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How do you stay focused on one project at a time?

antjanus profile image Antonin Januska ・1 min read

I often struggle to keep going on a single project. It's super satisfying to finish something and launch some kind of MVP but getting there is really difficult. It's really to get started and get pretty far before dropping off.

Anyone else struggle with this? If you do finish side projects, what's your secret?

Discussion (4)

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dviejopomata profile image

What it works for me is write down the plan, without a plan, it's really difficult to finish anything. I had this experience building docxmerge and it took me 1 month and a half. I had a hard time because I was focused only on one project and university, and what happened to me is that I overthought a lot, you got to be very practical for side projects.

Now I'm dividing my time in N projects, I say, I'm going to do whatever I can about X feature for the Y project in N hours, and that keeps me active and motivated through the day.

rupeshiya profile image
Rupesh Krishna Jha

Hi @Dviejo, I follow the same. I also looked at your project docxmerge it's great, is its code open source ??

dviejopomata profile image

Hi, it's not open source but it's totally free, if you have doubts I can help you, I'm using it for personal projects, so it's a problem I had turned into a service.

antjanus profile image
Antonin Januska Author

I'll comment first since it's my post. I've learned a few tricks to keep me going and on my latest project (a photo manager app), I'm almost at a point where I'd like to launch it yet still I struggle to keep going.

As far as my tricks:

  1. prioritize dev experience - if it's a pain in the ass to work on, you won't work on it. The more I invest into tooling, the more I end up writing code
  2. one project at a time - even if it means I'm not working on anything for weeks at a time, I try to stick to one big objective
  3. incremental improvements in the down period, big improvements in the up period - whenever I'm having a bit of hard time focusing on the project yet I still want to work on it, I try to tackle small annoying tasks or refactors. When I'm 100% there mentally and coding-wise, I try to leave the small annoying things alone and tackle big features
  4. self-compassion - I try to be kind to myself about not getting stuff done. After all, this is supposed to be a hobby project! And even if it is a side hustle, getting onto yourself won't help.