One part that can be difficult to do with Game Development or anything really these days is balancing time. How does one do everything want and need to do in a day? I don't know how many times I have heard the phrases "There are 24 hours in a day" or "You have the same 24 hours that I do".
To some extent I understand and agree with those phrases, but the reality of it is, not everyone has the same 24 hours in a day and not everyone wants to work almost 24 hours in a day. I am not disagreeing with the idea that one needs to make a few sacrifices and work harder when wanting to achieve something, but to believe that everyone's time is equal is false.
Some people need to leave home and head into the office, plant, you name it, where another person might need to just pick up a phone. A lot of that comes from what each person does in a day compared to the next. I have a feeling the person working on a jobsite for 16 hours in a day is not going to have the same energy levels as I will sitting in a chair.
So how does one actually balance time between your work, family, friends, social life, downtime, hobbies, side gigs and more? As soon as I find out the REAL answer I will let you know in best selling book! In the meantime I will provide my insight from the many ups and downs I go through along with what feels like countless hours articles and videos.
Know that whatever you try to do first might not work, but it is not a reason to give up. Finding the right schedule that works for you will take time and trial and error. No schedule is a one size fits all and it will never also be set in stone. Life happens, things change you will need to adapt. You have a new kid who doesn't sleep at night? Getting up early might be difficult most mornings. Had a long shift at work and arrived home late? You might not have much energy to pour into another project.
What is important is adapting and changing with your schedule to make sure it doesn't completely stop.
Look at ways to make it enjoyable. I have read this a lot about hobbies and side gigs where individuals lost the drive that they did when they first started. You may run into a slump or a simply lack the motivation to work on anything. Entertaining ways to make it fun can help bring back that spark. The term "Gamification" is something I see a lot and I have favored trying it in ways. Provide incentive to get a task done by allowing yourself to do something you enjoy by completing it. You can apply this to most tasks, whether you get to read the news if you get something done early, watch some YouTube videos, or scroll through Social Media.
Find some support. Whether you want to admit it or not, sometimes it requires some support to from others to help you get through your tasks. If you feel like nobody cares or if you feel like you might not make it, log onto places like Reddit where you can find like minded people struggling through the same thing. Everyone needs encouragement every now and then to get through.
Don't be afraid to have some downtime. You should not feel bad or afraid to enjoy yourself once in a while. Obviously don't make a habit out of not working, but at the same time, learn to have fun.