May: Working without a Job

For the last four years I took full-time summer jobs, giving me four summers of servitude. Servitude that was somewhat enjoyable, and taught me a lot, but always servitude. This summer I’m going to do things differently. Instead of finding a job, I’m going to spend the time working on what I really want to.

Specifically, I’ll be doing indie game development. Why? Because it’s what I’m passionate about. I’m going to start out with short prototyping projects, probably about one week each, to try out different ideas. This summer I should have fun, come up with good ideas, and learn lots, improving my technical and creative skills.

The downsides to not working as an employee are that there’s no structured work environment, no outside pressure to excel, and no salary. Nevertheless I think it’s going to be a net win, since 100% of the effort I put in goes to stuff of my choice, the effort I put in directly benefits myself instead of some big corporation, and I can make the work fun!

The biggest worry I have is that since there’s no outside pressure, motivation will fade to laziness. To avoid this it’s very important to keep the work fun and cultivate my motivation.

My monthly goal for May will be to put a substantial effort into the projects I’m working on. Specifically, I’ll put in six hours of work, five times a week. This is similar to January’s goal of timeboxing 3 hours of time every day, but this time I’m going to aim to devote the entire 6 hours in a given day to a single project, which should let me focus and really get in the zone. I’ll have the option of changing what I’m working on from day to day, so I’ll still have the freedom to mix things up if I get worn out on something. This six hours is a minimum, not a fixed amount, so some days I’ll likely put in more. It’s a bit less than a full-time job, but I plan to use that extra space to allow my schedule some flexibility, not to slack off.

Posted on 2009-05-03 at 12:55. trackback