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Can I Kick It?: Personal Development Through Solo Projects

My current project, Synthrally, developed out of a desire to do something productive with my spare time. One of my goals with this project was to have a well-structured production schedule, with strict deadlines to keep my motivation up. I quickly also realized that this was a great opportunity to fix some negative work habits that manifested as a result of my school’s strenuous course load, as well as try out new work habits and methods. Over the last year of development, keeping those two things in mind has forced me to learn a lot more about my craft, strengthened my physical and mental health, and taught me a great deal about how I do my best work, and how best to manually engineer that with my work habits and environment. The goal of this talk is to share some of the techniques that I tested in the hopes of helping other people improve their personal health and efficiency. The talk will be structured chronologically, following the last year of my development on Synthrally, with segments on small work habits (workflow models, when/how to take breaks, desk setup), project management (scheduling sprints and deadlines, creating good “”work-hour”” estimates, organization), and large-scale life habits (starting side projects, dealing with burnout/negativity overflow, keeping personal health up). Each segment will include multiple approaches to each issue (not just the one I’ve found works best for me), with references and examples, as “”the best workflow”” is extremely subjective and cannot be “”taught””.

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