Picking My Weekend Projects
If you're anything like me, you have all these ideas floating around in your head. Things that you want to do, things that would be cool. And yet, there are only so many hours in the day, and so many free days that you can actually do anything with them. Not to mention, the mental exhaustion from a long day already spent in a development mindset. Here are the things I do on the weekend to make sure that I get the time I want to work on the things I want to, and still refresh myself for the week to come.
Making a List
The obvious first thing to do is make a list of things I absolutely need to get done in the weekend. This could be doing dishes, laundry, paying the bills, and so on. I then add on things I want to play with that have been on my mind the previous week. I have drawers full of ideas, with sketches, diagrams, basic structure, and more that I start to draw out as the idea fleshes out in my head (and these aren't limited to programming). Those that I keep going back to during the week are the ones I want to focus on more. Sometimes it's to play with a new technology, or fix something that's broken (which is more often these days), or recently this weekend, get into something that I have wanted to get into, but haven't had the chance. These projects aren't limited to programming/development, and aren't always something that would be public-facing or visible to anyone but me.
Checking it Twice
Then, through the projects and the "need-to-do" grown-up stuff, I pick stuff that I can make significant progress on in the time I should have available for it. Some weekends I have other things to attend to that take up significant portions (even full days), so smaller things or things with several small parts are preferable. Long weekends with lots of downtime are suited to larger things, or several small things, depending on my weekend list.
An Off Day
I also do my best to make sure that I take at least one day a week for myself, to do only things that I want to do, without any pressure. I like having this day to recharge and ready myself for whatever may come in the week ahead. Weeks that I don't do this typically start out in a state of stress already, and that makes it harder for me to get things done. These days may involve working on these side projects. They may involve laying in bed all day watching Bob Ross. I could be laying on the couch with a notebook doodling or fleshing out the idea for something else. Regardless of what it is, it's probably the most important thing I've started doing for myself.
Other than playing more with my home media server, I decided a good project would be to clean the fogginess from the headlights of my car. I've never really been much of a car guy, but I certainly love mine, and want to start getting involved in doing small things myself for it. Now, cleaning the headlights is certainly not mechanical at all in nature, but I like to think of it as baby steps. Besides, it's nice to be able to see again when I drive at night.
All I really had to do was first clean it with soap and water, then rub some sort of sticky, mild abrasive on them until they cleared up. Also, disregard the unfortunate scuffing on the bumper and unclean...everything else - that is something that needs to be taken care of at some point in the future.