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Developers, here’s how to achieve ideas for your next side project

The Admired Dev
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The Admired Dev

You’re sitting at your desk, analytic for hours on the Holy Internet commodity you need. You want to create a superb product, or you want to advance some abstruse skills you lack for your dream job. You want to build a great claimed project.

But you miss something. This is commodity simple but difficult to grasp. Commodity everybody speaks about, but only the chosen ones know its true meaning. Commodity almost magical.

You miss an idea.

After account bland ideas after bland ideas on The Great Internet, you assuredly give up: you’re not a artistic person. You don’t have great ideas. The world is torture. There will be always war and death. Aggregate is lost.

Maybe I can help you.

We have, all of us, artistic possibilities. We are all humans, we have more or less the same brain, and we can all come up with ideas. Forget about this nonsense of “I’m born like that” or “I’m not good in this”. You create bogus borders to your own possibilities. You put yourself in an abstract jail.

Lurking on Internet to find new ideas might not be the best band-aid to build your .

So many questions! So many doubts! Here’s the good news: architecture a software means automating something. You can automate a lot of things in many altered domains. That’s absolutely why I think you can achieve many altered ideas, for many altered domains.

To learn how, here’s what we’ll see in this article:

  • What’s an idea?
  • Ideas will pop up if you advance a antithesis amid space and inspiration.
  • Dopamine is a able idea power

Follow me, dear reader. To be able to find great programming action ideas, we need first to go back to the basis. Sounds boring? It won’t take long. Then, we will dive into accurate ways to build a system to let your ideas bloom and mature.

What’s an idea?

Even if it looks like a silly question, you should accede it. Can you define what’s an idea?

Let’s look at the analogue in a thing from the old ages called “dictionary.” From the Oxford one:

“A anticipation or advancement as to a accessible course of action”

Now, that’s interesting. We could think that an idea is a pure assemble of our minds. It’s only a mere thought, right? However, the analogue suggests that it’s a appropriate anticipation which takes “a accessible course of action.”

We have a addiction to forget that an idea needs to be commodity we’re able to put into practice. It’s a anticipation which is . In fact, can we say that an idea has value after any action? Is it what separates ideas and thought?

Let’s keep that in mind and add a level of complexity: most of us don’t only want ideas — we want one. What is that? Is it a big idea? A crazy one? The one with the better accessible action?

A acknowledged idea?

I think we’ll all agree that a idea is an idea which fulfills our goals.

Of course, you will always have a action if this or that idea will indeed give you what you want. Don’t follow these animosity blindly.

Sometimes, ideas appear to us so good that we think it will automatically be ambrosial to everybody. Sometimes we think that an idea is the best, even if it doesn’t help us to achieve what we want.

On the contrary, sometimes we argue ourselves that an idea is bad because we’re afraid of failures.

All of that is altogether normal. We are all human, we all have illusions and doubts.

If you want to know if your idea is a good one, you need to be a bit more businesslike and test it, claiming it as early as you can, to know if it brings you closer to your goals.

In a programming or side action context, it could be a simple landing page asking if somebody else is absorbed in your idea. If your goal is to build an app that makes you rich and famous, other people need to buy what you want to sell. It could be an MVP or even a simple prototype.

Now that we all agree on what an idea and a one is, let’s abide our journey.

Create space in your life

create space in your life for good programming action ideas

Let’s look at this simple but difficult question: how do ideas pop up in your head? You first need to let space in your mind to allow them to come to you.

What do I mean by space?

Since ideas are simple thoughts , commodity which “pop up” in your acquainted mind, commodity you codify with your accent in your head, you need to allow your mind to speak to you.

Let’s say that you always listen to music, sing along, switch on the radio, Netflix, or Youtube, to have some accomplishments noises. Maybe you’re never alone and you always meet and speak to a lot of people.

All these alien stimuli will absorb your mind. You won’t have space for ideas to pop up.

Obviously, these strong stimuli can affect you, but they can as well block any new idea if they never stop.

Let’s take addition example: your phone. Applications are made for you to be absorbed to them, for you to spend your time scrolling them indefinitely. You could think: “Right, but it’s so inspiring!” Is it?

It’s mainly the same agreeable you will find on applications like Instagram, Twitter, and whatnot. Is it great content? Is it agreeable that generates great ideas? Ideas are the result of our life, and if our life is spending our time on social media, our ideas will reflect that.

You need an alien bang that is really for you, to get aggressive and having ideas you accede “good.” You need as well to be alone with your thoughts to create space in your mind for your ideas to accurate themselves.

You need to create a antithesis amid afflatus and space.

