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Some thoughts:

  • Don't compare your brand-new ideas to other people's finished products. (As the cliche says, don't compare your "insides" to other people's "outsides".) For every project that gets finished, there are a hundred more that never make it past mile 1.
  • Not every project is worth finishing. If you actually made the effort to take every idea to completion, you'd be exhausted and wouldn't have any time for the simpler things in life: family, friends, fun.
  • In order for me to keep the motivation to finish a project, it needs to align with two or more of my passions. "Getting rich" is not one of my passions, so I can't necessarily reach the finish line with an idea just because I think it will be a huge success. Music and rap lyrics and fiction, on the other hand, are my passions, so projects I undertake in those categories have a much better chance at success. When I get discouraged about the process, I remind myself how much I care about the goal.
  • Every project has boring and frustrating parts. Here's one of my favorite explanations of this: "Dark night of the soul" Being aware of the "mid-project slump" helps a lot. Get past that and you're on your way.
  • Don't go it alone. Find another person who cares about your project (or even just someone who cares about you) and keep them up to date on your progress.
  • Don't overdo it. If you try to work on a project for 10 hours a day, 7 days a week, you'll quickly pass a "punishment threshold" where your brain will convince you to procrastinate getting back to it because it's so exhausted. Limit yourself to reasonable hours and take days off. Leave yourself wanting more.
 

This happens to everyone, and for myself, I know this happens when I don't expose myself to a steady stream of new and interesting ideas and experiences. These don't have to be related to coding, either.

If possible, I shut off at 4pm every day, and spend the rest of my evening with other things to refresh myself.

Read books. Invest in relationships, learning about the other people in your life. Take up new hobbies like sports, wood working, drawing -- something that gets you away from the screen, preferably.

 

Tbh, I've recently been down a bit too. I don't know if it's the time of year or what. Personally, I think I just need a break since I've been doing it a bit obsessively recently (for fun and for school). But I also try to remember that I'm not in a race either and that it is in fact just a hump that we can get over.

 

I'd suggest taking a break. Maybe, if you don't want to completely set programming a side, do some reading to get new views on your craft.

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Mike profile image
Full-time freelancer; Former Lead Engineer / Senior Management; speaker; 14 years in development; open for consulting and freelance opportunities.