It’s the weekend. Nothing new about it. We’ll either get those house chores completed, go out with friends/family or just lay low in our comfy sofa.
But when was the last time we did something just for the joy of it? And not something that our friend, colleague, society, internet, or anyone else deemed important to get done over the weekend. (i.e. hustle to learn a new skill, build that side project, read more books, etc.)
It's been a couple of months for me. I have a feeling that it’s also the case with the majority.
We hustle during the day and then we hustle some more in our downtime too. It’s more so common with folks who’re trying to build a side project apart from their full-time job. The internet has given names and faces to folks who’ve succeeded in turning their hobbies into a sizeable passive income.
The amount of inspiration available for anyone on the internet today is more than enough. And that’s a problem too.
Let me explain.
Take my case for example. I have a love for creating software. Be it for my full-time employer or my own ideas as side projects. I love designing & turning those wireframes into a usable product that people will use and pay for.
During work days, I am designing and building a testing tool at Harbor and having a ball. But during night or on weekends, I do want to launch a few ideas of my own which can, down the line, become a passive side income i.e. a dream goal.
Couple this fantasy with all the Tweets, LinkedIn posts, and blog articles that I see of individual creators on the web, sharing their success stories of breaking $1k, $5k,$10k or even $50k MRR.
Because of this, the urge to keep grinding never stops. The thoughts that keeps surfacing at the back of my mind are always:
- When will I go $5k MRR and then $10k and so on
- Why am I not putting in the required hours on weekends
- Why I spend time doing stuff that doesn’t push my passive income goal forward
...and the list goes on.
However, mental chatter isn’t always persisting. It vanishes when:
- I make time over weekends to work on my side projects and this is usually a 4-8 hrs sprint that I do once in 2 weekends.
- I engage in more meaningful activities, like nurturing my relationships with other human beings around me. Like hanging out with my wife, calling friends and parents, catching up with old colleagues, etc.
The noise comes back on when I am not doing the above two. And honestly, I have been shipping less stuff for a few months now because either I am spending time friends and family over the weekend or busy traveling for workations or on PTO.
So even when I am “working” and supposed to feel productive during my downtime, because of this constant need/urge to hustle, I’ve been feeling quite useless and unproductive for the last couple of months. But all of that changed this weekend.
I felt productive and useful this weekend.
And no, I didn’t work on my side projects. In fact, I did the exact opposite.
This weekend, I recalled that I have stopped doing other things that bring me joy. Like cleaning my house, organizing & auditing physical/digital belongings, doing DIY craft stuff, etc. - basically anything that isn’t out of these 3: shipping software, travelling or hanging out with friends/family.
We relocated last year as we’re in a renting phase in our lives and since moving last year, I’ve barely spent any time organizing/auditing the house - which I love to do. Because:
- It feels meditative
- I feel productive because organizing/auditing my belongings is basically bringing order to chaos.
This weekend, I picked up a long overdue task: managing the wires of my TV unit.
I adore wire-free setups. I did it for my work desk and personal desk as soon as we moved into this new house last year. But never bothered to do the same for the TV unit.
Last week, I also got some wire trays from Ikea and took the excitement of buying new equipment for my house to finally sort wires & hide them methodically.
I also felt like I had to finally take care of this task because one of my best friends, Divya - he gifted my a PS5 last Friday. I used to game quite a bit, but lately, I've been engrossed in constant hustle. His generous gesture was a reminder of the joys I've been missing out on, and I wanted to respect my new gaming equipment by giving it the proper place and organization it deserves.
I spent a good 5-6 hours yesterday measuring specs, drilling holes, screwing nails, sorting devices, and managing wires. It was the most peaceful and relaxed I've felt in a while. Here’s a before & after:
I felt in the moment. I felt useful post the fact. And now I am feeling productive once again - and that too without shipping software.
It feels good. Safe to say that this weekend was a reminder for me.
A reminder that I don’t need to take my goals that seriously so that I forget to breathe a bit during downtime (post work hours and weekends). That I forget to enjoy the little things. That I also stop making time for activities that aren’t digital or money based.
This weekend, if I had to sum it all up, was a reminder to LIVE A LITTLE and let go the worldly expectations to keep grinding.
P.S.: I haven’t blogged in a while and I wrote all this in 20 mins around 1:30 AM night yesterday on my iPad. Quite amazing that ideas (to write) and urge (to do it right away) strikes when you least expect it.