Working on a side project sometimes feels like walking through treacle. Especially when you have commitments that take priority time wise - for me it’s my full time job & family. I am definitely the tortoise rather than the hare when it comes to side projects - and that’s ok.
I’ve learnt changing my perspective is magic. I can change the reason I am working on a side project in an instant. The reason for me nowadays isn’t having it make shed loads of money (that’d be nice) or to have millions of users. It’s for me to learn, be creative and build something I love (and hopefully others will too).
Instead of having a goal of launching my side project I have a system. The system is simple - work on it a little bit every day. This way I am constantly winning. In one of Scott Adam’s books he wrote that when we use goals to measure success the best you can hope for is to be in a state of presuccess failure. I want to be joyful every day when I work on something in my spare time - else what’s the point? Working like this has led to me being excited to work on it and this in turn enables me to work consistently day after day over a long period of time (in the little spare time I do have).
When using a system we need to have faith that it will work. It’s often the case that we don’t know it’s working until we’ve been doing it for a decent amount of time. The Valley of Disappointment is what James Clear calls the period when the outcomes of your system are not meeting your expectations - but things will often change if we just hang tight and keep on doing what we’re doing. I have to remind my self this daily. I’m kind of impatient.
With systems we can define what success means for us - for me it’s learning, being creative and the joy you get from making things. Paul Jarvis says a similar thing in Company of One when defining growth for your business: “start small, define growth, and keep learning”.
By consistently applying your system every single day the journey becomes more fun than the goals. Goals become a byproduct of your system.