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Learning to Play The Long Game | #2
A reflection about how to be aware of your constraints and make them clear.
The past two weeks have been a wake-up call for me. I've realized how little time I have to work on side projects, particularly since I'm somewhat flying blind on how much effort I need to put into them.
My Trello to-do list, while simple and convenient, isn’t cutting it. The reason? It doesn't clue me in on how much time each task will take.
I often overestimate how quickly I can do things. I need to learn to manage my expectations and energy better so that I can sustain my efforts over the long term.
Since I experimented with posting videos on Twitter, creating a YouTube channel, and experimenting with a variety of tweets, I've gotten more ideas. And some of them are quite ambitious, like recording multiple hours of video about creating a full-stack web application from scratch.
That's an awesome idea, and one that would push my skills to the edge while also creating evergreen content. I'm excited. But I can’t do it all. Not at the same time.
Especially if the main thing I do is produce software, which I also have a lot of ideas to build.
Juggling several ambitious side projects in a week is unrealistic. I realized this only because I didn't schedule them on my calendar. I had been keeping all my ambitions in a to-do list, which made me falsely optimistic that I could do them all at the same time.
This couldn’t be further from reality.
This takes me back to a piece by Derek Sivers titled “Don’t be A Donkey”. illustrating the frustration of chasing too many targets at once. You might aspire to do a lot, which you can, but the key is to tackle one task at a time - not all simultaneously.
It's about thinking long term.
And to address the fuzzy task estimations, I believe I’ve found an efficient solution: Mapping out tasks and their projected completion times right on my calendar. Plus, put a buffer in the day so you can still have space for unexpected things. That’s it.
It’s coming from Sam Corcos on Tim Ferris podcast. You can learn his strategy in detail here:
On Building a Software Business on The Side
As you might know from the previous post, I'm currently learning how to run a side business without getting burned out.
I found two great articles that offer a good starting point:
The first one is "How to do what you love and make good money" by Derek Sivers. It talks about how to do art on the side and why it can make you happier. But it also makes sense for people who are running passion projects on the side.
The main point is this: you can use your business or art projects to relax. So instead of watching Netflix for two hours at night, you could work on your art instead.
The second one is "Running A Software Business On 5 Hours A Week" by Patrick McKenzie. This is a really good article for anyone who wants to start a business on the side. It gives you the right way to think about things, and it tells you what works and what doesn't.
Dabbling in AI-powered projects
A couple of days back, we had a major event in Indonesia called “Bicara Gagasan”. It was an event where our potential future presidents shared their plans and ideas. The person running the show was none other than the well-known journalist, Najwa Shihab. It was both enlightening and enjoyable to watch.
This got me thinking - wouldn't it be cool if everyone could chat with their potential future presidents right from the comfort of their homes, via their laptops or mobile phones?
You guessed it, I was thinking about an AI character. Before long, I had a prototype ready in just two days and I even put up a demo on Twitter.
That was a really fun project. However, in the end, I decided not to share it with everyone. I realized there were too many ways someone could use it in the wrong way.
But that's alright. I didn’t let the code go to waste; I am using it for a new project. And it’s open for waiting list now. Go check it out! 😄
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