How to Start and Finish a Side Project

How to Start and Finish a Side Project

Creating side projects are a great way to extend your skills. Whether you are creating a project which could supplement your income or you are creating a fun app for you and your friends to toy around with, there are plenty of benefits that you can obtain by building them. However, on top of a full-time day job, side projects can be a bit much to work with. In fact, it is very easy to give up on these ideas that you may have had for quite some time and can create loads of additional stress for you.

Why tackle a side project? 

Side projects can help creators in many ways. For starters, side projects can help maintain your skills at different capacities and can help keep your abilities fresh. As other people interact with your project upon completion, side projects can create opportunities that can lead to possibly bigger and better things. Designers and developers have become more known for not what they do at their day job, but more of what they do on the side.

The only downside to doing a side project is that it requires work, and it is very easy to not execute on an idea It is not because you feel it is a bad idea, but because of the amount of work it would take to make it come alive. Believe it or not, there are several ways to make sure that you can bring your good ideas into fruition without having to stress out about the workload.

How to start a side project.

The best way to go about working on your side project is figuring out how to start it. This is probably the most important phase of a side project because it will help you get the full picture of your goal, as well as the steps you are going to have to take to accomplish it. As funny as this sounds, many people don’t tend to start projects properly which in turn, can stall out a project.

You can start by identifying the purpose of your project. Ask yourself:

“What is the reason for this project?”

Am I looking to build a tool that will make my life easier or do I want to create something fun out of my own amusement?

Figure out what the end result is of your project. It will help remind you what is at the end of the tunnel throughout the duration of the project.

Break up the project in phases

The main reason why people miss when starting out a project is that they look at the entire pie as a whole and not by slices. Break out the projects into miniature steps. Understand that a typical side projects have many components that require different types of attention. By breaking up your project, this will allow you to focus on the correct things at the correct time. Also, by focusing on the smaller goals, the entire project as a whole will not seem as treacherous.

How to work on and finish your side project

Do not start another new project. A common reason for the failure of a project is that people have a tendency to start a new project based on a new idea. It is very easy to come across something shiny and new and want to start right away. Working on a new side project is the most dangerous thing you can ever do in terms of productivity. Not only are you going to put your current project on hold, but once you get started on a new project, it is incredibly difficult to return to it.

Instead of jumping into a new idea, simply write it down for later. By following these steps to completing your projects, you will find that you will no longer have to work on all the projects at once to keep up with them.

Dedicate time to your side project

Find some time out of your day to schedule a date with you and your project. Just because you are working on a large project does not mean that you have to take tons of hours within your day to work. It is called a side project for a reason. The time that you save to work on your project can be as little as 20 minutes a day. Don’t focus too much on how little progress you are going to make in that little time. What is important is consistency, and once you get into the habit of scheduling some time to work on your own projects, you will begin to see some good results accumulate quickly.

Keep your project interesting

Because creators are often staring at their own work for long periods of time through the development process, it is very easy to get bored and give up on it. One way to consistently make progress is to find ways to make your project interesting. As you are creating, find various ideas to help your project seem different than what is already out there. Maybe implement a new skill that you recently picked up that could benefit your project. Find ways to keep your own project engaging challenging.

Side projects are something all creators who have a full time gig should learn to master. Often times, side projects are what defines designers and developers more so than their full time jobs. It is just a matter of how to go about planning and executing the steps you need to take to get your own work done.