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100% Chip Champion

Maximizing Artistic Productivity
 

::|CONTENTS

  1. Getting started
  2. When Things go Awry
  3. The Downtime
  4. In Conclusion
I’ve prepared for you in this article are a suite of general tips and tricks to maximize you artistic productivity. It is without a doubt that, as an artist, you have struggled with procrastination or writer’s block at some point in your career. Why, just look at the comment section of any major battle here at BotB and you will surely find someone lamenting their inability to complete something they wished to. What our goal is here shall be to learn to best these productivity demons.

But who am I to offer such insight? Well, I (Chip Champion) have produced a significant volume of work over the near decade I have spent participating in BotB competitions. Moreover, I have on multiple occasions completed every format for our lovely seasonal events. But beyond BotB, the “deadline” is an integral part of professional and educational environments. While few are lucky enough to find themselves in the former, I’m sure the majority have experienced the latter to some degree. Thus, increasing your productivity is invariably tied to whatever the situation might describe as “success.” And few of us begin endeavors in which we are not hoping for success. And so, hoping that you have some faith in my experience, let us begin our quest for more productivity and more success!

Getting started




Take Stock

Before beginning any type of artistic project, it is important to take a step back and truly understand the nature and breadth of what you are about to embark on. This sort of action can help you with any task, but it is particularly important for those that are artistic in nature. Why? Because every action and step in your process of making art is not only a physical action but an emotional one as well. And whenever our emotions come into play is when variances and problems can occur. A task of moving a stack of boxes from one side of the room to the other may be something you put off or procrastinate upon, for example, but is a task at which you suffer from existential and artistic problems once you actually began doing it. Art, on the other hand, is a task much more at the mercy of its maker’s heart and passion. Thus, we must give ourselves (or sometimes, trick ourselves into) every advantage we can.

This step is easy enough; simply have a firm grasp over each task you are attempting to accomplish before actually beginning work. Using BotB as an example, say you wish to complete some entries for a Winter Chip competition. Ask yourself, just what exactly do you intend to do? Let’s say there are four formats you wish to contribute an entry. Therefore, you now understand that what you are trying to do is complete format A, B, C, and D. Not very difficult, is it? But just this won’t be enough, you need to be firmly aware of the details in which each of these tasks entails. Beyond simply “make the song,” the processes in which this task is to be completed must also be considered. Perhaps you have to download some software for one of these formats? Perhaps you need to learn how to use said software? Perhaps one of these formats is a tracker module type and you need to acquire samples for your entry? And if you are not yet sure of what you want your song to sound like, or have any general themes or ideas for it, this is something that will obviously not just materialize out of thin air for you.

So why is having a grasp on all the steps you need to take to complete your task important? Because any surprise inconvenience, no matter how insignificant, can snowball into a catastrophic blow to your productivity. Going back to the above mentioned sample format: let’s say that you had not put any thought into all these steps. On the day you had set aside to work on this tune, you realize you had not yet picked out the samples you were going to use. As stated above, this is a minor inconvenience. However, even this little thing can throw a spanner in the works. You are annoyed at having to do something extra, your motivation declines, which slows you down, and after an hour of haphazardly digging through your library of samples you resign yourself to working on this song tomorrow.

What has happened in our example may not seem like much, but the ramifications can be drastic. If you suffer from procrastination issues like many artists (myself included), each time you are unproductive will have significantly more weight on your emotions than all the times in which you are productive. The smallest of hiccups in your workflow can send you careening down the path of “just giving up on it.” THAT is why taking stock of everything you need to do is so important. Any surprise or pitfall you leave yourself with before you begin your work can be the critical thing that sends you to failure.

So, understand the complete nature of your tasks and the variety of steps in which you need to take to complete them. Take nothing for granted, and never underestimate the challenges your steps can provide. If you need to learn a new tracker, that will be hard and it will take time. If you’ve yet to set up a rig of music hardware for your song, that is not something that will not materialize out of thin air for you. If you are writing a novel in a genre of which you have no experience, there will be a process of researching and development that will need to take place. If you do not make yourself aware of each step that must be taken to complete your task, you will be attempting to ascend a staircase blindfolded.

