Monday Master Class: How to Keep Life Interesting with a Saturday Morning ProjectOctober 27th, 2008 · 20 comments
A Dash of Spice
Have you finished your mid-semester dash? If not, make a plan to do it! I’m already hearing reports from readers of huge post-dash stress reductions.
Once you’ve completed this purge, return to this post. Below, I will teach you how to keep your newly stripped down student life from becoming too boring.
The Grand Project
Let’s change that.
Here’s the basic definition:
A Grand Project is any project that when explained to someone for the first time is likely to elicit a response of “wow!’
The purpose of a grand project is two-fold:
First, it injects excitement and possibility into your student life. As I said in last winter’s post: “[A Grand Project] focuses you through the small ups and downs that litter the standard student grind. It gives you higher purpose.”
Second, it exposes you to the type of bulk positive randomness that acts as the source of the most exciting, innovative, and impressive activities. Put another way: if you want to stumble into a really cool opportunity, you have to be working on things that are really cool.
Examples of Grand Projects:
- Writing a screenplay.
- Trying to get a short story published.
- Launching a microbusiness to keep you in beer money.
- Mastering an insane and little understood sport or hobby.
- Building a blog to prominence.
- Starting an activist movement.
But Wait! This All Takes Time!
The observant reader may have noticed that this Grand Project notion seems to run counter to last week’s advice to ruthlessly cull your schedule in preparation for the busier second-half of the semester. This is where the “Saturday morning” piece of the title makes an appearance.
A Saturday Morning Project is a Grand Project that you work on only on Saturday morning, in between the time when you wake up and lunch.
What’s cool about a Saturday Morning Project (SMP) is that you gain the two benefits of a Grand Project (excitement and quality randomness exposure) without a major time sink. You make consistent progress in a time period that you would otherwise leave empty.
Of course, in the long run, if a SMP takes off it will eventually need more than just a few hours a week. If you’re so lucky to get to this point, then you can rebuild your schedule so that the SMP graduates to become a major focus. But most of these projects either (a) don’t get to that stage; or (b) require a long time before the right combination of factors come together. The Saturday morning time slot acts as the perfect incubator to keep these dreams alive. The tight constraints also provide a good lesson in how to be ultra-efficient and make big progress in a small amount of time — a useful skill for all of your endeavors.
Clean Up. Spice Up. Live (it) Up.
My mid-semester challenge to you is clear. First, conduct a dash to clear the deck and set your mind at ease. Then add in a SMP to keep life interesting. Follow these two simple steps and your path to winter vacation should be a pleasure.
(Photo by re-ality)