February 04, 2015
Some people have troubling starting personal projects. Some others have trouble finishing these personal projects. I am of the latter category.
This is the way it works for me: I get started with one project. And about the first third mark of the project, that project spawns a few more side project ideas, which I will jump into enthusiastically, immediately. And those projects, at their one third mark spawn more – and so and so forth.
And the first project languishes unfinished. All these unfinished projects haunt me day and night. And this leads to the other problem I have – the inability to quit these projects which are not useful, which I am not interested in any more.
I realize that this is not an uncommon problem. And the way to deal with this is to go on with the first project and not sidetrack into these branches. So simple right?
But some of these side projects, in the past, have been awesome and were the most useful, fun. So what to do?
To deal with this, I am experimenting with this approach / process:
When I get an idea for the first project, I
(OneNote notebook section or Evernote notebook or a section of a paper notebook – whatever I am using at the moment).
(Preferably I write longhand in pen and paper first, and the copy it out to the digital notebook. This cements my thoughts about this project even before I start out)
(I try keep timelines real, not ideal)
If I am going to quit, then quit and go do the side project. If not yet at the 2/3rds mark, just shake my head at myself and continue with my current project.
So this is the process I will follow from now on.
I am hoping that by this process, most of the thinking and motivation is done BEFORE I begin the project. At any time in the project, if I am undergoing a motivation slump, then I can go back and refer to my initial motivations. Also, this process helps deal with the fear of missing out on my side ideas – all side ideas are documented in detail, dated and resources linked, so I can go take a look at them later.
So why divide the project into thirds and not quarters, you might wonder. That is my psychology. I generally give up projects at the 1/3 mark. If I reach the 2/3 mark, I generally finish them. So it is quite important to know yourself when coming up with your own process.
So that is it for my process. Do you have your own process? Do you even need one?
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