It's easier than ever to start your own project - be it a blog, a podcast or even an offline project. The reasons are manifold: such a project can bring professional benefits (networking, expanding portfolio) and/or pursue a private goal (documenting a development, living out a passion).
Speaking of goals and passion, we've already arrived at the challenge that these projects bring. On the one hand, we are launching a Passion Project, because it gives us a Realize dream or want to get a little closer to a big goal. Otherwise, we wouldn't even start. On the other hand, the job or studies take priority over this "additional project" for obvious reasons.
This dichotomy is the breeding ground for stress. We keep putting off our projects, we're too tired after work, or we don't have the money with our tight student budget. The lack of progress reduces our sense of self-efficacy and a guilty conscience calls. When we do get up the nerve to continue working on our project, we quickly feel lonely because feedback and encouragement are lacking.
No wonder that many ambitiously started blogs, podcasts or other projects are abandoned after a short time. When we feel stressed, it is precisely the Passion Projects that are cut the fastest!
5 tips against stress in self-selected projects
Personally, I think it's a real shame when projects that were originally started with a good idea and a lot of motivation are abandoned due to lack of time, excessive demands or stress. Therefore, here are my five most important tips to prevent it from getting that far:
Tip 1: Make yourself a realistic(!) plan
You start your food blog and want to publish three recipes, a cooking video and an interview with a star chef every week? Phew, have fun with it - magazines employ a whole team of editors for the workload. The more unrealistic your plan is, the more likely it is that your project will go over your head.
Try to be completely honest with yourself:
- How much time do i really have?
- What am I good at, what am I not so good at?
- How will I make my project Integrate into everyday life when the inspired start-up phase is over?
Tip 2: What does the minimal version look like?
A major stress factor is Perfectionism. Especially with projects that are close to our hearts, we naturally want to give our best, publish a great result and be able to identify 100% with it.
However, it's only a matter of time before something comes up and we have to decide: Do I publish this "imperfect" blog article, or none at all? I recommend thinking from the beginning about how the "Minimal version" of the project (Minimum Viable Product) could look like. Maybe you can pre-produce a few podcast episodes, or cede the hosting of your offline event to a guest? The motto is: Better to use "Plan B" than to have to pause the project.
Tip 3: Seek support
Passion Projects are usually done alone. However, this does not mean that you have to work alone - on the contrary!
- Ask your friends if they can help you with their talents.. The graphic designer creates a logo for you, but later you help her with something else.
- Find yourself a Accountability Buddywho is also working on a project of their own choice. You can give each other tips and motivate each other - especially in phases with a lot of pressure this is worth its weight in gold!
- Soak up the "doer atmosphere". How about dropping by a (social) startup meetup or coworking space soon? Here you will not only find a place where you can pursue your idea in the midst of dedicated people, but you will also make valuable contacts.
Tip 4: Don't be so hard on yourself!
You haven't gotten much closer to your goal lately, and then you also surf by a similar blog and see that everything is going great there? Yes, that is a stupid feeling. But please don't feel like a failure now!
Your job, your health and your Relationships ALWAYS have priority before the self-selected project. Know your limits and don't set the bar so high. After all, your project should not be a burden, but a pleasure - which brings us to the last point.
Tip 5: Your self-chosen project must be fun for YOU!
The joy of the idea and of making is paramount. If you notice that a certain type of article on your blog gets the most clicks, but you like writing those articles the least - don't do it! Concentrate on the activities you enjoy and reduce the not-so-fun parts to a minimum (see tips 2 & 3) or leave them out altogether.
This is how your Passion Project does not become a stress factorbut in the best case as a balance in everyday life, where you can recharge your batteries.
This article is a guest contribution from Katrin Gildner
I am a podcaster and mentor for Passion Projects. My motto "Don't cry, do it!" means that if you want to change something or have a good idea, don't wait for others to eventually take care of it. Take matters into your own hands and start a Passion Project!