This week I pushed the latest version of my website live. I’ve a new landing page and blog with more to come. Like a portfolio and the obligatory “about me” section (how hard are they to write?).
Although I’m not finished I want to trap my thoughts on how I maintained momentum on this project over the last 2 months.
If you don’t have the time to read on here’s the rub: break projects in to small specific tasks. Work on these tasks in small time units. Repeat consistently for results.
I mocked up the initial design over lunch 4 months ago. July 19th to be exact. And then nothing. The psd sat in a folder. On my desktop. Waiting.
Why? Free time. Here’s what I’m juggling right now: learning to be a father to twins, a full-time job, planing a wedding, freelance work, physical training. All this meant my personal design work ended up last on my list of priorities. And what ends up last ends up not getting done. This left me feeling frustrated. There had to be a better way to managing my time.
In early October I decided to try a different approach: break my site redesign project into small specific tasks and set one task per day. Then schedule a 25 minute time block to work on that task. If a task was not done in this timeframe it’s scheduled again for the next day. Any day I managed to work on my site I’d log it using streaks. You can see my progress below over the last two months.
On good days I would manage to work for longer than 1 hour at a time. Which was great. But mostly it was 25 minute sprints. I used a timer called focus booster to track this.
There were bad days too, when 5-10 minutes is all I could fit in. On those days I would review where I’m at and move the scheduled task to the next task. This was really important as it kept the project fresh in my mind and momentum going.
So it’s 30 days today. Why is 30 days significant? 30 days is regarded as how long it takes to form a new habit and working consistently on personal design projects is a habit I really want to keep.
Next up is getting my portfolio back online. I haven’t had one for a few years. Which is really lazy on my part as I’ve lots of work to show.
I will caveat all this with stating it’s very difficult to do design work this way. If I could I’d love to work on personal projects 3-4 hours at a time. This isn’t going to happen anytime soon though.