In the past I have struggled with my side-projects and time-management. I just never felt that I had enough time and was always too busy for anything. Don’t get me wrong, I had a clear vision for my side-projects; but I just found it too hard to keep focus. Between working for clients and family life, I had so much stuff on my mind that I thought the only thing I could do was to go with the flow!
Usually that meant doing what I felt like doing, or; what someone else thought I should be doing for them in order to get their projects done. I was constantly busy working on other people’s businesses; and thought that this was my business: being busy for other businesses! I could be busy for my clients all day long. Sometimes, I would get to work on my side-project: but this mostly included completing unimportant tasks and jobs – all the while taking forever to complete them. In order to get serious about my side-projects I took a step back. I figured out what I could do to gain clarity on what I wanted, and made sure I had focus to ensure I was doing the right thing. It’s not rocket-science… These are the 4-steps you need to take to get your side-project from idea to done – even with limited time:
The 4 steps
- WHAT: define the “definition of done” for the side-project
- TIME: decide how much time a day and per week to commit to working on the project
- LAUNCH DATE: set the launch date
- BREAK IT DOWN into 1 week-sprint-goals: what am I going to do each week to make the launch-date?
Don’t have time? I don’t believe that…
It’s important to realise that it really doesn’t matter much how much time you spend on your project. What’s more important is making sure that you are committed and persistent in your actions. Even when you don’t have a lot of time.
I break my projects down into weeks: how many weeks does it take to realise the project definition-of-done? Then, I define what the week-sprint-goal for each week is. As each week approaches, I create a list of tasks that are needed to reach the week-sprint-goal for that week. Each task should be doable in 15 minutes; because I always figure that I have 15 minutes to spare to work on my project. If you find that you have bigger tasks that can’t be split into sub-tasks, that’s just fine. Think of 15 minute time-blocks: some tasks may take a few time-blocks to get it done. But no task should take longer than 3 hours! Tasks like this put you at risk for procrastination, so; break it down even more.
Finally I want to say: be realistic about your project definition-of-done and the launch-date. Be ambitious! But stay realistic.
Download the free year-planner
This is your perfect starting point: knowing what it is you’re going to launch; when you’re going to launch it and having a clear planning phase per week. The 13-week journal is designed to do just that: help you break big goals down, so that you can plan your tasks and meet each of your milestones. Want your plan in plain sight? Download the free year planner!
Honestly? It is this simple! All you need to do is keep your own promises: how much time are you going to spend working on your side-project ,and when will you release the first version to the public?
Can’t wait to hear about your side-project! Thanks for reading, you are awesome. You know that, right?!
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