Because Personal Side Projects Should Feel Like Play

Remember that feeling? You’re really into playing (dress-up, legos, video games, or whatever it was that you enjoyed playing as a kid). Your adrenaline is high, and you’re having so much fun you don’t even notice the time.

Your adrenaline is high, and you’re having so much fun you don’t even notice the time.

You then get an interruption. You’re told to stop, which is the last thing you want to do. So you whine and pout, and then begrudgingly succumb to the bedtime routine.

As adults, we often don’t make time for our own play. We tell ourselves to stop before we even start. That childlike wonder gets buried as a result, and then we forget how to play.

Personal side projects are a great outlet to rediscover that playful curiosity, and it should be exactly like that, playful! Here are 8 tips to help reignite the play in personal projects.

1. Make it fun!

A personal side project would immediately fail if it wasn’t fun for you. Think about something worth exploring: music, art, hobbies, skills to learn, etc. Think of this as your playtime!

2. Start small.

Consider small achievable means to explore your project. It’s easy to be feel overwhelmed and give up when the goal is too high. Start with some research or video tutorials.

3. Set your own goal(s).

This is your own playtime, and you become your own boss! You get to design your own goals and processes. So, what do you wish to accomplish from this fun playtime?

4. Balance your own time.

You’re in control of your own time. If you’re working on your project at night, you can tell yourself when to go to bed! That means you commit your own time to the project and manage your own adult schedule.

5. Consider asking for help.

Kids often consider inviting other children to join their playtime. Likewise, you can too. Find other people exploring their passion projects and consider opportunities to collaborate!

6. Take risks, but don’t be afraid to fail.

Playtime in the physical sense can involve a lot of risks. You can fall. You can get hurt. Similarly, personal projects can fail, but the reward of personal development should be worth trying.

7. Learn as you go.

Personal projects are most satisfying as you figure out what works. It’s about feeding that curiosity to explore and highlighting the journey more than the goal.

8. Do it for yourself.

We owe it to our childhood to remember that wonder before becoming an adult. Studies have also shown that side projects are also beneficial for personal development.

So forget that professional development conference you’re planning or the next self-help book you want to read. Consider investing in your own personal project this summer! What personal project can you integrate as summer fun? Leave a comment, and I would love to encourage you on your journey!

Because Personal Side Projects Should Feel Like Play

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Day 145: Studying the classics. 😆 This was from December 2013. (5/6)

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Day 144: Late night #mood. (1/6)

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