Defining the rules for my 7-day project challenge

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I am planning a 7-day challenge to work on a personal project called MembershipNerd. The most important principle for this challenge is that I will focus on the process, the daily routine, not the outcome. The reason for this is simple: This exercise is about doing something daily, not about completing the personal project.

Without further ado, here are the rules:

  • each day, I must work at least 30 consecutive minutes on the project
  • blogging about the project does not count as working on the project, but everything else counts

Why not an hour or more? Why only 30 minutes?

I have had much better results when I start with a lower threshold and exceed it, instead of setting a higher one and failing to reach it. I have chosen 30 minutes, because I am confident that it will be easy to do that most of the days. When I instead imagine having to sit down at least 60 minutes a day to work on it, then I am not so confident anymore. I even start dreading the thought of doing it. That’s not a good way to start a project. So I settled on 30 minutes. Pick a threshold that is right for you and your project.

Why focus on the process, not the outcome?

I want to practice doing something daily for seven consecutive days. Defining the challenge in terms of a certain amount of time per day that I need to invest, gives me full control over success and failure. At the same time, if I succeed with this process, then I will for sure have some outcome to show for it. Defining it in terms of an outcome would remove my agency, giving me much less control over success and failure. Removing agency is not a good way to set people up for success.

See also