It's Okay to Leave Side Projects Unfinished.

It's Okay to Leave Side Projects Unfinished.

Because not everything is worth doing.

March 7, 2021

How many side projects have you left unfinished? There are times when you have the spark and passion for an idea, but you just can't do it immediately. There are ideas that you would always come back to every now and then but never end up finishing. Despite all that, the spark will never be gone because it's something you genuinely care about.

As creative individuals, we often had a lot of things we want to do. It might be creating a new blog post, building your own business, or maybe starting a YouTube channel. But most of the time, they would end up as another unfinished side project.

However, leaving things unfinished is not always a bad thing. Sometimes, you just need to stop yourself from doing something you shouldn't be doing… yet.

What it takes to do side projects

Side projects come with some self-sacrifices. Before you start a side project, understand that you'll spend your time, energy, and money on your new idea. This means you might have less Netflix, less gaming time, and maybe also less social interaction every day.

When you invest in a side project, you gave up on some of the daily leisures you usually have. You need to be committed to adjusting your lifestyle too.

Where are you in life?

The first thing you need to manage when starting a side project is prioritising the things you'll do. Does it make sense to execute your idea work in your current situation?

For example, if you have a kid, work 9-5, and spend 2 hours on the commute, would you be able to start a new business? Would you have any time or energy left?

The answer is it depends. It depends on how much time, energy, and money you are willing to sacrifice. It depends on how much activities are you prepared to do less so that you can do more of the side project.

You don't have to feel guilty

When the spark is still there, you'll sometimes come back to those unfinished projects or unexecuted ideas. But sometimes you don't need to. Sometimes you'll keep on trying, and you got caught up in trying – and it's like quicksand – it takes you in. But you just can't get it done.

When this happens, apply the "Not Now" mindset. It's okay to let the idea rest at the back of your mind because maybe in the future you'll have more time for it. It's okay to leave things unfinished because perhaps now's not the time. But it's also okay to forget about it and move on because maybe it's just not for you.

Whatever it is, it's not going to be now. Not now.

At least you tried

With all the compromises you need to give, it is fair to say that investing your resources in a side project is a big-time commitment. From that angle, you shouldn't feel guilty when you couldn't finish a side project. Because, after all, it's called a side project. At least you tried.

It's okay to leave side projects unfinished, but it does not mean you should develop new ideas and start doing new things every day.

Start to Prioritise things. Understand that you can't do everything at once, and everything has its own consequences. Time, energy, and money are the resources you need to exchange so you can commit to your side projects.

You can leave things unfinished because you can always come back to them. But it's also okay to let it go because maybe it's just not for you. At least not now.

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