Edit** Sorry for the length of this post. I'm still working on how to get my point across with shorter paragraphs.
Hey everyone. I've been curious lately, and possibly a bit obsessive, about how to organize my time and becoming a more productive artist/student/person overall. I've looked into many articles and pieces of advice which I will post at the bottom. The problem I'm having is not getting too involved/obsessive compulsive, planning out every hour of my day. It just doesnt go over well with who I am. Instead for every day, week, month, and year I decided to create hit lists (to do lists), but with only what has to be done within that amount of time. Basically what I mean is if I take one day, instead of holding myself against getting something done at a specific time, I would just put down what needs to get done as a list, and go about my day getting these things done however I want. In some odd way it helps me feel better about not getting everything done at an exact all or nothing time each day, but as long as I get it done that exact day, monthe, or year.
My way has some holes I'm sure, but I'm curious if anyone has any advice they could give (especially professionals) about getting more done in less time? How are some good ways to still be an artist and getting artwork done on time, but still maintaining your sanity a bit when it comes to being busy.
Personally, before I decided to ask about all this, everything I did felt like I was trying to break a brick wall with a hammer. Instead of stepping back and thinking about how I could go out about this project more effeciently, buying some dynamite and blowing the wall to hell(I'm not good with analogies). I've also gotten curious about how studios manage projects and pipelines. With so many tasks involved in getting a project done, I'm wondering how all that is able to be managed. I just want to hear more from others aside from just being told to "work your ass off". Working hard is important, but it's not about how many hours a person puts into a project who should be acknowldged, but those who can take their 8 hours and produce results without having to spend so much overtime.
I just noticed this phenomenon when I was going to college. I see a lot of people stay at the school until 2 am after their class at 1 pm was already over. They say they are staying so long so that they could get their projects done for the class. They proclaim how hard they've been working, but when it comes to turn in their project it seems as if they barely worked on it at all. Some of them say they arent talented, others are dilusional and complain to the teacher about how long they worked on it for. Comes time for me to work a late night at the school, and all I see them doing is bullshitting around fiddling with their projects, and all of a sudden smoeone wants to play WoW.
Then you have the obsessive type of personality. They work long hours and produce mediocre stuff, as they get frustrated why all their hard work is not paying off. Thing is, they never THINK about what they are doing.
Anyway, I'd really like this to be a useful thread for others, so if anyone could really take the time to chime in that would be great.
The main things I have found to be more productive are a couple of websites and an interesting article. I also hear a lot of talk about GTD. It's a book called Getting Things Done that seems to be worshipped by a lot of people especially writers.
LIFEHACK.org (These people seem to love GTD, and Moleskine books. There's some good advice there about general productivity tips)
Be A Productive Artist (An article at Game-Artist Forums that was really helpful for me. It also introduced me to a web app called todoist. The easiest schedualing program ever.)
http://evernote.com/ (This program I began using for organizing projects, dumping ideas, and keeping a digital sketchbook archive. You can throw anything into it for Ideas, Notes, Journals, Scheduals etc etc. I highly reccomend this)
I also started reading Getting Things Done, but I'm starting to feel guilty because I feel I'm concentrating more on this than I am my art. So beware.
Moderation in everything. Hope this comes in handy to some.
Work Smart, And Hard.