Inspiration and ideas diversity

Being aggressive means having animosity or new thoughts when an alien bang comes to you. These animosity will achieve ideas of any sort. The more assorted your afflatus will be, the more assorted your ideas will be. You need as well to be acceptant to them when they come to you.

Inspiration can come from many things:

  • Speaking and, most important, alert to people.
  • Going to a museum or a botanical garden.
  • Looking around you and actively observing.
  • Reading books, articles…
  • Going for a movie.
  • Listening to music.
  • Meeting and speaking with people.
  • Dancing in your underpants.
  • Imitating the scream of a rabbit when he’s in love.

The common wisdom often whispers to us that to get inspiration, we need to read or watch commodity which is anon accompanying to the ideas we want.

Let’s say you want to create software to advance some defective development skills, but you have no idea what exactly. You might search on The Fantastic Internet what are the good ideas out there. You might go to forums, speaking about , or analytic on Facebook for accompanying groups.

This is a mistake. Even if you can get afflatus from these places for sure, your ideas will feel fresher and newer if you try to get afflatus from the other interests you have. This is really important for the actionable step of an idea: you will never achieve take action if an idea doesn’t absorption you.

Remember what afflatus is? You need to be acceptant to the things which beleaguer you. To be receptive, you need to be absorbed in them.

You can find as well the Fairy of Idea Diversity when you go out of your routine. If you spend all your day on your computer, try to do commodity else from time to time. Routines and processes are great to get things done, but it doesn’t claiming your thoughts and achieve new ideas.

It can be diversifying your activity, or simply alive in addition environment. Every change, even a small one, can be a real idea generator.

Dopamine and ideas

It has been proved that dopamine absolution helps to create ideas. Now, I got your attention. Science power!

How can you absolution this dopamine?

  • Sport is the way. It doesn’t have to be 8 hours beeline of crazy acute sport which destroys your body for half a month. Stretching, running, or even walking can work. Only ten account of sport each day can help a lot.
  • Taking a warm shower. You know, the cliché about ideas in the shower. The account is assuredly revealed: dopamine.
  • Getting enough sleep. You won’t have any good idea if your brain tries to stay alive from all the toxins you didn’t annihilate by sleeping. Guaranteed.
  • Should I absolute that bubbler booze or taking drugs is not really brash to have good ideas? You can have a lot of bad ones, however. You know, the ones you regret later.

You might want to create space in these moments. For example, when I’m active or doing sport with music after lyrics, I find myself having more thoughts. You need to experiment, of course, to find what works for you.

Even after speaking about dopamine and all these accurate stuff (to a degree), the more awake and activated you will be, the more ideas will come to you.

Here’s a cool Latin book from Juvenal:

Mens sana in corpore sano.

If it’s in Latin, it’s true.

The birth of your own idea system

You can have ideas everywhere, and abnormally when you don’t seek them. As The Oatmeal is saying in his really cool comic:

Inspiration is more like food poisoning: it sprays out berserk when you need it the least.

Each time you have an idea or an absorbing thought, you need to be able to write it in your idea system. Yes, you need a system to write out your ideas.

David Allen, the author of Get Things Done wrote:

Your mind is a great place to have ideas, but a abhorrent place to manage them.

By autograph your ideas somewhere, alignment them, abutting them, your idea flow will access drastically.

First, your brain won’t have to keep up with this mental load of every single idea you have. Second, each time you will write an idea down, more thoughts and ideas will come back to you. Even better: review your idea system after a couple of days and BAM! More Ideas.

You will create the Virtuous Circle of Idea, you lucky idea powerhouse!

I would advise you to write idea, even the ones you accede bad. A bunch of bad ideas can create a good one if you give it some time. Don’t be too judgemental. Little, silly, or allegedly stupid ideas can be the foundation of your next project.

You need to assort and adapt them on a approved basis in your idea system.

Don’t alternate to cut out some ideas as well. Bad ideas can achieve good ideas, that’s true, but bad ideas you still find bad after days need to be relentlessly hunted and alone from the apparent of Earth.

Don’t be affected and press this delete button. Ideas you achieve are yours, that’s true, but . You don’t delete a part of yourself.

This is the assumption of brainstorming: autograph every anticipation you have, even bad ones, to refine and refine them, till you find the really good ideas; the ones you like, the ones which will bring value to your life.

In short, with this kind of system, my life is a massive brainstorming agreement where I write ideas on a approved basis. It’s a amaranthine and deeply agreeable process.

A real-life archetype of an idea system

Do you want to know how my idea system looks like? No? How dare you?

It’s pretty simple, really. First, I need to have connected access to my “idea bag.” It’s where I throw ideas when I have them.

when I have them. Don’t wait too long before autograph them somewhere! Your ideas are like little clouds, they can abandon from your acquainted mind as fast as they appeared. There are exceptions to this rule: if you’re active a car, hunting crocodiles, or purchased by some Yakuza, don’t do annihilation else than trying to survive.

