One or many
Recently I've come accross issue of managment of side projects. I love creating new things and pursuing my ideas.
They are different, there are lots of them and they aren't usually extremely successful, but:
- I love creation
- I learn new things this way
- I build things which I can later on use or show (or laugh at ;)
However, sometimes I can't decide what I want to do. My projects aren't taken care of and I'm in doubt.
The more the merier
I prefer doing more than one projects because, I cannot be stuck on one thing for too long (asynchronous io). I can switch focus between them and gain fresh energy. It's more stimulating to have to tackle different kinds of problems.
Less is more
However it has many drawbacks such us:
- loss of focus
- projects not progressing (other projects take my time or I cannot do anything because I'm out of focus, whatever)
- tending to start infinite number of projects
- when other things are around it's hard to have time for them all
I talked with a friend about having many projects. Actually he has one project and he has been spending time on it for at least half a year without any big sign of progress. This project actually totally doesn't appeal to me, it's an analog electronics projects with trivial application.
I couldn't do such thing. Simply, I would defenestrate the thing after few days without a real progress (maybe it's a reason, why I don't end many electronics projects).
I need many, various stimulating ideas, because getting bored or tired is a real issue for me.
It's not that I cannot focus on anything a bit deeper, it's not. I love reading about complicated stuff - mathematics, CS, physics. But I get sleepy If I pour into myself too much knowledge, I need changes, creation.
My friend argued about being able to focus. He claimed that real focus is possible with only one project.
It's a strange approach to me, because I was always tackling with many things at once (which was usually much more stressful than normal execution) and didn't have issues with changing focus.
However, recently I've fallen in love in taking my time. 8 hours in a row, mainly for one project is so damn awesome. The awareness, that I don't have to care about anything except from my projects is amazing.
Sadly, shortly I'll start my studies after a summer break and time without worries will be gone, but I plan to take my time on my projects (and real work and local hackerspace and lots of other important things... (focusing issues? - No!)) no matter what.
And there will be lot's of them.
My other friend has many projects and does amazing things with them. However he does not progress so fast, as one would like. He is a very bright man and has a wide variety of skills and interests.
Probably everyone has different project capacity. If you want to do only one, do one. But if you feel, that you lack something or feel dissatisfied, try different strategy. Maybe it's time to implement some concurrency pattern in your life?
So many task, so many different resources and possibilites, but noone said that life would be easier.