When it comes to pursuing your dreams and finding ways to enjoy the most uplifting path through life, there is a lot to be said in favour of picking up meaningful and interesting hobbies and side projects of different types.
Of course, the nature of many hobbies and side projects is that they will tend to be things that you work on, to a significant degree, from your own home rather than in an organised group setting. Even in cases where you would attend an art life drawing class or something like that, for example, you would still almost certainly end up doing most of your actual art at home.
For many people, working on dream projects is part of some great overall future aspiration, which might also include things like retiring early, looking for a house for sale in an exotic locale, and just generally spending time focusing on things other than work. Nonetheless, when you actually find yourself at home trying to reliably work on your dream projects, there’s a good chance that you’ll find that the process is trickier than you might have imagined.
Just because you feel really invested in a particular dream or path, doesn’t mean that things like uncertainty, procrastination, and other such issues won’t rear their head. Here are some tips for effectively working on your own dream project from home.
Get focused on flow and process, rather than targets and goals
For many people, the most immediately intuitive thing to do when trying to make progress on any particular project, is to begin by setting ambitious goals and targets, to ensure that results are being tracked, and that there are objective measurements in place.
Unfortunately, however, this approach is also very detrimental for a number of different reasons – in particular, for the fact that it can make a hobby or passion project seem like much more of a chore, while also getting you thinking about the thing in more of a transient and short term sense, than a long-term one.
In order to take steps to make your dream project something that you consistently enjoy doing, and can engage in effectively on an ongoing basis, you need to get focused on “flow” and the “process,” rather than targets and goals.
Find ways to enjoy and fall in love with the practice itself. If you are constantly feeling a sense of dread at the thought of doing the thing, there is a good chance that you need to try a different approach, or should maybe reconsider the project as a whole.
Create a dedicated space in your home which helps to fast track you into the right frame of mind
As human beings, the rituals and routines we engage with on a daily basis have a major impact on shaping our behaviours and our outlooks. Fundamentally, the ways in which we structure our immediate environments can prove very significant in this regard, too. In order to consistently and meaningfully engage with your project, one of the best things you can do is to create a dedicated space in your home which helps to fast track you into the right frame of mind.
The specifics of how that space should be laid out will vary depending on the particular project you’re working on. If you’re working on creating your own paintings, having a corner with an easel constantly set up, and art mounted on the walls, may do just the trick. Generally speaking, you want to reduce the initial resistance to getting started as much as possible. So the less “setting up” you have to do each time, the better.
Create a regular habit, and strive for a consistent streak
To engage with your dream project consistently at home, without external pressure, your top priorities should typically be to work to create a regular habit – maybe engaging in the project daily, maybe a preset number of days a week – and to strive to achieve a consistent streak with that habit.
One popular approach involves keeping a calendar on your wall, and marking an “X” on each day you work on your project. The aim here is to “not break the chain.” Of course, there are also a wide range of habit tracking apps that you can use.
The more you can turn your project into a habit, the less willpower it will take to perform on a regular basis.