Have you ever had an idea of doing something that can make you passionate about it? Most people have and you may have thought of this once or twice in your life too.
Unfortunately, when we begin to think about starting on an idea and turning it into a passion project, we are faced with the dilemma of having limited time to accomplish it. There are just so many things we need to accomplish and so little time to accomplish them with.
What about your work, family, friends, sleeping, eating, and everything else you must do? Where will you find the time to work on this project?
Before we decide how to manage the activity side of the time management equation, we first need to understand what a passion project is.
What Is a Passion Project?
A passion project is something you desire to do, not necessarily for money or profit, but for your curiosity and pleasure. The great thing about passion projects is that they develop your skills and enhance your creativity. They give you something to be excited about and almost always give you the pleasure of fulfillment.
Not only that but they can also be ways to de-stress yourself at the end of a long day or a week. Passion projects can transfer our minds a bit and this can be a form of relaxation.
Here Are a Few Project Ideas That Might Stir Your Creativity:
- Building a model railway in your attic
- Learning to dance so you can perform at an event
- Rebuilding an old car
- Writing a book
- Landscaping your garden or backyard
- Becoming a beekeeper
- Repairing an old cuckoo clock
- Creating your family tree
- Creating a movie from your last family holiday
- Learning to cook, paint, draw, makes things with leather, etc
The list is limitless. So, the question is, what would you love to try but have never really thought about turning into a reality?
How to Start a Passion Project?
There are two sides to the time management equation: time and activity.
The trouble is that the time side of the equation is fixed and cannot be changed. There are only 24 hours a day and we can only do so much in a day. Everything must be squeezed or else it will overlap on the next day and our activities can be left unfinished.
The good news, though, is you can change the activity side of the equation. And that’s where we can focus and have more freedom to fit into our schedule.
1. Commit to Seeing This Project Through to the End
Once you have decided on what it is you want to do and thought about how you will make it happen, the next step is to commit to yourself. Commit yourself that you will see this through and do whatever it takes to finish it.
Everything will come from that mindset. Without that, you will give up the moment it gets hard. But everything worthwhile in life gets hard sometimes.
If your passion project is to become a beekeeper, you will get stung, and that’s not a pleasant experience. Equally, you will likely lose a hive.
These disappointments can be discouraging, but the key is to know that no matter what, you will persevere through those difficult and unpleasant times. Be prepared for the downsides and see those times are opportunities to learn.
For example, most beekeepers get stung because they forgot to completely seal their cover-alls. Experienced beekeepers will tell you that you will only make that mistake once. See? To become experienced in something, you first have to experience it.
2. Create a Short-Term, Achievable Goal
When you begin a passion project, the danger is you will likely have no end goal in mind. With this open-ended project, the risk is you will gradually stop doing anything to move it forward. This is where having a short-term, achievable goal in mind will help.
Take restoring an old classic car as an example. For something like this, you could set a goal to have the car completely stripped of all removable parts by the end of the summer. Once that has been achieved, you can see the original chassis and decide on the next goal. That could be learning how to weld or strip down an engine.
You will boost your motivation and determination to see the project through as you pass each goal. All you need to think about is the next step. Turn that into a goal and give it a deadline.
Learning to make clothes, for instance, may have a short-term goal of learning how to make a t-shirt. Or perhaps a more challenging goal would be to knit a short-sleeved jumper.
As you pass each goal, you will continue to be flooded with inspiration to keep going and learning new things. Soon you’ll find yourself very skilled that you are already running a small workshop.
The great thing about setting these short-term goals is as you work towards achieving the goal, you are learning new skills and processes that will help you to accomplish the next goal.
3. The Time Factor
This is perhaps the most difficult part of working on passion projects.
Whatever you want to do in life, you will need time to do it. There is no escaping that. You cannot leave these to chance. Something will always fill the vacuum of time—if you’re not working on your passion project, you will be doing something else. That, of course, could be something constructive, or it may not be constructive.
Think of the time this way, two hours watching TV is two hours you did not spend on your passion project. Likewise, one hour languishing in bed on a Sunday morning is one hour you did not spend on your passion project.
Building Airplane Models
If your passion project is to build model airplanes, there will always be some time for doing other things. Once you have glued the airframe together or painted the fuselage, you will need to leave it to dry. Then you can rest.
Blocking Your Time
Blocking time is a concept of finding specific schedules for specific events in your life. For this, you have to open up your calendar and block time out for it. For example, it could be:
- Date night with your partner
- Time spent with your kids
- Watching your favorite TV shows
- Your passion project
If you want to exercise five times a week, you will need to block five hours each week on your calendar. You may block 6 to 7 pm every weekday night for exercise time. Equally, if you wish to progress on your passion project, you will have to fix time on your calendar for working on that project.
That could be every Saturday morning, or it could be every Tuesday and Thursday night. Once you have decided when to work on your project, fix it. Tell everyone you are not available at that time.
That’s your time to work on your project.
4. Plan Your Steps
Whatever your passion project is, break down the steps into milestones. There are steps that you need to take in reaching a certain goal. There is no one-way ticket to finishing anything.
In school, we have to take every level before we can graduate. At work, we have to start at the bottom before we can even think of becoming CEO. This is similar to having a passion project.
If your passion project is to landscape your garden, perhaps the project’s first stage would be to draw up some plans. Once you have the plans done, you will have accomplished the first milestone.
The next step might be to section your garden into different parts and clear anything you want to remove. Once the garden is stripped and ready to work on, you can move to the next stage.
Breaking down your project in this way encourages you. You can see progress, and there is a realistic timeline. Once each milestone is achieved, you can decide what the next milestone will be.
With something like landscaping your garden, you will need to be aware of the changing seasons and when the best time is to plant your plants. In the winter, you could spend time building patios and walls in preparation for the spring planting season.
Fulfillment and Enjoyment
A passion project is something you want to do, and you know you will enjoy doing it. It’s a break from your everyday life. You should find it relaxing, pleasurable, and fulfilling. If it is not, find something else that can give you those feelings.
As you look forward and backward towards your milestones, celebrate them!
Whatever your passion project idea is, keep these four things in mind. Always remember to section your time accordingly so that you can find your passion project more enjoyable.
Having a passion project will bring color to your everyday life and help de-stress from a long day. But this doesn’t mean that you should neglect the other things you have in life. We have families, friends, jobs, and other things we have to maintain.
Time would be the most important thing to consider when having a passion project. As we can’t change that, the activity on the management equation should adjust. Certainly, there are other things that we can consider a passion project and can still bring the same satisfaction and rest we all look for.
Having all things considered, maybe you can now begin on a new passion project!
Featured photo credit: Tea Creative │ Soo Chung via unsplash.com