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How do you motivate yourself to work on personal projects? As a profesional developer

Hey there πŸ‘‹

I've been struggling lately to get motivation to work on personal projects. When I finish my work shift, or on weekends, I can't seem to find motivation to work on my personal projects. Which I really want to finish.

My question to you is, how do you handle this? How do you trick or convince yourself to work on personal projects? Do you have any process? Or do you treat them as if they were work projects?

Any tips would be highly appreciated!

Top comments (11)

joelbonetr profile image
JoelBonetR πŸ₯‡ • Edited

I really need to do some exercise to keep the energy. Seems contradictory but if I do exercise early in the morning I keep more energy after work.

Another thing I do is to walk my dog just after the work (if you have any you can just walk by yourself a bit I guess πŸ˜‚) so I move a bit and rest the eyesight watching real life graphics and so (RTX is astonishing those days here).

When I get back I can keep for some extra hours with sideprojects and then I set a time out so I take dinner with my wife and rest a bit.

I've also a big queue of todo tasks but I try not to put pressure on them, it's better to do bit by bit than trying to change priorities, move things around, mess with various tasks at the same time and so.

Also, sometimes you just need to rest so no pressure here, if you need to rest a week or two, do it and come back stronger! 😁

nombrekeff profile image

Fantastic advice!! I really agree with the exercice and taking a walk part, I try to do a bit of exercice each day, and it really does help.

I think I needed a little bit of a rest, I've been on hollyday for 2 weeks and I'm starting to get my energy and motivation back! Let's hope it lasts a while!

lukewestby profile image
Luke Westby • Edited

What is the purpose of a personal project for you, generally?

For instance, I like to do them in order to learn something new or because I find something interesting. So I think of these projects as finished once I feel like I understand the concept or I get bored. I almost never finish something to a point where I can deploy it or what have you, but I don’t care because that wasn’t the point of the work.

nombrekeff profile image

Interesting question, I realized I had never thought it through.

For me most personal projects are, as you say, to learn or improve my skills. Then there are a couple of projects I want to make because I need them for my personal use.

I really like the point you make on not needing to deploy or release al the projects. I think I get stuck and overwhelmed thinking of all the work that must be done to finish them. I will remember this, cheers!

yuridevat profile image
Julia πŸ‘©πŸ»β€πŸ’» GDE

I had this feeling when I started my diest job as a developer, no energy left after work or on weekends. But after about 6 month I got used to work and could focus on my side projects again.

After work I do a break for about an hour, sport, walking, eating,… then I can focus again for 2-3 more hours.

Saturday and Sunday are almost like work, I wake up and start coding. Coding is also my primary hobby, I guess that is why keeping motivation is not really hard for me.

arisingco profile image
Michael Santiago

I can't seem to find motivation to work on my personal projects. Which I really want to finish.

If you really wanted to finish them, you would not be asking this question. We make time for that which is a priority. In this scenario, I would ask myself, "Why do I not want to work on this personal project? What are the benefits of the completion of this project? Are the benefits enough for me to continue to push forward?"

I find the personal projects that I do not see major benefits for will not be prioritized and ultimately get left to dust. When I write down the benefits and they're substantial enough to work toward, it's easier for me to make time daily or weekly toward that project.

It's a pretty loaded question though since it ties deep into your vision for your life. If you're content with your salary and other things, there may be less motivation for you to work on the personal project if the benefits include increasing your value (which means a higher salary which can lead to better enjoyment of things in life, etc.) Consider asking yourself the purpose behind the projects and then either continue or start new projects that align with your purpose.

nombrekeff profile image

Very usefull answer, thanks! I will consider making a pros/cons for the projects I want to work on, maybe it shines a light!

lucaboriani profile image

Uhm, normally I stop working for customers, take some time for me and my project, try to finish it in time, restart working. Being almost 50, having a life, family and friends doesn't leave me much energy or willingness to code afterwork 😬