Keep to a Schedule

This is the big one. If you are just skimming through this article and paying minimal attention, this is the one bit of advice you should take to heart. The absolute most important thing to squeeze as much productivity out of myself is to keep to a schedule. And of this, the most important caveat is that weekly schedules do not work. Why? Because a week is simply too much space for your procrastination and other factors to weasel into your work time. Let’s say you have a specific task you wish to accomplish over the course of a week. You get nothing done on Monday, but that is OK since you have the “whole week” to do it. You get nothing accomplished on Tuesday, but that is OK since you have the “whole week” to do it. You get very little done on Wednesday, as you have not done anything over the past two days and your efficiency has diminished. On Thursday you have some manner of commitment to go to, which you had not factored into your schedule since you had a “whole week,” so you simply resign yourself to get everything done on Friday. And as Friday rolls around, you are now attempting to get a week’s worth of work done in one day which, obviously, is not going to happen. Having failed at your task, you don’t even bother working over the weekend because that’s the time when you take a break. You convince yourself you will simply accomplish the task next week, and the cycle continues. And if a weekly schedule is prone to these types of conundrums, I think you can realize how a monthly schedule might fare.

So, beyond simply having a schedule, you want to have them be short term. Daily schedules are ideal for just about any length of task, but use whatever length of time you find best for your workflow. It isn’t wise to keep a schedule much longer than a few days, as you may quickly find yourself encroaching on a week’s worth of time. A weekend length of schedule is probably most ideal multi-day grouping. On the other hand, an hourly schedule might seem overly anal. However, if you have a very limited amount of days to work on something, just a few days a week or month perhaps, this level of detail in you scheduling could be necessary to really maximize what little time you have.

The reason for smaller schedules is simple and leads into our next topic. Smaller schedules equate to more schedules, which means more opportunities for success. And every success you achieve will increase your confidence and, in turn, your productivity. The flip side of this is mitigating failure. As success will boost confidence and productivity, failure can damage it tenfold. Smaller schedules give you more chances to reach a “success state,” while making your failures hurt less. Failing to achieve your goal for a month will, obviously, hurt so much more than the goal of a day.

And on the topic of failure, you must ever be aware of this: failure is inevitable, success is not. This is why you want to minimize the blows of your failures and maximize your opportunities for success. As the saying goes, if you give 100 chimpanzees 100 typewriters and wait long enough, eventually you will get Hemingway. But if you don’t give those chimps enough time, all you’ll have is screaming apes and shit on the walls (as an aside, probably my favorite mantra in relation to productivity is that if you throw enough shit against the wall, some of it will stick). Time is always your most valuable commodity when it comes to productivity, and keeping to a schedule is the best way to make the most of the time you have.

Setting Yourself up for Success

As stated above, your successes and your failures can have a drastic effect on your productivity. As such, it is reasonable that you want to give yourself as best of a chance at success as you are able. In relation to a schedule, this means not giving yourself a task that would be impossible to complete. But understanding what you in particular are capable is something that no article written by another will be able to help with. Only you can know what you are truly capable of.

But how can you learn what your capabilities and maximum productivity truly are? At this juncture, projection and guessing is not what you should be doing. This is a time to be dealing solely in facts, even when the facts aren’t what you’d wish they would be. Your past productivity should always be the barometer by which you set your projections and schedules. We all wish we were more productive, but swearing that you’ll “get more done this time” is not how you set yourself up for success. It is important to really analyze and examine your previous work and the time it took to complete it, then schedule accordingly. Goals that are relative to your previous productivity are achievable goals, and having achievable goals is setting yourself up for success.

Know that increasing your productivity is a process, and it is a slow one. The best analogy I can make is in relation to exercise. If you wish to increase the distance you can run, or the amount of weight you can lift, attempting to do something greater than your capabilities is only a path to injury and setback. If you can only run one mile, you do not try and run five miles to increase your distance. When it comes to productivity, you should set goals that are achievable and then push past them. Setting an unachievable goal to desperately reach for is only setting you up for failure.

