Write Things Down

October 15, 2004 — Leave a comment

Making Your Dreams Come True Without Wishing Upon A Star

Mark Morases

Hello everyone. Have you ever procrastinated in your life? Ever thought of what it would be like if you took Route A instead of Route B? What barriers do you set up before you even have a chance to put it on paper? I hope these questions – at the very least – makes you think about the importance of writing things down.

Now, even though this article can be used for multi-purpose situationsâ?¦ I want to stress that even those who are thinking about making games should read this article. The reason I say this is becauseâ?¦ or I hope that I give you some enthusiasm to say, “yes I can” rather than “maybe next time”.

Planning

If you want to make a game, you have to plan first. I know that’s saying the obvious but you wouldn’t believe how much time can be lost without having a guide. Let’s have an example: I’m thinking I want to make a gameâ?¦ so I write that down: I want to make a game. Then, more thoughts come to my head. Thoughts such as I want to make a unique game or why I want to make a game. Or my personal favourite is how to make a game? I write all this stuff down because if I didn’t write it down, I probably would get stuck at “I want to make a game”.

Then I’m thinking about timeframe. So, I write down the word “Deadlines”. Remember a goal without a deadline is merely a wish. If I didn’t put a deadline down, I probably would never get the planning of a game off the ground. I would make excuses and most likely put things off until I find a new excuse to prolong the old excuse. When you write deadlines down, it sets a stage to get all the facts rather than bunching them up all within a short period of time. Also, when you know the facts about what you’re going to do, you can identify the obstacles that prevent you from doing it in the first place. A popular obstacle is not having the skills and/or experience.

Now that sounds a bit depressing. Not having the skills or experience can send most people running to the hills. A way to dig yourself out of this hole is to remember that although not everybody is good at everything, you as an individual are really good at something. So, write this downâ?¦ what one skill could change your life? I repeat what one skill could change your life. I give you example (and please, don’t be shyâ?¦ write your answer down on a piece of paper. Actually, I recommend you going to get a piece of paper right now and read this article from the beginning and write anything you think is important).

My example of one skill that could change my life is that I’m a great speaker. I like talking to people. Applying that to making a game may be a bit difficult, or let’s sayâ?¦ an obstacle, but I wrote it down and I feel good that it may help me out in the future.

Learning from the experts is a great way to plan as well. There’s plenty of advice out there that can help you reach your goal. Without communicating to others who are in the field of what you do, you really can be missing a lot of feedback. Whether it’s friends, family, or somebody you know who makes a great rum & coke, constructive responses can really make you see the big picture.

Remember that when you have your goals set, it takes hard work to reach them. Be a goal giver and not a goal “getter”. What I mean is that you have to work for your goals and don’t expect all the cards to fall into place. People just don’t become game developers overnight. You have to be persistent, enthusiastic, and most of all determined by setting some time each day in taking steps to that goal. That is accomplishment.

We’re probably at the stage right now where you probably have written a bunch of stuff about your plan. That’s great. Now it’s the time to make it detailed. Constantly think of all possible questions. Brainstorm a little. The more detailed the plan you write down, the fewer headaches you’ll have later on. Which brings me to my next part: organizing your list over time. How do you reach your deadline? By setting a timeline, of course!

A timeline is a great way to make the whole plan come together. Don’t cut yourself too short. Make sure you have plenty of time. This can be difficult, especially if life throws you a curveballâ?¦ but at least you wrote a framework down. A framework is great to keep your priorities in check. But I’ll get to that later on.

Ok, so you have written a plan down – a detailed written plan. Good for you. Now it’s time to take action. The more action you take into getting the plan into a feasible state, the more likely your goal will increase into becoming a reality. You have to back these goals with persistence. Don’t let obstacles get in the way. For example, if you want to make a game, then make one! You have a planâ?¦ you’re ready to go!

Remember that Momentum leads to Inertia, which leads to Initiate. The importance of action is crucial to realizing your goal.

Priorities

Now that we have a plan, and we’re ready to go, we must set out some priorities first. Write these downâ?¦ in this order:

  1. You must do tasks.
  2. You should do tasks.
  3. Nice to do tasks.
  4. Delegate tasks.
  5. Eliminate tasks.

Also write these down: “What’s your highest value qualities?” If you know what it is then put it into the A) section. For me, what I can do well that can make a difference would probably go into the B) section. Each person is different. So, by all means, the order is just there to give you better scope.

If you have a priority, you know what’s your most valuable time. That is crucial to fulfilling your tasks. Which in turn will help you reach your goal. Also remember that task completion has the highest value. The higher the priority, the bigger the value. If you don’t know what tasks are more valuable than othersâ?¦ then I suggest in writing your plan in bigger details and come back to the priorities section later on when you think you’re ready.

The final step I’ll mention today is making the most important tasks the most urgent. If you do want to reach your deadline(s) you set out when you were in the planning stageâ?¦ knowing what are the important tasks can make you a better planner while you’re in action-mode after you have made the written plan. It shows quality traits that you never realized before. And that is a step in the right direction.

Remember, if there is any doubt on achieving your dreams, I hope by writing this article, you can remove the biggest obstacle of all. All you need to do now is take care of the rest and go forward. Thanks for reading this and any feedback is greatly appreciated.

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