Coding with Jesse

Finding time for side projects

August 1st, 2020

In many ways, time has been going very slowly amidst this pandemic, as we've all waited for case numbers to come down, lockdowns to lift, and vaccines to be tested. In other ways, time has been flying by. It's hard to believe I bought almost seven months ago, and my initial Spring 2020 launch date is already months behind us.

I've never launched a product on my own before. I didn't realise how different it would be recording videos for a paid video course compared to making free videos for YouTube. If I'm going to expect people to pay, these videos have to be absolutely perfect. That means when I record them, I need to have a large block of uninterrupted time, completely free of distractions, and I need to be well-rested, in a good mood, full of joyful energy and inspiration.

Well, I have a four-year-old at home. I absolutely love being with my son all day, but there's definitely not much stillness around here, and any extra energy is either spent on getting some freelance work done, cleaning up the house, or trying to fit in a grownup movie or game before bed.

Last weekend, my wife took my son to a socially distanced birthday party, which marked the first time I had the house to myself in four months. I got to sleep in too, so I was well-rested, in a quiet house, full of joyful energy and inspiration. It was time to finally record. And I did! I recorded two more videos. Well, one and a half before they came back home. But I had momentum, so while we let my son quietly play Mario Kart, I went and finished the second video!

It's hard to find time for side projects. It's even harder when you have such high standards for that time. They say that perfect is the enemy of good, and I'm coming to realise that something like a video course can never be perfect anyway. I can only do my best with the time and energy I have available. I'd rather finish this course and share my experience and insights on using Svelte with the world, than to plan it forever and never launch.

If you keep calling it a side project, it'll keep getting pushed to the side.

I wrote that tweet back in May and obviously I've failed to take my own advice. But I'm not giving up. I'm going to keep at it and keep trying to find the time. We're probably going to keep my son home from school this fall, so it doesn't look like I'll have a quiet house for a long while. I'm going to have to get creative and find a way to make it work.

I hope you're able to find some time for your own side projects too, and know that you're not alone in that struggle. We usually only see people launching projects once they're already done. I'm sure there are countless more unfinished and unlaunched side projects that the world will never know about. Don't let your side project become one of them.