We are all busy. But you should never be too busy to experiment, explore, and build something new, especially something new that could be a new income stream or professional achievement.
I call this the 20% project.
Yes, that implies you should be spending 20% of your time on new projects, be they for work or outside of it. My earliest 20% project, Belly Button Window opened up a world of friends that helped me cross the earth in style. My most successful 20% project was OLPC News, that beget a whole new career focus for me: 6 years as a thought leader in ICT for education.
But don't think I am the only one.
In thinking about 20% projects, I asked around to see what others are up to. Here are a few of the responses:
- Ian Thorpe says: two things 1. internal UN "transformation" network 2. #post2015agenda public conversation platform
- Linda Raftree says: kids, running, capoeira, TSNYC, curric on Visual Literacy, blog, mYWD research, FLSMS brd
- Mike McKay says: PouchDB is an html5 offline capable DB with full sync. Phones, tablets & dev countries. me =>80%
- And Christine Prefontaine says: Maybe too meta, or maybe because I'm a freelance, but I don't think 80/20.
Christine brings up a good point. If you do it right, your 20% is your 80% - you are able to build innovative projects as your job, and that's when you know you're doing it right.
So... what's your 20% project?