As a brief example: let us say that you are on schedule to complete one song a day for some large project. These songs are short and easy, doing this task is well within your capabilities relative to what you have previously accomplished. On the first day, you complete your song with time to spare. Having done this, don’t simply relish your accomplishment and call it a day, push past your goal and start working on your next song. And on the next day, with your head start, you complete your song with even more time to spare. Again, get to work on your next day’s song and push past your goal. Let’s say this next day you are not feeling well, and your productivity has suffered. Since you have pushed past your goals, your head start allows you to still complete the song for the day. By giving yourself a head start, you set yourself up for success and have maintained your schedule. And, as we have established, the boon to your mood that success offers will reap rewards in your productivity down the line.

When Things go Awry




Of course, if simply following the above steps was enough, we all would be incredibly productive and the procrastination problem wouldn’t even be a thing. However, we know that is simply not the case. As you are reading this article, what you most likely are seeking out are not tips on how to make things go right, but what to do when things invariably go wrong. This section will be dedicated to dealing with common problems that may plague your productivity.

Battling the Overwhelm

Being overwhelmed by a task is probably the most frequent causer of one reaching a state of “giving up.” Imagine working on a video game or comic all by yourself, the sort of project that will take multiple years to complete. Think about dedicating months of your life to something like this, then taking a step back and then coming to the conclusion “I can’t do this.” Giving up on a large or long term project hurts you twofold, with both the failure (and the baggage that carriers) and the lost time.

But let’s take a step back and think of a more BotB related example. Say it is Winter Chip time and you want to complete every format, 18 songs in a month (more than half a song a day!)! After a few days of toiling on your first song, you take a step back and, looking at the big picture, resign yourself to failure. You decide to just do a few songs, you start to slip up on your weekly schedules, and before you know it the battle is over and you’ve only finished two formats, even after multiple extensions.

How could this happen? Beyond the (again) failure, the looming specter of The Overwhelm also plays a factor. Even though you may have given up on completing the large task early in the battle cycle, the possibility of this task (and the soon true impossibility of completing it) always remains in the dark recesses of your mind. It is a monster, a huge dragon that will weigh down on you ever heavier as the goal that you abandoned becomes increasingly out of reach. Each day that passes becomes time that’s been wasted, life that’s been wasted, and this failure begins to do more existential harm than it really should have relative to the task.

To best this beast, to defeat this dragon, one must avoid looking at the big picture entirely. It is the Medusa you can not look directly in the eyes. I can give you an example now with actual first hand experience. When I endeavor to complete a Winter Chip, for example, I begin by taking stock of each format and all the work it entails to complete. Then I set up a schedule, generally trying to get one format done a day. I set myself up for success, with these initial formats being things that are less time consuming and more likely for me to truly get accomplished in one day. Each bit of work you complete makes the totality of the task smaller, and you can begin taking closer a look at The Overwhelm. As I come upon things that will take more time, I factor things out across a week or weekend, each day being a part of completing a whole task. Once you have achieved a state of being half done with your entire project, you can really start to look the shrinking Overwhelm in the face. This is a point when you know that you have already completed more work than you have left to complete. Having now a well established process, continue keeping to schedules you can complete. As you reach the final few formats in your task, surely you will be exhausted and drained, but this is the time you can look The Overwhelm straight in the eyes, this is the time when it can be your salvation instead of your enemy. Being so close to glorious victory is what will push you over the edge and give you the final bit of stamina to see your goal to completion.

But perhaps you don’t quite get every format done. Perhaps you only finish 14 of the 18 formats. It is undeniable that you have failed at your end goal, but just as undeniable that you have been productive. Compare these 14 completions to the 2 you may only have done if you allowed The Overwhelm to get the best of you. All your productivity will positively influence your future attempts at productivity. Each format you completed has given you experience, through your craft and perhaps quite literally with BotB points. Only through experience, through practice, will you improve your craft. And as you improve you craft, it becomes easier for you to be productive.

