How to be more creative? Do side projects

Bruno Rigolino on

In my perspective, side projects sit at the intersection between hobby and work. Because of that, side projects balance having fun, learning, and creating new things possibilities.

You don’t need to be a “creative professional” to do a side project. I believe people with any professional background can start a side project to explore possibilities and learn.

If you plan to start one, here are 4 things you may consider:

#1 State what you want to achieve. The success of a side project doesn’t need to be an MRR. It can be a goal like creating a prototype with a trending technology, testing a new tool, or learning a new skill or method. Knowing what you want to achieve helps reduce the feeling that you should be doing something else; it also relieves the load of considering a side project as “more work” while making it a little more structured than a hobby.

#2 Use an actual situation as input. It can be something you want to improve in your productive routine; it can be solving a problem for a friend or family member. Having a concrete scenario makes the project real.

#3 Start with projects you feel you can finish. It doesn’t mean that you need to launch a complete product, for instance. Instead, it means you achieved the desired outcome, your measure of a successful side project.

#4 Document the journey. Creating a side project can be a fuzzy and nonlinear process. Take some time to organize the outcomes. Write a short narrative explaining why, how, and what you did. It helps you build a portfolio to leverage unexpected opportunities.