On Finishing Projects
September 20, 2021
We all struggle following through on personal projects sometimes. It can be hard to focus on the current task when the next fun idea presents itself.
Honestly, I think that's fine.
Why work on personal projects
There are different reasons to work on personal projects. For me, the two biggest motivators are:
- To have the end result
- To learn new skills
Obviously, the reason I start some of my projects is because there is some end product that I would like to have. I may build a website, like this one, so that I can share content with other people.
What counts as "done"
In my opinion, it's fine to call a project done when it has accomplished its purpose. If that purpose is to gain an understanding of how a particular piece of technology operates, I won't lose any sleep if I didn't finish the product I had intended to create.
When I look back over my graveyard of half-finished projects, I see the tools and techniques I learned, not the apps that sit unused.
I've gotten exposure to a wide variety of topics, from web technologies to data science techniques. Some of these have proven to be useful at work (where I do actually finish projects, because that's the point).
I learn by doing, and I will continue starting more projects than I can finish. I think this makes me better at my job, and I also just find it more enjoyable.
I'm still hoping to finish that DAG-based todo list, though. One of these days...