How To Balance a Passion Project and Your Family/Personal Life

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I read an article today on Gizmodo Australia with a similar headline to this one. I was a little disappointed with the substance of the article though, as there was only one sentence which related in any way:

I’m a broadcast graphic designer by day and an indie game developer by night. Or should I say after midnight, once I have sorted out all my family commitments.

I started writing a comment about the fact that the headline was misleading, then thought that I should address the problem in my comment by adding some useful information.

So here’s what I wrote about balancing a passion project and your personal life:

If at all possible, work on your passion project first thing in the morning. The motivation to work on side projects is really low after doing everything else you need to do in a day like your job, dinner, bath-time and putting kids to bed.

Further to that, make sure you’re getting enough sleep. It’s hard enough keeping your energy levels up without skipping sleep to work on your project at 1-3am.

And finally if you don’t feel motivated to work on your side project don’t. As soon as it becomes a burden, take a break and come back to it in a day or two. Side projects are about enjoying your craft and furthering your skills. The more it feels like your day job with obligations, the more you’re going to start resenting it.

These were just a few quick thoughts on the topic, and I’d be interested in your thoughts on the matter. What steps do you take to allow you to be competent at your day-job, attentive partner and parent, and also allow you time to work on pet projects?

Let me know in the comments