The Importance of Micro Projects
I worte about my preference for small, well defined projects before. But my main motivation for small projects was to get a MVP running as quickly as possible to test new business ideas.
But after talking to my friend Paul today I realized that projects that can be completed in a very short amount of time also have a huge impact on motivation and getting stuff done.
He for instance has heaps of great ideas. Some of them are business ideas, some are personal projects he is passionate about like photography, and some are both. But he strugles with getting the projects started in the first place.
So we discussed how to get started with wich idea and we came to the conclusion that it’s a pretty good idea to start a project with a very strict deadline.
Setting up a Micro Project
A good framework for a micro project is setting a deadline of about 16h (a weekend works well for me). Within this time frame the project must be completed. Completed means online or accessible to other people. This is the most important thing about micro projects. This way you are forced to remain as small as possible in order to get finished and offer value to your audience. This audience can also be you yourself at first! Remaining small is almost always a good thing!
Looking back I think that the majority of my succesful projects all started this way.
Getting stuff out there, be it on the web, in an app store, in a market place or just in front of people is an incredible feeling! It’s extremly motivating and as a side effect let’s you analyze if your work might turn into a business or not.
This methodology works great for all kinds of projects be it coding, design, crafts, etc.
My friend’s main concern about these kinds of short projects was that the output might be sloppy or even emberassing. He is mainly doing creative work like web design, product design and photography and I think his concerns are very common among preople creating things. But the result of a micro project will never be sloppy because in the progress of fitting your stuff in a short timeframe you are leaving stuff out that is just not that important. This way your work becomes more to the point.
Completing a project or piece of work within a “micro project” doesn’t mean that you can’t go on working on that piece later, of course!
Getting stuff out there quickly also doesn’t mean you shouldn’t spent time on long term projects in general. Micro projects will have a positive impact on those projects as well. You will feel a huge boost in productivity, inspiration and motivation.
What are your thoughts on this? What kind of micro projects did you do in the past?
Discuss in the comments or on Hacker News