Since I own an Android phone which follows me wherever I go (without any social media on it, you should try, it’s liberating), I use Google Keep to write any idea I have. Good or bad.

Why Google Keep?

  • It’s simple to use
  • I can access it on any computer, on my tablet, or on my phone.

Every week, the Saturday morning to be precise, I empty my idea bag and I put them in my mind map for ideas.

When I do so, it’s a good break for me to bound delete ideas, or to accommodate them. Often, I find a new link amid ideas.

As the famous visionary philanthropist business guru, Steve Jobs, said:

Creativity is just abutting things.

Here’s what my mindmap looks like:

My mind map for programming action ideas
Mind maps give me goosebumps

I write mindmaps with the free software Freemind, and I sync them with my claimed Nextcloud instance, on my server. I can then access them on any computer.

Unfortunately, you can’t read them well on tablets or phones, and you can’t modify them on these devices. If you’re absorbed in mindmaps and if you want to read them everywhere, there is plenty of software for that.

Over time, the ideas I link in my mindmap begin to take the shape of the project: software, books, courses, and so on.

When the programming action is well authentic enough, I create a Trello board. When I have any idea accompanying to this new project, I write it anon into this board.

There is a last important basic in my system, commutual with Google Keep: post-it. I have a block of post-it in cardinal places in my flat, in case I have an idea and I don’t have my phone with me. I write it and put it on my desk.

Since I don’t like to have a post-it on my desk, I write them in my Idea Mindmap as soon as I can. It’s a good way to oblige myself to keep my ideas in one place.

This whole system is simple and effective, and it has been very useful for me to grow my idea bag. Take this blog for example: before I had my Miraculous Idea System ©, I could barely find capacity to write about. Each time I was going on my computer, I was cat-and-mouse to be aflame by the Angel of Ideas, The God of Creation, The Muse of Inspiration.

It didn’t work.

Now I have so many ideas for blog posts, I can write for years. I could say the same for side projects, for books, and for many other projects. It’s great!

The most important is: these are ideas. They are the result of a lot of stuff I saw and experienced, and I’m sure none of them are original. Still, they are the end of a claimed process. Therefore, I’m way more motivated to assassinate them. To take action.

Being absorbed is capital if you want to have the action to begin, go through, and push live the programming projects of your dreams!

Ideas and the others

get aggressive by the others for greap action ideas

Parking your ideas in your little idea cosmos (whatever it is: a mindmap, a simple notebook, or a set of napkins) is very good to let them blossom, but there is addition able way to achieve more ideas: speaking about them.

Writing your ideas makes them real. They are not pure thoughts anymore. Speaking with people about your ideas will make them even more concrete. People can react to them, adding thoughts to your ideas, transform them.

You don’t have to speak physically to people, even if I think it’s even more effective. You can use any belvedere where you can have able discussions on the Internet. This can bring a lot of new apparatus to your ideas, and people can help you link (or unlink) them for you to achieve your goals.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid of abrogating feedback. You need all of that, or you will stick with ideas you’re the only one to find “good.” If your goal is to bring people to your programming project, or, even better, if you want to create a acquirement stream with your project, you need to know your admirers and validate your ideas. Even before alpha to build your side action itself.

This kind of action always involves people. All the time. Because they will use what you build.

Creating a acquirement stream from side projects is a circuitous catechism that goes beyond the scope of this article. “Comment below” if somebody wants me to gabble about it in an article, one day.

Get aggressive and grasp these killer ideas!

Many things can account from a new piece of software. That’s why you should not limit your ideas to some absolute field or interest. We can build software for anybody who needs some automation.

Let’s do a little debriefing: what did we learn calm in this article?

  • Ideas are thoughts that are actionable. Ideas after accomplishments won’t bring you much.
  • A good idea is an idea which brings you closer to your goal. Yep, you need to define what you want in life.
  • Be aggressive by the things which really absorption you, but plan some quiet moments for your brain to relax and let your ideas speak to you.
  • Create your own idea system where all your ideas will coexist in peace. Catch them quickly!
  • If some ideas feel abortive after some time, delete them. Accommodate the others. Make sure you’re not afflicted each time you open your idea system.

What I would like you to do is to get this commodity as an inspiration, and agreement for yourself. We are all different, you need to adapt and see what works for you.

Now, it’s time to go to the world and get afflatus from aggregate you like, and aggregate you didn’t know you liked before you tried them. The goal is to create more ideas, to build more admired goods, and to have fun!

Appear September 22, 2020 — 14:00 UTC

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