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The Weekend Project: Finding Yours

The Weekend Project: Finding Yours

One of the best ways to master something is to just jump in and do it. However, for some, this can be seen as a waste of time blindly doing something you aren’t sure you’ll succeed in. So, why not dedicate a weekend to it? This is known as a “Weekend Project” and today, we will talk about how a weekend project can help you improve your skills, knowledge, interests, and in return, your life. We will also talk about how you can get involved with your own weekend project.

What Exactly is a Weekend Project?

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    Originally, weekend projects were geared more toward home improvement. During the week, you can’t work on a high-traffic area of your home, and the responsibilities of one’s occupation plus the high energy of the work week just deemed it too time consuming. So, individuals would wait until the weekend to do repairs. However, in modern times, weekend projects don’t have to involve a hammer—they can encompass everything from cleaning out your home office to building a computer. These are the type of weekend projects we will focus on.

    The Productivity Factor

    The average workweek has changed for most individuals; it’s the weekend that has changed. One thing to make clear is that your “weekend” project doesn’t have to occur between the days of Friday and Sunday; any period of time during the week that you would otherwise spend in idle mode can be a time for your project.

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    Weekend projects can even make you more marketable in your job and keep your skills sharp. For example, no matter which industry you work in, having skills in database management could be marketable in your current job or the industry you attain to be in. Spending a weekend learning the basics of the database language SQL can allow you to learn an easy-to-understand language.

    Creating Your Own Project

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      Not everyone views productivity in the same way, which presents a question of how you can apply the productive benefits of weekend projects to your own life? One thing to ask yourself is how you wish to benefit from it. The benefit doesn’t have to be extravagant, like saving the world, but the project should be a personal one.

      A weekend pursuit that helps you, and improves your life directly or indirectly, will allow you to feel more accountable to get it complete. Weekends are the time when you are allowed to be a bit selfish; you have worked so hard during the week, and on your day of rest, you should pamper yourself and your mind in some way.

      You should think about how long you’d like to devote to this project. Projects can cover multiple weekends if warranted, like learning a computer language or purging your home of clutter. Lastly, you should consider how much of an investment you’ll like to make in this project—you can have weekend projects as inexpensive as learning new yoga poses, or as costly as reviving your vintage car. It is truly up to you, but something to consider.

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      5 Suggestions for Weekend Projects

      Below, we have give suggestions for projects you can take up for this weekend. Also, to get you started, we have each project linked with a great page that can point you in the right direction:

      As you can see, these small endeavors are more productive than you think. Some of the best creations, in technology especially, have been created out of side projects. While you don’t have to have a weekend project with those high expectations, you may be surprised what does come out of your small activity. Let us know in the comments what projects you’ll do this weekend.

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      Last Updated on March 13, 2019

      How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

      How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

      Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

      You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

      Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

      1. Work on the small tasks.

      When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

      Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

      2. Take a break from your work desk.

      Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

      Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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      3. Upgrade yourself

      Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

      The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

      4. Talk to a friend.

      Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

      Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

      5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

      If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

      Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

      Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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      6. Paint a vision to work towards.

      If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

      Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

      Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

      7. Read a book (or blog).

      The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

      Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

      Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

      8. Have a quick nap.

      If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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      9. Remember why you are doing this.

      Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

      What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

      10. Find some competition.

      Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

      Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

      11. Go exercise.

      Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

      Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

      As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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      Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

      12. Take a good break.

      Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

      Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

      Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

      Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

      More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

      Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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