Time management and goals

Hey guys, I am still a student who is sort of trying to learn the ropes of becoming a 3d artist, and I was wondering if you guys work around a per-defined, daily schedule.

I try my best to either work with a 3d software package, do some digital art with my wacom tablet, or do some traditional arts every day, but I am often disorganized and I don't think that I am learning as efficiently as I could be.

Time management is just one of those things that I personally find hard to do consistently.

So, I was wondering what you guys do, whether you are still in school, you're un-employed, or if you're currently working for a company.

I was thinking of doing 1 hour chunks or something, but with small gaming breaks in between.

Thanks!

Replies

  • Ruz
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    Ruz polycounter lvl 13
    to me its about dedication, if you enjoy what you do , then the hours are not that important. why would you worry about time management unless you were working for a big company. just try enjoy your artwork before it becomes a chore.
    seems there are lots of threads these days about 'how should I do stuff or please encourage me'
    just do it man and see how things go from there

    This is my early stuff all self taught looks shit. 15 years later I am doing ok
    http://www.rhino3d.com/gallery/images/rhinohead.jpg
  • FractaL
    THanks for the reply, Ruz.

    I wasn't necessarily talking about motivation, I certainly have that, but I don't know how to balance between what to do! I spend several hours a day working and practicing, but for example, I sometimes feel like I should be doing 3d when im doing concept art, and vice versa.
  • Ruz
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    Ruz polycounter lvl 13
    well when i graduated I was unemployed, found it hard to find work, but then got a part time job( mornings) but still worked hard on my folio, from afternoon till early morning.if you want it badly enough you will adjust your schedule to meet your goals
    I probably worked from 1 in the afternoon till 3/4 in the morning most days.
    re choosing which area to work on perhaps try and get good at both, can't hurt in the long tun. i was always better at 3d than concept stuff, so stuck with that.
  • Equanim
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    Equanim polycounter lvl 6
    Set realistic goals for each day and meet them, e.g. "Today I'm going to START modeling, tomorrow I'll finish, Wednesday I'll map..."

    A schedule I use (for small assets like trees or a chair) is concept on Sunday, modeling on Mon and Tues, optimization and mapping on Weds, texturing on Thurs and Fri, tweaking on Saturday. In a given week, you'll touch on a little bit of everything. This schedule should be manageable even with a 40 hour job, just do a couple of hours' work each night.
  • Sandro
    Time managing and goal-keeping gave me anxiety. I felt I was in some kind of rat race and could not really detach from work even when I was resting. And I could not really exploit that energy burst you get when you are excited to test out new tool/technique or idea - it had to be planned and scheduled.

    I use this app now. It basically allows you to work in short (25 min) sprints. It's quite surprising to see how much you can get done 25 minutes when you're 100% focused on task. Also, helps prioritize stuff - no more mindless tinkering on unimportant stuff and pretending you are getting anywhere.
  • AlexLeighton
    Big +1 for Cherry Tomato, I've found it to be really helpful with getting stuff done. Setting a hard deadline can help too, even for personal stuff. If you think that you won't stick to it, ask a friend to pester you a bit to have the project done by a certain time. Sometimes a bit of peer pressure can be a good thing, when they're pushing you to do something constructive.
  • Torch
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    Torch polycounter lvl 7
    Gona try out Cherry Tomato, thanks for that :D
  • seth.
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    seth. polycounter lvl 8
    I'm afraid that I always wonder if I am doing enough, putting the hours in, or doing the right thing, or learning at a quick enough rate. If you are someone who is susceptible to that sort of mentality then there is no answer that will satisfy your original question in my opinion. I agree with Ruz, just do what you love doing and forget about how long you should do it for....work on your stuff till your brain hurts, or you need a break or whatever and the learning and skillset will follow naturally
  • greuh
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    greuh polycounter lvl 10
    [ame=" Pausch Lecture: Time Management - YouTube[/ame]
    I always plug Randy Pausch's lecture when anyone is talking about time management.
    while you might think it's not really about 3d, I'll argue it actually is.
    Time management is not necessarily how to deal with doing 3d art or whatever, it's just as much about how to deal with your life. It'll trickle down inevitably to anything else you decide to spend your time on.
  • Sandro
    Would be good if somebody summed up that video in a couple of words. Listening to hour-long talks about time-management instead of actually doing art sounds counter-productive to me :)
  • low odor
  • Skillmister
    If you want to find out how much time you actually spend not doing art this is a brilliant program.

