Arts Productivity & Work

Abandoned projects


We abandon projects that are important. We avoid replying to the most important email.

We ignore priorities because of the resistance; that little golf ball sized amygdala near the back of our brain that tells us to flee. The difference between humans and other animals is that we can dance with the fear.

The fear of failure. The fear of taking responsibility if we’re a success. If it’s something we’ll regret, we’re compelled to act on it.

Lack of time is often our excuse to never getting started. Everyone has five minutes in their day. To have the guts to acknowledge the resistance but do the work anyway may be the bravest thing we ever do.


“So What” Checklist

  • Did you do the work?
  • Does it matter?
  • Is it shareable?
  • Are you the only one that cares?
  • Did you turn the project in on time?
  • Could the final piece have been better?
  • What are you planning to do next?

The “so what” test is painfully annoying but necessary in pinpointing any flaws or regrets in your work process. Of course, you can always say you did your best but the customer will be the ultimately judge of that.

No excuses.

To publish: to make public what one believes in.  (via Casco)
To publish: to make public what one believes in.  (via Casco)

Get what you want

We all have desires, dreams, and moon shots.

But we needlessly waste time in the trenches of instant gratification. A like here, a comment and follow there.

We should be creating something that people talk about long after we die.

Trading long-term initiatives for short-term goals makes immediate delivery less special. The digital world has shrunk our patience and passion for the long haul.

Here’s an idea: keep a project to yourself. Work on it tirelessly as if you have a deadline. And itch it when you can.

Waiting to hit that publish button allows time for extra edits. Those small tweaks are the difference in greatness versus mediocrity.

Do you want to be remembered and praised right now or postpone instant gratification for everlasting recognition?

Do the work regardless of your end-goal. People want to see your labor of love.

Productivity & Work Writing

Side projects

We all love side projects. They get us going creatively.

Side projects are typically things we take on because we’re actually interested in them. We enjoy putting in the playful work.

This blog is a side project

Side projects don’t necessarily change the world, have a deadline, or require perfection. We can even build side projects in a weekend and ship them for others to see.

Side projects can be simple and fun, reinvigorating to us and inspiring to others.

Nevertheless, don’t take on a side project that doesn’t come naturally or that’s dreadful. Forcing passion crimps creativity.

The side project may lead to something else such as the next big idea, but this isn’t the point of taking them on. The side project is an exercise in doing, remixing and recasting stuff that already exists and freshening it up.

We should try to create something for everything we consume.