Monday, August 21, 2017

The freelancer's advantage of continuity

Something new I learn recently was "continuity". That is when you managed to do something continuously it results in a bonus to your learning.

Currently, I have been working on the game for more than 12+ hours every day without caring about anything. (I totally forgot that Friday to Sunday are supposed to be special, but I go to the cafe to work on the game anyway)

I couldn't stop because I know if I am losing the streak then I would get less done when I resume! That sounds a lot like incentive system in social games nowadays isn't it? It's true! I work through "weekend" not because I am crazy, but it is a mix of it's what I want to do anyway, I want to get more done in less time, and afraid of losing streak.

However the plan shifted. There is a competition where people make music, videos, and note chart (namely BOFU 2017) coming soon and I planned to take myself to the next level regarding 3D areas and video making. So I have put myself in the difficult position that I have to make many MVs now.

Just 2 days ago I declared to myself to stop all the game development work and shift to this event. It will be around 15 days. And I could "allow myself" to do this after reasoning that I have already work more than normal man day of ordinary person and also I have had no weekend. I guess I can merge them all into this and stop the work.

You might have heard many times that practicing something "regularly" leads to mastery. Be it a music instruments or language. If you do it every day you will get good, that's the common knowledge. But "regularity" can comes in many levels. Play a guitar every night is the best a day worker can get (but still hard to stick to) but if you happen to be a freelancer, remember that you might be able to shift your time around and have something even better.

I find myself can't "keep" doing things every interval of time like every night (practicing Japanese), every weekend (cleaning the damn room). But if it is continuously, I feel that I can keep at it. I found this matches nicely with freelancer's style. If you are a kind of interval of time person you might like "every night" that a day job gives you more. It depends on person I guess.

The point I realize is that in day job system there is this "discontinuity" built-in. That is one day you must work for about 8 hours. Because more than that it might not affect your salary, less than that you might be fired, plus you might be late to get through horrible traffic. Also you should maximize your time at home since whatever you do tonight (be it a work that is supposed to be done on the next day) the next day you must arrive on time anyway. On Friday to Sunday you should stop your work since everyone stop at almost the same time by the system.

This discontinuity feels natural to 80%+ of all people because we are mostly working for someone in this system. To the point that most of people I talk to think I am crazy and say things like I should take a break sometimes. Sometimes I really want to say I don't need a break. Not because I am work-a-holic, but I really don't need to given what I do is really what I want to do. Everyone want to do what they want to do. That's a given. (and kinda a tautology)

Sometimes I think back when I was an office worker. If I am allowed to go all-out in 3 days and stay at home instead of going to the office, I could possibly get work done equal to 5 days worth. Unfortunately that's not the system. My employer would not allow it since it is exploitable and everyone can pretend to "work hard for 3 days" and gain +2 holiday every week. If I am an employer I would be afraid of allowing this too. But now I am by myself. I can totally allow it! I have to be honest with myself though.

I do have my own break throughout the workday by playing games. I just didn't wait for "the night" like many. And I also found that actually I need just 2-3 hours of that and I feel like I can continue the work already (especially after losing badly from Overwatch). In my time as a day job worker, I play more than I need just because the system gives me "one night" to rest before forcing me to work in the morning. I have to use it somehow. I should not work! That's what I thought.

This helps me a lot in learning everything. When I work I can easily have 30-day streak, inside that maybe 2-3 streak of fixing a specific bug that I can really focus to. In normal circumstance I can imagine it to take me 6-7 days because each morning "the streak" resets. However in my 2-3 days I can choose not to play games at night to beat the bug. I can give myself those hours back by myself later. (Which I am doing now that I have stopped the work completely)

It's just 3 days into the work stop period of mine but I have already learned more about humanoid modeling in Blender more than I have in the past 3-4 years. I have always wanted to do it. And this 3 days streak have already gave me the first step. You can't have 3 days streak unless there is a special holiday coming up, which I might be tempted to not doing something like this and just play all day.

Recently my friend paid 90USD for a one day Adobe Illustrator training. He got his lesson but after that he have to resume his work. Maybe the next Friday he could continue it. He said he got much from that. I'm sure the effect that he can feel it because it is a whole day. That couldn't happen before to him to be in the position that he can continue doing something.

I feel that I already have this 90USD effect everyday with the combo of flexible day + continuity. 90$ a day! That savings sounds like a dream! Although I didn't actually get that money, I always pretends I got them and immediately used that money to get Blender skills like pushing a use AP button to learn new skills in game..

Of course the disadvantage of a freelancer is always going to be the salary, at lease I know what I got in return of lacking that!

No comments:

Post a Comment