By Stephanie Wells, founder of Formidable Forms

Even the busiest business owners and entrepreneurs have things outside of their businesses that they enjoy focusing on. It's part of being human to take up hobbies that may not bring us lucrative success, but improve our well-being and peace of mind. 

Taking up a passion project is about more than passing the time. It's a way to de-stress, appreciate the simple pleasures and lead a more fulfilling life. It can also sharpen your skill set and lead you to future lucrative opportunities. Spending time on something you enjoy improves morale and sets a positive tone for the present. 

As Harvard Business Review reports, only 20 percent of full-time U.S. employees surveyed by Deloitte said they felt passionate about their work. Perhaps pursuing passions outside of the workplace is the way to go to connect with your creative side and reach fulfillment.

If you struggle to make time for your passion project, here are a few tips to help you get started. 

Remember its importance.

It won't always be easy to maintain your side project until completion. Life gets busy, and sometimes things get in the way that may put you behind. Regardless of the setbacks you may experience, it's important to remember why you started in the first place so you continue pushing forward.

There are several benefits to starting a passion project:

  • Strengthening your skill set.
  • Having the freedom to practice something you enjoy.
  • Adding meaning and fulfillment to your everyday life.
  • Continuously learning something new.
  • Making new friends along the way.

When you find it difficult to continue your project, think of the reasons it excited you in the beginning. Those are the same reasons you need to focus on to get back to your routine and hone your craft. Tell yourself that giving up halfway through isn't an option, because the result will be worth it. 

Wake up earlier.

Not everyone enjoys waking up early in the morning, but this is one of the best times to work productively. It's easier to focus when the world is still and you don't have all your responsibilities in front of you yet. You can use this time to center yourself and work on your side project until it's time to start your workday.

Your morning routine sets the tone for the rest of the day. Waking up to complete the commitment you made to yourself will make you feel better and motivate you to do more. Your mind is fresh to think clearly and effectively, giving you the best results for your project. 

Unless you're a night owl who feels more motivated and creative at nighttime, waking up earlier will help you make time for your passions. Start slowly by setting your timer back by 15 minutes, and then 25, continuously pushing back the time until you've adapted to the change. Making sudden changes will only deter you from reaching your goals, so take your time.

Add it to your schedule.

When you have a meeting or appointment written on your calendar, you probably mark this off in your brain as an important event. If you miss either one, it could affect your business or health. That's why you need to approach your project with the same mindset. 

If you're serious about your side project, add it to your schedule the same way you do with other important tasks and events. Train yourself to see it as something you need to work on to fuel your creativity and spark inspiration. 

You'll likely encounter days where you aren't up to working on your passion project, and that's OK. The purpose of it is to feel good about it so you create a finished product you're proud of. However, if it's the last thing you want to do on a given day, then let yourself rest or do something else. 

Over to you.

If you have a passion project you've meant to get to, then it's likely you need to carve out the time to make it a reality. You're the only person capable of creating time to fuel your passion project, so treating it with importance is necessary to get started. Making time in the early morning hours and staying consistent are key factors in completing your project successfully. How will you make time for your creative journey?

Stephanie Wells is the founder of Formidable Forms, a drag & drop form builder for WordPress that empowers freelancers to create form-based solutions.