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What I have noticed is that most of us have a lot of ideas and a passion for completing side-projects; but, we just don’t know how or where to start. The first thing you need to figure out: why you want to do this side-project? What is your desired outcome? Define your definition of ‘done’. Do you want to create art for the sake of creative exploration? Do you want to create and sell art?

Do you want to create and sell another product or service? Knowing what your definition of ‘done’ is; and, why you want to get it ‘done’ will fuel your daily motivation. To make it easier on yourself, define the definition of done for a minimal value product. Don’t overstretch yourself with all your crazy and wonderful ideas: just be smart and reduce it right to the core.

For BetterJournaling® the core is journaling and productivity.
For users to translate their big goals into bite-sized tasks: planning, reviewing and reflecting – to get the job done. The definition of done for it;s MVP was the printed version of the 13-week journal.

What side-projects can teach you

Side projects can help you manage and reclaim your time. You get to explore your creativity and learn new skills in the process. Some side projects may very well lead to adding financial value to your business – perhaps even passive income! Different side projects may lead to a wider network, which add value to a group or community that might not completely fit with your work for other clients – this could lead to an extended niche for you.

  1. Overcome fear failure,
  2. Overcome perfectionism,
  3. Increase self-confidence,
  4. Learn new skills (resume or future opportunities),
  5. Explore creative side,
  6. Find your passion,
  7. Do what you love,
  8. Expand your business by adding assets,
  9. Make something that adds value to others,
  10. And… learn time-management.

In all cases, side projects say something about you… About your grit and hustle. About your determination, discipline, interests and passions. Even if you reclaim 1 hour a day per week, that gives you 7 hours to work on your side project (!). You and I both know that you can do a LOT with 7 hours. Imagine what 32 hours a month will give you; or, 384 hours a year…

How to find the time with Rescuetime

Even if you knew exactly what it is you want to make and why you want to build that specific thing… 9 out of 10 projects fail because of poor time-management. Don’t bother with the old line, “I don’t have time” – excuse! Give yourself the credit you deserve, and ask yourself, “how can I find the time to do this?” – that sounds so much better, doesn’t it?!.
Assess how you spend your time daily. Keep a track for just one week and be brutally honest. A plugin like Rescuetime can help you with that. Btw. here’s a detailed review of Rescuetime in case you’d want to know more about how the software works.

  • What do you spend time on that is either delivering health, profit or growth? How much time?
  • Where do you waste your time on? How much time?
  • How much time do you spend sleeping, eating, buying groceries, cooking etc?
  • How much time is left?
  • Where can you find time to work on your side project? How much have you found yourself with?

A recent day for me looked like this, I try and maintain a Productivity Pulse of at least 65.

Break it down & start doing!

  1. Decide on the task you are going to get done NOW
  2. Set your alarm for 15 minutes and just start.
  3. Work on the task until your alarm goes
  4. After the alarm, take a 5 minute break and allow yourself to do some procrastination, surf/shop/tweet. But just for 5 minutes!
  5. Repeat until the task is done (or you run out of time)

ps. I like to use PomoDoneApp, it works with many useful applications like Slack, Trello, Todoist, Wunderlist, JIRA etc!

Why 15 minutes?

It’s a small increment of time, because if you don’t even have 15 minutes… why bother at all? Because 15 minutes is a small increment, you’re more likely to end the first 15 minutes with a hunger for more time to finish some more work. Before you know it your side-project is done and ready for launch!
Don’t say you don’t have time again! Reclaim your time: stop planning and start doing. Thanks for reading, you are awesome. You know that, right?!

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