Prioritizing

Most things you get started on will tell you that you suck at them. My first 3D render was horrible, I stumbled around the pitch the first time I played football and my first academic paper got rejected 5 times in a row. Eventually, after trial and error you reach an a-ha moment when everything sort of just "clicks", and that feeling? that feeling is euphoric. It's what makes the idea of starting something new addicting - the dopamine rush of putting magic on a screen just out of pure willpower and dedicated effort.

The problem is, it's very easy to get caught in a cycle of trying new things and not know where the road is taking you. I've constantly got 20 new project ideas before the previous ones have even taken off. For every idea there's some YouTube tutorial that's made the whole daunting process of getting started easy for you. You no longer have to spend months saving money to pay for that software you always wanted to try out - it's got a free trial version, and better yet - some kind soul has put it out on piratebay, cracked and ready for you to mess around with for free. It's like a disease and in a sense its a way of procrastinating on really honing in on the effort you need to put in to become a top notch expert at something. Lately I've started so many new endeavors that I've lost track of where I'm going - and I'm using this blog post as a means of finding out what I need to cut out of my life.

So, as an exercise I wrote down all the things I want to learn, things I need to do and things I am interested in, into a list, writing my thoughts on whether they were essential or required more effort. Then I sorted them into categories. After all that was done I decided which ones were essential and which ones I could cut out.

Feel free to skip past this stuff because it's just for me and may not be something you can relate with.

Learning

🗺 Cultural Evolution ✅ ♻️

I want to finish reading Alex Mesoudi's Cultural Evolution and then The Secret to Our Success by Joseph Henrich at the very least. There's just so much interesting work out there in this field. Sam recommended some other books and papers too that I think I should check out soon.

🎼Music Information Retrieval ✅

I've been saying I need to finish that book on Fundamentals of MIR forever but I've really made no progress on it. It's not even that hard.

📈Machine Learning ✅

Need to finish that crash course soon. Maybe once the experiments have started rolling.

🎓Reading more papers ✅

Gotta start with cleaning up my Zotero Library and organizing all the papers I've worked on before.

🇩🇪German ✅ ♻️

German is fun but I wonder how far DuoLingo will actually take me. I probably need to take lessons next semester.

🇯🇵Reading Hideo Kojima's Book in Japanese ✅

My japanese vocabulary and reading skills are pretty bad, and this book has helped. I just forget to pick it up consistently

Creative Endeavors

🎨 Illustration with Procreate ✅ ♻️

I think this is useful to understand composition, but it's also very hard and requires dedicated daily effort

🎹 Music Creation with Logic and Ableton ❌

After years of trying my hand at it, I've come to realize that I'm no good at making music. I have a little bit of talent but not enough motivation to go down the path of being a professional musician. I want to make the most of using GGD with a cool guitar plugin, but that also means getting better at guitar.

🎸Guitar ❌ ♻️

Somehow I never got around to sitting down with a metronome and practicing a track at half time consistently. Maybe I just need to throw myself into and get going.

🎬Making a movie ❌

While it is my dream to eventually get into film making. Now is not the time for it.

🧊Blender ✅

I'm actually quite good at this, and with a little more effort I think I can get a lot better at it. I don't think that rigging tutorial and environments tutorial I bought on udemy and domestika are any good. I'll just catch up with things on YouTube.

👾 Unity ✅

I never really got deep into it, because creating a game is a very time consuming and expensive process. I think it's best to just make a very small mini-game and take it from there.

🎮 Unreal Engine ❌

Honestly I'm more excited at the prospect of making photo-realistic environments in Unreal than Unity. The other game developers at WaveCut. But maybe I need to reach a common ground and find a way to make Unity environments look like how they do in Unreal. Hopefully Unity will start trying to compete with Unreal on this front.

🌪Houdini ❌

This seems interesting but in the end I really hope that Blender can catch up with all the specific features it has to offer. Still, I do want to try my hand at making some cool simulations in it.

⚡️TouchDesigner ❌

I found this really exciting and there's tons of cool things you can do when making visuals, but I found it hard to relate to abstract colors moving around on the screen. There wasn't much of a story being told, but maybe that's something I can work on.

Hobbies

📚Reading ✅ ♻️

I'm finally reading Dune by Frank Herbert and it's really exciting. Getting me all hyped up for the movie to come. I just wish I can make time to read when I'm at home as opposed to just when I'm on the train.

🕹Video Games ❌

Sekiro was way too addicting. I think I want to take a break from gaming for a while. I end up forgetting what my priorities are after a while.

💪Working Out ✅ ♻️

I enjoy this, but I need to be more consistent with it too.

🌱Plants ❌

I'm a plant killer. A few house plants are nice though

🛹Skateboarding ❌

I think I'm a bit too old for this now.

🖼 Graffiti ❌

Once in a while it's alright but the paint and materials are way too expensive for it to be sustainable.

Final List

After figuring out what things I absolutely needed to keep in my life. I made another list that is a lot more manageable and doesn't stress me out when I look at it.

Current To-Do

Research
Placy
Synflux

Daily

German
Illustration
Working Out

Learning

Cultural Evolution
MIR
ML
Papers

Other

Hideo Kojima
Blender
Unity
Reading