Perfectionism is the Enemy of Productivity

Perfectionism is not a bad thing. Having passion and pride for your work is what keeps you from being a talent bereft hack. It is, however, a huge enemy of productivity. But as perfectionism is not a bad thing, simply eliminating perfectionist tendencies from your workflow isn’t the easy answer. So, rather than fighting these urges in yourself, it is better to become aware of the basic futility of an unwavering perfectionist attitude.

As an artist, how much of your previous work do you hate? I think most of us find the majority of our earlier work to be embarrassing. Resenting your work seems to be a common affliction of artists across any medium. So, this being the case, why make the time investment that perfectionism brings when perfection is impossible? How many times have ached over the smallest of details only to come back the next day completely unsatisfied? Perfectionism can certainly improve the quality of your work, but don’t allow it to sacrifice your productivity for an unachievable ideal.

Let’s think of perfectionism like being in a romantic relationship. You find yourself so blessed to have a significant other of exceptional beauty. The average person on the street would catch sight of this person and be overcome with intense lust. But you, being completely familiar with your lover’s form, know each tiny imperfection. Perhaps their eyes are just a little bit crooked. Perhaps they have just the smallest hint of fat on their otherwise perfectly toned stomach. Perhaps they wear a fragrance you aren’t particularly fond of. Perhaps they have a really annoying laugh. Perfectionism is an intense focus on everything that (you perceive to be) is wrong in your work. In our above example, let’s say you leave your lover because all these tiny faults just simply aren’t acceptable. You become so blessed to find a new relationship with someone that you initially feel is even more perfect. But physical form is only one factor in seeking a lover, and you quickly find this person to be insufferable and completely incompatible with you personally. And as time passes, you begin to find the tiny flaws in their form as well. Know that nothing in life is truly perfect, and in the slavish search for perfection, you will become blind to what is great.

Ride the Waves

While this section mostly about dealing with hardships, here I’d like to take a brief moment about not missing out on opportunities. How many times have you been graced with a state of intense inspiration? A moment when you have a “good idea” and a resulting surge of passion? This is the time when the flexibility generally associated with procrastination tendencies may actually serve to your advantage and keeping to a stringent schedule can hinder you.

I’ll refer to these blessings of inspiration as Waves, and you always want to ride the Waves when you have the chance. I’ll assume these moments are rare for you as they are for most of us, which is all the more reason to take advantage of these opportunities when you have them. Let’s say you’ve scheduled yourself to work on a specific song for the day, but have a sudden burst of inspiration for what you’d like to do for the song you’ll be working on next week. If you ignore these urges and work on the song you’d planned, you productivity will be siphoned away as your heart yearns to be working on something else and the Wave slowly crashes. By the time next week rolls around and you are to be working on the song which you’d had a burst of inspiration, having shunned your initial impulse, that energy and passion won’t return. When all things are accounted for, you get fewer things accomplished by trying to keep to a schedule in spite of what your creativity dictated to you.

By trying to ignore these Waves, they will become your enemy instead of the bountiful treasure they should be. Even when these Waves are for something completely unrelated to what you are currently working on, it is always better to get them out of your system then to let them fester and die. Get the first few patterns of that chiptune done, write the first little bit of a story, get down the notes of a long term project… The time commitment made for riding these Waves will always pay dividends. And that is beyond simply the ideas themselves, because if you ignore them, they will siphon away your passion and cause issues with your current task. And what’s most important about riding these Waves and getting them out of your head is that it frees up space for new ideas and new passion!

Against the Brick Wall

This is the largest and most prevalent defeater of productivity, writer’s block. For me, the sensation is like a helpless attempt to push through a brick wall. No matter how I strain, I simply can’t bring myself to work on something. I desperately flee to any possible distraction I can. Obviously, anyone who could come up with a cure for writer’s block would become a very wealthy person indeed. How to overcome one’s writer’s block is a much more personal thing than any general tips might help with. What I intend to do here is not talk about what to do to stop the writer’s block, but how to get work completed during it.

