Photo: unsplash / Niklas Rhöse

Discover your priorities to find the time you need.

One thing I frequently hear as feedback for my “One Project per Month” Challenge is:

Sounds like fun! But I have a full time job…and this and that… So I don’t have time for side projects.

If side projects have no priority for you, it’s ok. I will explain below why they nevertheless should have. But in any case, think twice whenever you use the phrase: “I don’t have time”!

The thing about time is: everyone has the same amount of it, 24 hours a day.

Whether we are “having” time or not depends largely on how we perceive it…


And here is how you can leverage that for your business and side projects.

“The Internet never forgets!” — that’s what I kept telling myself when my thumb was hovering over the “send” button. But, unless you are Kim Kardashian or Donald Trump, there is another side to that: it also does not care. Like — at all!

To me, this was so far the most valuable lesson from starting the online builder, maker and productivity community “One Project per Month Club” (1PPM).

But in a world that seems to be kept spinning by attention and popularity, how can it possibly be a good thing not to be noticed?

Scaling Problems

The first benefit concerns your…

In the last weeks, the 1ppm project did really well. In only 3 weeks it achieved:

  • 422 Stars on GitHub,
  • 174 Forks and
  • 57 participants entered
  • 97 Projects in the HallOfFame!

In the meantime, I released my first project for 2017: a presentation layer for the “Hall of Fame”, where 1ppm challengers enter their projects:

1ppm Hall of Fame — Overview

Although only a third of the forks added projects so far, the list looks already quite impressive! Some challengers even entered multiple released projects, like the restless Mubashar Iqbal:


TL;DR: More quantity leads to more feedback. More feedback leads to more learning. More learning leads to better quality.

With the beginning of the new year, I decided to start a “One Project per Month” challenge on GitHub. The idea was to accelerate learning, avoid over engineering to develop a habit of getting things done. However, some people doubted that there could be a substantial outcome from “one month” projects and idea sparked a lively debate on Hacker News.

In these comments, I came across a story that appeared in Jeff Atwoods highly recommended “Coding Horror” Blog. …

2017 is just around the corner. How about this new year’s resolution: release one side project per month!

Ok, that sounds intimidating at first, but it’s actually not that hard if you pick the right projects. Plus, you will soon have a really cool portfolio to show off. You can read more about how I got started doing one project per month in “One Side Project per Month — First Steps”, find out how it can help to avoid over engineering ant get things done in “The 1PPM-Challenge” or check out the inspiring story of

Ideas, Ideas, Ideas

Two months ago I started a “one project per month” challenge (1PPM) and so far it’s working out really well. Here is what I learned during the initial phase:

The First Project

When I started 1PPM, I had already collected some ideas. Mostly unsorted, unstructured files in a Dropbox folder and some Google docs. However, most of these ideas were too big and too unspecific to be implemented in one month. In addition, I already had a long running side-project and a full-time job. I estimated that I could invest about half a day per week for additional learning projects or about 16…

Hacking and learning new things each month!

Challenges are a very useful tool for learning and for getting out of ones comfort zone. Even very busy people like Mark Zuckerberg are known for taking personal challenges. As he puts it, these challenges help him to “learn and grow”. So if CEOs like Mark Zuckerberg take the time to pursue goals outside their work, couldn’t this be a benefit for all of us?

In recent times, 30 day challenges became very popular. I think because a 30 day period is long enough to see results, but short enough to stay focused and avoid procrastination. …

Gerhard Görlich

Software engineer, pragmatic programmer, maker of Writing about side projects, learning and productivity. Follow me on Twitter with @gerji

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