Adopt the 5 of 7 Rule for Your Side Project


Write On’s Guided Goals

Whether you work for yourself or someone else, it’s likely you have a side project. The challenge is finding time to work on that in addition to the rest of your professional and personal responsibilities.

  • You want to work on your side project because you will eventually benefit from it.
  • You are writing a book, a blog, or hosting a podcast, to elevate your status as an expert in your field, which will bring you more clients or customers.
  • You are developing a passion project or side business to increase your income.

These could all bring long-benefits benefits and financial rewards, but some weeks you simply don’t have any time to dedicate to your project.

The Good News

Spending even a little time on moving your venture forward adds up. To set yourself up for success, adopt my 5 of 7 rule. Put time into the project you are developing 5 out of 7 days each week. That keeps it moving forward and at the top of your mind. It also gives you ample downtime and eliminates the self-imposed stress of working on it every day.

Let’s say you plan to work 15 minutes a day on your project, which is a reasonable amount of time for almost anyone. If you miss a day, you decide to do 30 minutes the next day to make up the time. When you miss that one too, you’re up to 45 minutes.

Well, if you can’t manage 15 minutes, you’ll really have a challenge finding 30 or 45 minutes. My point is: if you miss a day, that’s fine. Just skip it. And do 15 minutes the next.

When you decide ahead of time not to work on your project every day, it eliminates some of the pressure. Less pressure means clearer thinking. Clearer thinking means more progress.

Don’t get me wrong. If working on your side project every day is feasible, go right ahead. Just, when you really need it, allow yourself a day or two off, guilt-free.

EckerlingDebra Eckerling is the founder of, a website and community for writers, and author of Write On Blogging: 51 Tips to Create, Write & Promote Your Blog. A Project Catalyst, Debra works with individuals and small businesses to strategize, set goals, and manage their projects.