The crux of any writer’s block problem is an emotional one. For one reason or another, the requisite passion required for your art just isn’t being cooperative. And keeping to a stringent schedule won’t help you when you literally can’t motivate yourself to get anything done. So, as our problem is an emotional one, we need to seek areas of our work that don’t require an emotional investment. This is the busy work, the stuff that requires little creativity or passion to complete. Perhaps it is adjusting the envelopes on your chiptune’s instruments or editing your writing. These are the little things that you seldom consider in relation to the overall completion of your work, steps that you take for granted as they don’t require creative energy. But what these things do take is time, and time is the most precious and valuable commodity you have when completing any task on a deadline.

That sensation you feel when fighting the brick wall is that you don’t want to do anything. You yearn to be doing anything that does not tax you emotionally as working on art does. Obviously, this is the path to procrastination. And while the temptation of pleasure and recreation can be obvious draws to your wayward self, what you truly seek in these moments is to be mindless. And this is the key to how we shall bypass the wall. In your urge to be mindless, you should set yourself onto the most mindless parts of your goal. Even if recreation can draw you away, every minute you can dedicate to your task is time you won’t need to spend once your motivation has returned. Think of this as a prison break, and you are digging yourself under the brick wall with a spoon. It may be slow and mindless, but it is progress towards your goal nonetheless. Because the other option for besting writer’s block is to build up so much creative energy as to break through this brick wall. And after you’ve done that, you may find yourself so drained of passion that you’ll be back where you started.

Sometimes You have to Work Blind

For myself, and I assume many others, I always want to have a good idea of what I want to do before I get started. For a song, that means having a general idea of what it is going to sound like, a general style or knowing the melody, ect… But when we are saddled with a deadline, we might not always be fortunate to have a plan. Like any lovable rogue, sometimes you just have to go in without a plan and make things up on the fly. This is a delicate balance, of course. Giving yourself the appropriate time to think on your idea can greatly benefit your productivity; it is always easier to work towards an established idea than to attempt to craft purpose on the way. But sometimes, an idea simply isn’t going to come fast enough (or at all) for you to accomplish your goal. At these junctures, it is easy to give up and accept failure. However, as mentioned numerous times before, our goal is to give ourselves as many chances for success as possible.

When starting a work blind, you will find yourself desperately grasping around for any idea to hold onto. In this situation, the first and obvious step is to get started. You have to write those first notes, those first words, because a blank tablet will always be a vacuum for your energy. The next step is equally important, but more often neglected: don’t abandon bad ideas, fix them. You may have heard about this or engaged in it yourself, beginning a work without an idea means cycling through many different ideas before finding something you like or, perhaps more likely, giving up. You know the cliché, a frustrated writer with a wastebasket full of crumpled up paper. Think about how many stories or songs each of those crumpled up pages could have been. Every time you abandon an idea, you have put yourself into a failure state (and we know how that hampers productivity). Thus, when you come to the conclusion that “this sucks,” don’t simply throw your idea into the bin and try again; art or otherwise, all projects at which you dedicate yourself will require problem solving. Fixing what you have instead of desperately running for greener pastures will not only save you time, but the experience in problem solving gained will help you in future tasks as well!

Obviously, waiting around for the perfect idea isn’t always a bad thing. But this article isn’t about crafting your finest work, this article is about increasing your productivity. Quality versus quantity, most would say you can’t have both. But as you abilities in regards to productivity, you will find that these things don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

Don’t Fetishize the Gear

This is probably less of a problem with the majority of the BotB crowd working primarily with software, but is a very prevalent issue with music creation over probably any other type of artistic trade. Musicians can become completely absorbed with gear, and the acquisition of such. The unfortunate mindset being that only with a specific piece of equipment might a certain type of project or work be completed. One laments their lack of equipment, instead of making do with what they have.

