My prime number plan

As you may have read in our about page, Zeynep and I are embarking on a prime number challenge.  This post and my prime number plan are day 1 of my challenge!

I left my job a month and a half ago with the intention of working on a bunch of personal projects.  When I first left, it was amazing.  I had time to dive into projects (we had just moved, so I painted two walls, rearranged, and hung up a bunch of pictures), I started taking an art class, I went to a two day design conference.  It was great.

Then I had a whirlwind visit from my relatives.  They were in town for a week and it was full on host mode.  After they left, I had trouble recapturing the energy of those first two weeks of freedom.  I felt deflated (it had been a month since I quit my job…but what did I have to show for it?) and I wasn’t really sure which project I wanted to pursue.

I felt paralyzed by the tyranny of choice.  There was so much I wanted to do and I didn’t know what to start.  I ended up spending a few hours on one project, then jumping to the next.  However, switching gears like this is hard and I ended up accomplishing nothing.  This made me feel more deflated and I ended up spinning my wheels and getting more and more discouraged for two weeks.

That’s when Zeynep and I came up with the idea for this blog.

I knew I needed to focus. I needed to pick one thing and stick to it in order to start seeing results.  Then, those small wins would get me excited and lead to ever larger results.  I know intellectually that’s how this is supposed to work, but going from 0 to 1 is the hardest part.  Once the wheels are in motion, you have momentum on your side.  It’s getting started that’s tough.

So here goes.  This is our shot at getting us from 0 to 1!  I’ve thought about what I want to do, and I know that this will change with time, but here’s how I see my prime number challenge going:


  • 1 : write blog post and plan my prime number challenge <– done!  Winning already 😀
  • 2 :  work on furniture
  • 3 : a robot-a-day
  • 5 : finish
  • 7 : 7 days of Ikea salad bowls (I’ll explain all these in later posts…haha)
  • 11 :  11 days of robots!
  • 13 : a Python project per day (for unlucky #13!)
  • 17 : 17 days of Ikea-robot mashup hacks
  • 19 : instructable-a-day
  • 23 : …
  • 29 : …
  • 31 : …

Ok…soooo….that was hard.  I ran out of ideas of what to do.  Hopefully what I do in the front half of the challenge will inform the second half.

I’ve been sorta working on robots (learning arduino), sorta working on coding, and sorta working on hacking Ikea furniture (original intention was this could become a side gig since being unemployed is not great for the bank account…).

I’m hoping this challenge will get me to focus on a series of short sprints to get projects going, and then I’ll see which ones I want to keep pursuing, and which I should drop.

Thanks for reading…more to come tomorrow!


T-2 days

Zany here – I am so excited for our project, Ann! And, hello tiny corner of the internet, if anybody is reading this (insert the tree falling in the forest proverb here).

I thought it might be a good idea for me and my Quitter Monster to have an overview of the tasks that I want to complete during our Prime Number project. As someone who works much more efficiently (if in a somewhat frazzled manner) with looming deadlines, I think knowing what I’m doing and when I’m doing it will help me focus on one task at a time, instead of being overwhelmed trying to do multiple things at once.

My personal launch date is Saturday April 1st, 2017.

So here goes:

1 day to finalize my personal website on Squarespace: if not content-wise, at least having it up and running
2 days to catch up with a website design course that I signed up (and paid for) on DesignLab: the course works more in terms of length of hours and I’ve skipped out the last few weeks so I figured 2 days over the weekend are enough to do the projects and reading. Eek!
3 days to apply to Hyper Island (a vocational degree here in Stockholm in digital media) (due date April 13th): this includes generating the idea, designing the application and running it by friends/people.
5 days for my application to an industrial design intensive course in the North of Sweden: they have a “home assignment” with 5 tasks so I thought I could do 1 task a day. Some include writing, others sketching. (Due date: April 20th)
7 days of ashtanga yoga: I always feel so good about my life and self when I do yoga and the only time I have ever done it successfully and successively was on a 2 week yoga retreat in India. However, in my real life I am consistently making up excuses about wanting to sleep in, and not being in a routine and putting it off until “next week.” I think if I can pull off 7 days in my daily life, I will hopefully want to continue a few days a week.
11 days of writing my short story for my writing group that I joined in January and have not written a single word for: the aim is 1000 words a day and not going to sleep before they have been punched out!

So far I haven’t found anything I would like to do for 13 days straight, but I’ll cross that odd-numbered bridge when I get there.

The three biggest challenges for me are:

1) Being too “tired” after work to do anything except throwing myself on the couch and watching Netflix

2) Not having “enough time”: I frequently blame my work and social life for not having enough time to accomplish my projects while simultaneously spending hours binge-watching Vikings (that Rollo though…)

3) Fear of failure: my internal monologue goes along the lines of, “I should start this project. Why haven’t I started this project? If I had started this project I would have been amazing at it by now. But what if I suck at this? I might as well not try. Because if you don’t try, you can’t fail!” *goes to couch, turns on Netflix to dull the pain of self-failure*

I am hoping the progressive nature of our prime number system will let me complete things in bite-sized chunks while increasing my self-confidence in my ability to finish things.

Ann, I am so excited about this! Looking forward to bowing down to the accountability gods with you!