I was bored of watching videos and bored of not getting anything accomplished. A little over a year ago I started a “Wednesday Hack Night” with my friend Aaron. We were working on a project that didn’t pan out, but I enjoyed it so much that I kept going after we ended the project. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays I try to spend some time working on small projects. Wednesdays I work with a larger group of friends – we have dinner and then spend some time working on things we care about.
What are you spending your time on?
I’ve gotten some things done, but I’ve also gotten to hone my craft through many small continuous improvements. Because I worked on the project with Aaron, I became one of the maintainers of Ditz. When I didn’t want to work on UpFuckr, I fixed a bookmarking service I use. When inspiration struck, I wrote a story about the most basic kind of time travel or a poem with tentacles. I created a robot Ben Franklin to keep me virtuous.All along, I kept continuously learning more about Vim and Git, my top ways to edit text and to keep track of changes.
I haven’t accomplished anything grand 1 but I think the practice and the failure and the improvement has made me a little bit better. One of these days, perhaps 10 years from now, I might be good.
This has been a very rewarding experiment for me. I plan to keep going and I wanted to share it with you. If you find that YouTube videos and television and Facebook aren’t holding as much allure as they once did, if you find that you’d rather write a book than read another crappy one, if you’ve ever thought “where do they find the time?”, I invite you to set aside some of your time as an investment in yourself. Take a day a week and set yourself a big hairy goal. Don’t give yourself a time limit, just keep plugging away. If you find it hard to focus, recruit a friend – I’ve been taking advantage of the positive social pressure of working near someone who is getting something done.
The clock is ticking, and every night is a check written. What are you spending your time on?