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Keeping motivated

7:29 pm on Mar 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Hello all,

Now I am sure many of you over the years have suffered from a lack of motivation, concentration and a tendency to procrastinate (please not I said many not all!). Now I myself know I suffer from all of the above, the annoying thing is when I start working on something I usually get a lot done in a short space of time and to a good standard, however I do have a number of projects/websites that just sit there doing nothing because of the above! During a number of projects I usually discover new techniques and ways of doing things and set about re-doing what i've already done (this often leads to a getting bored with a project)

So my question(s) are:

What do people use to keep themselves motivated?

What are the techniques etc you use to do this?

Do you avoid altering the core of a site until it is all finished? (often in terms of visuals etc. not necassarily something that would result in a major performance boost/benefit)

Do you solely work on 1 thing at a time or do you find working on different projects stops it getting mundane?

In conjunction with this do you break projects down into smaller chunks and approach them this way (including actually making plans and setting deadlines? Obviously this is more difficult for someone who has another job.

Any other points that people feel could be raised with this please add them.

Many Thanks from one who procrastinates.

9:18 pm on Mar 5, 2008 (gmt 0)


WebmasterWorld Administrator coopster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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Hunger is a great motivator ;)

A desire to help others is also a great motivator. Planning and setting deadlines will keep your feet to the fire. Some form of project management and organization can often help keep your focus on the task at hand and the milestones/deadlines coming due.

10:35 pm on Mar 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I have this problem after taking a longer vaction. I find it hard to get back on track. The thing that seems to work for me it to indulge myself with whatever was distracting me from working. Then I am free to focus on work with the intensity it deserves.

A couple tips:

Be sure you have a plan of what you will do that day and that week (separate). Make sure you use these as a guide and that they are realistic.

I only focus (if at all possible) on one thing at a time. Lookup some studies on multitasking online. You will nearly almost find that focusing on one task is much more efficient than switching constantly. You will really be amazed how much of a difference it is.

Limit distractions such as checking email and block tempting sites through your hosts file.

11:36 pm on Mar 6, 2008 (gmt 0)


WebmasterWorld Administrator buckworks is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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break projects down into smaller chunks

That's what keeps me on track. I can't always muster the focus for a major work session but I can usually push myself enough to accomplish some tasks that take a few minutes each.

11:43 am on Mar 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Lately, when I get bored or stuck in a certain aspect of a project I go to the freelenacer sites and hire someone to take on the work for me.
It always ends up getting done quickly and probably better than I could have done it and the huge amount of time I save is spent on less mundane chores.

>block tempting sites through your hosts file.

Sites like WW?

6:12 am on Mar 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Monthly google adsense checks are a good motivator.
6:30 am on Mar 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I'm going to put off replying until the last minute ;-)

Seriously, I'm bad at procrastination (well, I guess I'm really good at it actually). Yeah, the AdSense daily earnings are motivation for me. I try new ad blocks, placement, etc. Try to get a link here and there, etc.

I've got lots of unfinished projects on the web and I'm really spread too thin. I'm in a bit of a slump right now. I think I should just focus on 4 or less web sites right now and build them.

I'd have to say one of the best things that works for me is to put my "to-do" list in writing (yes, on paper!). It sounds lame but I get satisfaction by finishing and crossing out that line on the list. Once my home office is set up, I plan on putting up a big whiteboard on the wall so I can always see at a glance what needs to be done.

[edited by: Swanny007 at 6:31 am (utc) on Mar. 9, 2008]

6:41 am on Mar 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I also use to do lists. Not paper though, HA! I use the k-notes dashboard widget. When I enable dashboard, my screens are covered with different to do lists. Bike parts i need to buy, computer things i need to buy, but biggest of all, my web to do list.
8:20 am on Mar 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I use analog (paper) to-do lists as well. I think it is better than electronic because it is always sitting there on my desk staring at me "do me! do me!".
Electronic is more of a "I guess I should take a look at my to-do list now".
4:05 pm on Mar 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

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crysis keeps me motivated lol!
4:13 pm on Mar 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I use paper to do lists as well. Trouble is I'm always losing the pieces of paper, i might even spend more time making lists then doing the work on them.
5:24 pm on Mar 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I use a target to keep myself on track and interested in a project, It has listed in bold my dream wage and also how close I am to getting that dream wage.

Any time I feel down or don't want to work, I see that and think I can do this, it will work - in the end its working as i am close! I needed to change my target sheet around four times now as my dream wage has been increasing ever since I reached it the first time!


5:49 pm on Mar 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

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> What do people use to keep themselves motivated? <

The deadline. They'll ship even if not ready, just because it's on the 'gantt' chart or whatever. Gotta go today. Not yesterday. Not tomorrow morning. But today. So you want the best you've got ready to go. That will motivate you.

8:33 pm on Mar 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I'm with the re-doing a site when discovering new techniques. I've been working on one site for 3 years. From the time the site idea was born, I went from zero to a dozen competitors and my site still isn't done AND I'm going through another redesign.

My motivation is my enjoyment of development and the hope that I can go out on my own someday, but with a day job it's hard. I have 8 projects going at once, most of which are well over a year old. A couple are over 2 years old. Have yet to complete one, but I still start new ones.

12:58 am on Mar 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Procrastination is a sure path to a slow death. In a home internet office there is no end to the things that need be done, upgraded, learned, communicated..... If you have time to procrastinate, then you don't have enough work, and so there is something else to do:))

From coopster: Planning, project management, organization.

From buckworks: Break it down. Too big can be too ovewhelming. Knock the project down into pieces and it will not only be easier to manage, but if one segment is going badly - just shift over to another piece. There are so many different aspects to most projects that if you are sick of one piece, switching to another piece keeps the project moving, yet temporarily sets aside the problem area without penalty.

From asgrindr: Hire some of it out. This is super hard for me. I always hate it, but is very often THE smart thing to do. I want to learn what I don't know, but sometimes those things have to wait, and nobody can learn everything. Hire out the piece that is making life tough and knock out the rest. Pay close enough attention and you'll not only get the work done quick and easy, but you may learn a whole lot too.

I LOVE LISTS. I keep a ton of files, but also keep 10 - 20 legal pads going. One for each project, subject, whatever. A big pink highlighter keeps the priority stuff at the top of the list, and a big black super sharpie makes an impressive blackout as I get stuff done. The more decrepit the legal pads become, the more motivated I am to look for more trouble:))

For me, deadlines suck. If I get anywhere near a deadline, then something is seriously wrong. It helps that I don't put a gun to my head on deadlines. I won't quote anything to anyone that doesn't have plenty of cushion. If they need a promise that I am not 100% certain that I can keep, then they need someone else.


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