Friday, November 20, 2015

Monday Night Rituals

Monday nights for me have a ritual on them now. I say now, but in reality they have had a ritual on them for several years now. Several years seems about the right amount of time to actually claim something as a ritual I suppose. It's for sure past the 66 days it takes to formulate a new behavior.

Anyways, the ritual is I meet up online at 10PM Eastern / 7PM Pacific time with a good friend of mine, Dan Gilkerson, and discuss "stuff". Mostly we chat about side projects we are working on, but it can range widely depending on what we've been involving ourselves with and who else is on the call. How do I lay out what this "stuff" is. A list would probably work best.

  1. Helpful patterns to use in meteor.js.
  2. What's a good name for our latest project idea (namecheckr is a fantastic tool to check name availability for this).
  3. Here's an idea similar to one we've had, and look someone has built a project around it.
  4. What's the latest thing Dan has learned in his latest hobby.
  5. What Kickstarter has peaked our interest lately.
  6. What's the next thing for XYZ side project we are tackling.
  7. ... A plethora of other things 
The Monday night meeting started out of a desire to make getting together and working on extra projects routine. Not only routine for us, but also routine for those around us. Being a married father of two, it can be hard to fit things in that don't revolve around the family. A routine Monday night meeting has helped in that endeavor. It's not that I don't love my family with all of my heart and enjoy spending time with them, I do.

Meeting later in the evening for me has helped with fitting things together. By 10:00PM we've gone to whatever after school activities are up for the day (soccer/dance/t-ball/kungfu), we've eaten, completed all homework, hung out, taken baths, and gotten the little angles that are my children down for bed. It gives me a good hour to decompress after the kiddos go down to sleep. My rule is to try to be done with the meeting by 11:00PM or 11:30PM at the latest so that I can still get a relatively good nights sleep.

I bring this up to say this. That if there is a side project that you intend to do, outside and beyond what you do in your day job, start with one simple ritual. Our Monday Night ritual is one of a series of rituals that I've put in place to try to make it to that next lilypad in the pond of life for getting some successful side projects flowing. You may ask, are they successful? Is anyone using them? Yes, some are. Not huge successes yet, but enough success to be able to watch people use the systems, which gives us feedback for what's next.

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