Sideprojects Motivations and Goals

04 Aug 19 20:16
3 minutes read

Hi Everyone,

This is more of an introspective blog post regarding side-projects and finding the motivation and time to do other ‘work’ outside of the daily job.

As you may or may not notice, I had a solid 6+ months pause from blogging.

The main issue here was the fact that I have the tendency at times in my side projects to search for the best solution, and not focus on the task at hand. Hence, this caused a lack of progress, that well, reduced the ‘rewards’ so the motivation all but vanished.

Since I recently re-started working on some side projects, there are a few things that I noted down that at least in my case helped to keep myself motivated.

  1. If you are starting a new project, allocate time to define what a minimal viable product means for you.

    My mistake here was that I was thinking initially that the project I want to work on will cover a broad range of features.

  2. Allocate at least 30 minutes of uninterrupted time to work on your project.

    Don’t keep reddit, youtube, ycombinator or any other sites open while you work on your project since at least for me, I am tempted to do a refresh and read new things. That, in turn, makes the limited available time for the side project to get that much smaller.

  3. Don’t chase magical solutions that cover all cases, but work on your product and do clean up as you advance.

    You will be tempted to work on the ‘best’ solution since you’re not at your daily job and be strongly against cutting corners. But the issue here is that without real deadlines you will not progress and the project world, in general, is full of imperfect solutions that get their job done.

  4. If you choose a technology that takes you out of your comfort zone, have a good reason to do it or just stick to your best technology.

    When I initially started on the project, my main motivation was working more with C# . At some point I was asking myself if this isn’t something that just keeps me back on being more productive than just writing the backend in something I’m more comfortable with (mainly PHP, Python or Javascript), but at the end of the day it’s more important for me to get out of my comfort zone.

Hopefully, this will ring a bell and help somebody else go over their impasse and continue to have fun and progress when working with new things or doing side projects.

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