The issue here is that the artistic “need” is so frequently a cover for simple materialism. Again, this is more a problem with musicians as music gear can be infinitely more collectable than, say, a painting easel, but the general philosophy applies to any creative format. How often have you felt like you desperately needed a piece of equipment, only to feel completely satisfied solely with the purchase of which and said gear just ends up collecting dust on the shelf?

Wanting gear can be an easy out for your procrastination. You convince yourself it is impossible to complete a project without a specific piece, and end up getting nothing accomplished in the meantime. So when you find yourself with the urge to splurge, remember this: new equipment should not “allow” you to do something, but improve your ability at something you are already doing. Don’t get a $10,000 modular synthesizer rig so that you will finally be able to make electronic music, but because of all the new possibilities it would allow relative the electronic music you are already making; because if you do it for the former, the chances of real productivity coming from that investment are slim.

Know Distractions

Distractions. I’m sure I don’t have to explain to you how these can hamper productivity. What I would like to briefly discuss with you, however, is the things we engage in that we might not respect enough for the distractions they are. Do you have the TV on while you work? Perhaps you listen to a podcast or have an IRC window open? Many times, this extra little bit of stimuli can keep our spirits high and emotional energy going. But how often do you space out and stare at that TV, or engage in long diatribes on IRC, or write lengthy youtube comments?

For this exercise, I want you to really analyze the time commitments in your workflow. Compare how much work you get done with your TV on with what you accomplish with it off, or whatever additional business you have going on while you work. Because these things can sometimes be necessary boosts to your productivity, but when you stop being aware of their drawbacks is when the distractions start to seep in. It goes the other way as well. Some things that most would consider distractions could actually vastly increase your productivity. Taking the time to really examine what outside influences are boons and hampers to your work can pay huge dividends for you down the line.

The Downtime




Of course, we aren’t always so fortunate to be working on our art or have a good reason to be doing so. During this downtime, what should you be doing? Moving on with your life, ignoring your craft? Of course not! There’re plenty of things you can do during your downtime that can help increase your productivity when you’re actually doing the deed. I’ll continue to reiterate, setting yourself up for success is the key to boosting your productivity.

Working When You Can’t

What many can derisively refer to as “life” can often get in the way of your productivity. But just because you find yourself away from your tools or equipment doesn’t mean you must cease work on your project. At work or school or on the bus, these moments all belong to you. Keep a notebook handy and get some work done!

Of course, it isn’t wise to completely forsake your obligations. Getting fired from your job or failing at school will certainly create more problems for your ability to make art than the small gains you received while neglecting them. But finding a balance can help you get that little extra boost to your productivity that can mean the difference between getting something accomplished or giving up on it. Be crafty in your search for life optimization, because coming up with a good plan for your time amidst other tasks will not only help with time management, but can also be a great boost to you outlook and attitude.

Idea Mining

It is often romanticized that an artistic idea or spark appears out of nowhere, a generous muse bestowing the gift of art on the creator. However, this is simply not the reality of things. Every idea you have can only be based on information which is already in your head. Of course, there is a very real stigma of ripoffs. No “true” artist wants to be viewed as unoriginal or perceived as ripping off some other work. But the fact of the matter is that all ideas and art are built off of one another. Innovation cannot occur unless there is a baseline to be innovating from in the first place. One does not simply invent the motor vehicle; all the components such as the engine and the wheels must exist beforehand.

So, as your ideas do not spawn from the ether, you must take in other ideas and information to fuel your own creativity. Art is the food of which you must eat to produce your own art. And don’t think that mediums unrelated to your own have nothing to offer. A film might give you an abundance of ideas for music, and this has nothing to do with the film’s score. A certain image or bit of dialogue could be the basis of an entire song. Thus, expose yourself to as much art as you’re able. You don’t need to actively try and glean ideas from it, quite the contrary. Because the seeds of creativity are sewn even in your subconscious, and the art you expose yourself to can leave lasting impressions there.

