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For those of us with creative minds, we need to stay on top of our game in our free time and down-periods. That means we always need to be on the lookout for new trends and get familiar with new platforms. While it might be a confusing theory that spending our leisure time creating more work for ourselves is actually a stress-relieving exercise, it truly is.

The creative-natured people of this world do it for a living BECAUSE it’s something that they enjoy. Since that’s the case, it shouldn’t be too much effort to take on some side projects. While they do usually end up taking more time than we had originally planned on, they grow businesses, promote learning/collaboration, and give us something productive to do with free time.

You can do all this while having fun. They help us to become more in-tune with our work and elaborate on pre-existing ideas. Not to mention, there are some pretty awesome benefits to getting more work done!

Getting Your Name Out There

First and foremost, the more work you produce, writing, designing, or just generally creating new things, the more people see your name. Even if it’s just personal works that you offer on your blog or website, you’re getting more people interested in your work. This could lead to more clients, more money, and more recognition.

If you’re posting your side work on the Internet, people WILL see it and when they do it could really help you brand your business, and get a more interested audience. The more meaningful your side projects are, the deeper you will be imbedded to your online community which is vital to your success.

With this in mind, remember that it is all for the purpose of getting people to know who you are, so it’s very important that your side projects are a way for people to see what you’re all about, don’t leave your brand too far behind when doing your side project, stay on track.

Learning New Skills

Trying something new hasn’t killed you yet, so don’t hold back on new ideas. Since you’re a born creator, create! Since you have all the time in the world to complete a side project, with no client to impress or money to be lost, you can take your time and mess up to learn more. The more you experiment with new techniques, the more you can learn through trial and error.

While it might seem a little daunting for you to take something new on, it can be totally worth it. The crazy thing about it is that you could come up with something that no one has ever seen before, people will be intrigued at the very least, raising your standing in the community and giving back something that others can work off of.

Don’t forget to share your work with others in your profession. You’ll be amazed at the feedback you will get, both positive and negative. This will only help you get better with client based projects.

Meeting Colleagues

Sharing your work with other professionals gives you a chance to see what other people are doing as well. The more people you meet, the more connections you have. This is called networking, and you probably do it every day on Facebook anyway. Why not take your networking to the next level?

Meeting others in your profession is vital. You might even get an opportunity to work with someone completely new and learn new skills and ideas from them. This will only help you to get better at your work and find more employers. With endless possibilities, it’s totally worth investing some time into a side project to become more educated and connected to those around you.

Make Some Dough

While chances of making a whole lot of money off your free time work are not as high as those from working with an employer, it couldn’t hurt to try. If you have the time to create something new, invest your time wisely. Why not try to create something that can grow into a business in itself?

If you work in web design, create a webpage that people will be attracted to, while it might not take off and become the next big thing, you have gained valuable experience and put something out there that you can grow. If you choose to try to make money off of your side projects, be sure to create something that people will want to use, and don’t go crazy with advertising.

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Posted by Igor Ovsyannykov

I'm a digital nomad and entrepreneur bouncing around South East Asia. When I'm not working here, I'm out taking photos. Follow me on Instagram: @igorovsyannykov

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