    http://www.manictime.com/

    Sometimes i think "hey that was a productive day!" Look on manictime and i actually spent 5 hours with chrome open XD
  • cptSwing
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    cptSwing polycounter lvl 6
    I've been using https://kanbanflow.com/ for the last 3 weeks or so, and it's a simple and effective way to structure your tasks. Pomodo timer included (though I have yet to give pomodo a real chance, I have trouble breaking my tasks down into 25 minute chunks).
  • Doubles
    I'm doing everything i can to get a folio together. I am using Manic Time, and I do spend crazy hours 8-10 daily on doing 3D work, but as I've experienced, the spent time is not that productive. Also I have to admit that my work is mediocre right now, and it seems that it takes time to get better, more than I imagined. Progressing in art maybe happens faster for the talented folk, although most of the cases i seen, they already have the thousands of hours in if they art is really good.

    I can say also that the way of training is really important i think. Traditional sculpting helped me progress a lot! Rather than looking on a flat monitor and trying to learn sculpting in ZBrush. Likeness drawings also, because they are so difficult. This also goes for life drawing, teaches you a lot more than drawing from photos. So keep in mind what are you weak at and train that skill. It is not good to miss something.

    So to sum up my point, besides doing the hours, you should try to keep a curriculum in order to get better.
  • r_fletch_r
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    r_fletch_r polycounter lvl 7
    cptSwing wrote: »
    I've been using https://kanbanflow.com/ for the last 3 weeks or so, and it's a simple and effective way to structure your tasks. Pomodo timer included (though I have yet to give pomodo a real chance, I have trouble breaking my tasks down into 25 minute chunks).

    I find pomodoro is better for keeping focus rather than metering out 25 minute tasks. I use it when my attention isnt so good to keep my head in the game.
  • Skillmister
    r_fletch_r wrote: »
    I find pomodoro is better for keeping focus rather than metering out 25 minute tasks. I use it when my attention isnt so good to keep my head in the game.

    Yeah same. using the desktop app the quiet ticking noise behind my music just keeps me focussed
  • chrisradsby
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    chrisradsby polycounter lvl 8
    Sure you can get a lot done in 25 minutes, but I wouldn't recommend taking breaks every 25 minutes though. Mainly because when you start working and get all those creative juices going you should just go with the flow and ride it out til you stop.

    And when you stop, you grab a coke, you change your music and then you start over again ;)!

    Breaks are good though, but a gaming break every 25 minutes would be very distracting :P I'd say: Put a harsher plan on yourself. Say : I won't allow myself to game before I've done 8 hours of personal work today. It doesn't matter what the end result is that day, as long as you spent those 8 hours trying to improve yourself. 4 hours modeling, 1½ hour watching tutorials and learning new tools, a couple of hours texturing or planning. Etc etc.
  • Skillmister
    I think it works well if you don't take it as a gaming break. 5 minute break (and stick to it) to check email/facebook/grab a drink/stretch your legs/download more reference etc etc. Obviously if you are good at focussing for long periods of time anyway you might not need it and be better off doing what you say but i find unless i'm really 'on it' it helps to have a bit of structure.

    I'll give it another go for a few hours today and see how i get on.
  • r_fletch_r
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    r_fletch_r polycounter lvl 7
    but I wouldn't recommend taking breaks every 25 minutes though.

    A quick run to the water cooler is great though, or a quick dash down the stairs to grab something.
  • Torch
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    Torch polycounter lvl 7
    I'd agree about the gaming break being distracting, especially with games like Mass Effect, Skyrim, etc. If you're gonna have a gaming break I'd say do it with games you can jump into quickly... xbox live arcade stuff for example.
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