Attitude is Everything

Having a positive attitude is general advice that can be applied to just about any emotional crisis. Even the darkest of hardships can be eased with the power of a positive attitude. But, as I’ve mentioned, art is a very emotionally involved procedure. And as such, attitude is so much more frequently our enemy than our ally.

As we find ourselves in the “downtime” of our work, we will often reflect upon what we have accomplished. How often are you proud of what you’ve done, and how often are you disappointed? If you’re always happy with your work, good for you! But if, like many of us, you aren’t, working on your attitude can help boost your productivity. And with better productivity comes better confidence and, in turn, a more positive attitude.

Let’s say you’ve recently completed a Winter Chip battle here at BotB. You completed 10 entries, a new personal best. But after the results have been tallied, you’ve performed poorly. In this downtime, you look back on all these entries and reflect upon them. You aren’t happy with the way they’ve turned out, or soured to things you initially liked as the weeks went by. “These suck,” you think to yourself, and your attitude has become quite negative. You might think you’ll get over this later, but a negative attitude like this has a propensity to linger and lead to doubt that will effect your productivity.

The key word to battling this kind of negative attitude and turning it into a positive one is defiance. You must stand as the noble hero against the impossible odds of your negative emotions. A thought of “this is bad” so often leads to “I am bad.” You accept this as fact, as if the state of being bad will never change. You must use defiance to turn all these negative emotions into a positive direction that brings you positive change. “This is bad” needs to be followed up with a conversation on how you’ll fix it. “This is bad” needs to be countered with “next time will be better.” Art is a process and, as mentioned above, perfection is impossible. The anguish of your failures must fuel the fires of your defiance to forge improvement. Be as absolute in your positivity as your negativity. I “can” and I “will” need to be the words you use when thinking on your future work. Know that a keeping a positive attitude in your downtime will carry over to the crunch time of your work.

A Healthy Lifestyle

Eating well and exercising is important! Hey, where are you going? The basics of your diet and physical fitness may seem to have little bearing on the productivity of your art, but increasing your productivity means giving yourself every advantage you can. This isn’t the time or place for an extensive dietary plan or fitness regimen, there are plenty of other sources for this information, just be aware that staying healthy will set you up for success in all factors of your life. You don’t want to get sick during Winter Chip, do you?

One other factor of a healthy lifestyle is keeping an inviting work environment. Clean your room! (What is this, the mom section of the article?) Your workplace doesn’t necessarily have to be pristine, it could actually be quite messy, it simply needs to be comfortable and inviting to you. Take a look at your workplace, does it seem inviting and make you smile, or does it make you feel tense and dejected. If you find your work space isn’t inviting, it won’t be aiding your productivity. And if that’s the case, maybe it’s time for you to invest some time in cleaning up.

What is Important to You?

It shouldn’t come as any surprise that to maximize your productivity, sacrifices will have to be made in your personal life. And if your artwork isn’t something you’re doing professionally, your free time will be even more scarce and precious. As with your work time, scheduling and time management are key to optimizing your downtime as well.

But further consideration should be made to your social life and other interests besides how you allot your time with them. If your other interests and hobbies are more important to you than your art, there is nothing wrong with that. Coming to terms with what is most important to you can lead to more peace and satisfaction in all areas of your life. Even if your art isn’t the top priority for you, being at peace with that instead of lying to yourself will only lead to more productivity in the end.

In Conclusion




So, what have we learned? Perhaps you have scrolled down seeking the abbreviated version of all this information? Well, let’s try and keep this concise. Your productivity is something that takes time and effort to reach its true potential. Strict scheduling is one of the best practical ways you can do such. Always endeavor to set yourself up for success, as failure will have a negative impact on your productivity. No work will be perfect, so don’t strain for perfection. Do your best to get things accomplished, even during your harshest of writer’s blocks. And managing your downtime is just as important for your productivity as what you do when you’re actually working.

Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed this article. And if you haven’t I hope you at least learned a tip or two for increasing your productivity. I look forward to all those extra formats you’ll be able to complete in the BotB battles of the future!
Greetings, fellow noobs! What