Discovering one’s pace when working on your side project is pretty important so that you can reduce the chance of burnout and maximize motivation and interest.
I think all that is required is time to sit down and think upon one’s activities and introspect a bit about how things have gone and how one feels about their efforts.
For instance, when I think upon the 200 or so hours of active development to get to v1.0 to v1.1 I feel very good about that amount of investment which amounts to 2-3 hours or so of work a day. There are some days (weekend) where I go pretty heavy and there are some days that are pretty light. And this doesn’t even count the time to engage in the community, write content, and do marketing and manage the business needs that I have.
But I think that this amount of time invested in something that I’m passionate about and very motivated to work on is very reasonable. In fact, I think I’d doubt someone’s true intentions and/or motivations/interest in a side project if they weren’t investing time daily into their projects (and investing a few hours to it as well.
Every project is different though and some may require “less” investment but if you’re especially interested in turning a side project into a full-time thing then I think you’d better find the perfect pace for you and turn it up a notch when you can.
Good luck this 2015 year folks, it’s going to be great!