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How to find time for side project

How to find time for your side project?

I work 8 hours a day, I have a family life (wife + 2 kids), I try to get fit so I’m going to gym 3 times a week for an hour, 3 other days I try to run for 15-30 minutes. In spare time I try to educate myself, keep up with blogs, share posts on this blog and on the other.

And I also recently published Queued, OpenID plugin for JIRA, new version of Automat plugin for JIRA.

I understand how hard it is to get some spare time to work on you next big thing. But when you get it don’t waste it. Here’s how I do it.

I have a loving and supportive wife that knows my character flaws and helps me charge batteries when I’m out of energy (I’m an introvert so I need some rest from time to time).

I’m not a control freak - I try to delegate as much as I can, even if results may vary. It’s sometimes better to let it go and iterate on a solution than to have it done on the first try.

I keep a diary that helps me defragment my brain. I keep a sparkle file that I note my ideas in. So I don’t have to remember about anything.

I follow GTD but I’m not best at it. I write down things I need to do, but sometimes forget to refer to the list ;-) But it’s ok.

What’s the most important is that on my GTD list I keep next simplest task that I can do in a project. So I really can do something even if I have half an hour. I don’t have to think about it when I have the time.

I love music so I try to listen to it with kids - it’s fun for them and joy for me. If you saw us dancing ;-)

I listen to audiobooks on my ride to work. 

I try to waste some time (yup, exactly). What I found is that when I’m sitting alone for a while I get best ideas. So I try to do it from time to time. Unfortunately it’s not that often. My dream is to have at least an hour a day for this. I could improve my work so much!

I eat healthy so I don’t have any gastric problems and my energy levels are fine. Which means I don’t have hours when I feel sluggish, or wasted. I recycle faster.

I understand how little time I have so I’m not too ambitious and I don’t get upset because of how little I did in a week. I just look forward for opportunities and time. This makes me look forward, rather backward on what is to do.

And I don’t have social life, I’m an introvert I don’t need much, riding on a bus gives me enough social stimulation for a day ;-)

To be honest, from this list you can see that I’m probably not so different from you. So you don’t have to wait for some special time to start a project. You can start now and you will eventually end up with something - tiny steps will take you there. 

Image thanks to courtesy of Bethan