanks for reading,
Rod

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