Austin Z. Henley

I work on AI + dev tools.

Home | Publications | Blog

Monthly obsessions


I have been struggling to make progress on side projects and hobbies.

I don't see nearly as much progress as I'd like because I'm always prioritizing an impending deadline. If it isn't priority zero, it usually won't get done, which means exploratory projects will never get attention.

Maybe I'm just bad at context switching when there isn't a forcing function. Deadlines are great, but what about when there isn't one?

I've attempted a few strategies to circumvent this issue. I've tried giving myself a concrete goal with a self-imposed deadline each week. I've tried dedicating Fridays to side projects or learning something new. I've tried spending one hour each day before or after work for a hobby.

These have been unsuccessful. It quickly feels like a chore or these time allotments erode away for something else.

I have a new strategy to try: a monthly obsession.

Whenever I have a spare moment, I will default to doing whatever the specific month's obsession is. I am going to be intentional about it and strategically switch each month. No analysis paralysis of how to spend time!

Some examples of what I might obsess over for a month:

With this strategy, I should end up with more tangible outcomes than I would otherwise.

First up? Write all the blog posts I can for the rest of this month.