Your Twenty Four Hours

Everyone has the same amount of hours in their day. I promise. People insist that I have a secret formula or some sort of flux capacitor, space time continuum secret that allows me more time to get so much accomplished. Getting what you want done is simple really. Decide what is important and make time to do it.

I don’t watch movies, watch TV, or play fake plastic guitar video games (try pinball instead). I don’t keep up with 100 blogs or read the entire newspaper every day. Those things just aren’t that important to me. Instead, I think about what I want to get accomplished in my life, set deadlines to do it and be sure to hit them no matter what.

Try this. Set a timer to go off once every hour. When that timer beeps, ask yourself “Is what I am doing right now important?” If it is, continue. If not, stop what you were doing and put your twenty four hours into something that matters.

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  • 24 hours? I only have like 16 hours a day. At night I keep getting tired, and then I swear I’m unconscious all night. Then I wake up, and it happens again the next night! Really killing my productivity.

    • I wish I didn’t have to sleep either, but sleep falls into this formula as well. Sleep is very important. So just like everything else, you have to make time for it and hit that bedtime deadline.

  • I find it helpful to remove myself from all distractions, and email myself to-do lists. Its a shame libraries are being replaced with Starbucks as a place to get shit done.

  • DON’T!! Man why you are throwing away movies and video games, I mean, I understand that TV is crapy but good director movies ( Kubrick, Kurosawa, Godard, Miyazaki, etc.) and cool games ( Me and my katamari, Okami, etc.) are a good source of inspiration, at least to me, they are full of color, design, character design, composition, storytelling, animation, direction, sensations, 3D stuff and a lot of things that may inspire you and I think that this is a “must” in our creative carreers.

    Well, but I understand that what you are trying to say is that they are a waste of time if you play or watch movies like 4 hours a day, everyday, but well a couple of hours of those a week hurts nobody, I think.

    At the end, we need to stay in touch with our industrie, if we are Animators/Motion Designers/Broadcast Designers or 3D guys, then, TV, Film, Internet, and electronic enterteiment is our output and we need at least watch a little of those to know whats going on.

    But “meh” who am I to say that, thanks to your hevay workflow now I have wached a lot of cool tutorials, live cast and stuff that you produce, so thanks a lot!!

    • damn sorry about this I’m not an english native speaker, heres a “corrected” version hehehe:

      DON’T!! Man why you are throwing away movies and video games, I mean, I understand that TV is crappy, but good director movies ( Kubrick, Kurosawa, Godard, Miyazaki, etc.) and cool games ( Me and my katamari, Okami, etc.) are a good source of inspiration, at least to me, they are full of color, design, character design, composition, storytelling, animation, direction, sensations, 3D stuff and a lot of things that may inspire you and I think that this is important in our creative careers.

      Well, but I understand that what you are trying to say is that they are a waste of time if you play or watch movies like 4 hours a day, everyday, but well a couple of hours of those a week hurts nobody, I think.

      At the end, we need to stay in touch with our industry, if we are Animators/Motion Designers/Broadcast Designers or 3D guys, then, TV, Film, Internet, and electronic enterteiment is our output and we need at least watch a little of those to know whats going on.

      But “meh” who am I to say that ?, thanks to your heavy workflow now I have watched a lot of cool tutorials, live cast and stuff that you produce, so thanks a lot!!

        • You are right, is a personal choice of what is important for each person, guess I mis-thought the message hehe, sorry about that.

  • “I don’t watch movies, watch TV, or play fake plastic guitar video games. I don’t keep up with 100 blogs or read the entire newspaper every day. Those things just aren’t that important to me. ”

    Ironically, these are the things that many people enjoy doing in life – and though we all have 24 hours in a day to work with – many of those hours are filled with responsibilities we can’t avoid. So, instead of setting a time to decide what’s “important.” It’s better to set a timer so you can ask yourself “is this what I need or want to be doing right now?” That seems like a better balance to life than always focusing on what’s “important.”

    • What is “important” if not “what I need or want”? If you really want something, that makes it important. If you really need something, that makes it important.

      One could think of it as: what’s ‘important’ is the stuff that’s at the very top of that list of what you need or want, rather than the minor stuff.

      You might get so much enjoyment out of watching TV, so you might want to do that, but then you might get more and lasting enjoyment from creating. TV is easier to do passively, so lots of people do it without considering their larger goals/values. I think the point here is to just step back and think about what you really want, and what you really need.

  • But movies, tv and videos games can show what professionals like you are doing. They can be a reference and you can be aware of what is happening in marketing and media. And that is important for your work.

  • I think Nick makes a great point “Is what I am doing right now important?”
    There have been many times I have caught myself checking facebook or reading blogs instead of doing my work. Before I know it 30 minutes have passed and I look at my work and it hasn’t made any progress.
    I think a great idea would be to log all your time spent on facebook, twitter, and blogs through out your day. At the end of your day add up all the hours. This might help you realize how much time we all spend on “time wasting” tasks. We could be using this time to “create cool shit” as Nick likes to say.

  • JESUS CHRIST GORILLA! live a little!!

    No, i got you. I’m still in to all those things though, i do consider them being part of making me a better profesional, to me, it all about knowing how to purge the things you pay attention to, and getting the most out of everything.

    But thats just me
    Your still awesome though…

    – jose

    • Believe me. I live a lot. I love what I do. I’m not saying that video games aren’t fun. They just aren’t as important to me as some bigger goals on my list. And, since time is limited, I have to make the decision to do what’s important.

      • gotcha!! no buts about that…
        I still love to squeeze in a bit of zelda here and there.

        Hey i started a per week deadline project, i just started it though, on my name is the link to my second project, i would love to have some feedback from you or anyone who clicks it.

  • This could be looked at as conditioning, but good conditioning if you want it. I agree it is much more simple then most believe. Do what you love and the rest will follow. Great stuff!

  • Thank you Nick. I’ve been following this post of yours since the day you have posted it cause it was honest, and I thought it was what I was lacking in my life. My life has improved significantly. I’ve been creating a lot , I am focused and have a lot less stress than before. Regarding the alarm set, for those of you who really care about your lives, and are a mac user too 😉 You can download alarm express from the mac store and that can help you every hour. One of my desktop wallpapers Nick’s post, so, I wouldn’t forget it. I know, all this might seem too freaky, but try it, It can help you.

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