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    Need help motivating myself


    Hi guys!

    I'm new to this forum, so forgive me if I made a mistake posting this in the right forum

    I have developed PHP scripts for two years, but never actually got anything done. I build a small guestbook, forum, user system, RBAC-system, blog etc. They were all small applications, which could do nothing actually, because I would never finish them..

    A year has passed since I did this, and now I want to get back on track with programming. My main motivations for this are;
    - I have got some spare time
    - I would like to earn some money (I hate side jobs at the supermarket)
    - I would, most of all, like to learn to think logically (I'm not a mathmatical talent, nor will I ever be, but I need to be)

    But I can't seem to motivate myself in doing this.. I've tried to write articles (I love writing), but my blogs always end up in a bunch of articles on a dead website, because after some weeks I just stop.

    Normally I'd start a project, and then, after a few days, just quit. But I want to change this fast. For instance, last week I started to learn the CakePHP framework (after trying out others, like Zend's). After following the tutorials, I wanted to try and build a forum, but after a few days I just stopped. Probably because I don't have a clear goal with what to do with the code I produce..

    Now, I am wondering.. is there anybody out there who could point me in the right direction? For instance, who can tell me what I should be doing, without losing sight of my 'programming goals'?

    Programming seemed (and seems) like the ideal way to build a more logical mind, but at the same time allowing me to do something productive, which could also earn me some money. I don't want to work under pressure, eg. for a client. This is mainly because I lack the confidence right now to actually finish anything.

    I hope to hearing from you if you have anything to say..

    yours,

    Comments on this post

    • sizablegrin disagrees : Get real.
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    Dont worry about it.

    I go through this every few months. Ive learned to deal with it, push it aside, and eventually something inspires me and I'm sure I know where im going and why im going there ;o)

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    • sizablegrin disagrees : Consider growing up and being a big boy. Tough job, I know.
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    I'll motivate you.

    If you don't make something good within three months, I will come find you, cut off your legs, set your house on fire, and watch you crawl out on your stumps.

    Good?

    (Rep for who gets the reference)

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    • sizablegrin agrees : You're actually going to leave stumps??
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    Originally Posted by gimp
    I'll motivate you.

    If you don't make something good within three months, I will come find you, cut off your legs, set your house on fire, and watch you crawl out on your stumps.

    Good?

    (Rep for who gets the reference)
    Good movie... Whole nine yards.

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    • gimp agrees
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    Gotta get to the next screen..
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    I'd say look at your planning, break a project up into smaller tasks and set an order to complete them in. Have a list of what you've done and what needs doing. The worst thing you can do is to decide to make a big project like a forum and then just dive in. You'll be constantly jumping from one section to another to another and quite quickly it feels like a huge job to do anything.

    By focusing on one thing at a time it means you get the "yay it's done" vibe frequently which in itself should help to motivate you. There are tons of different packages out there that can help you. Personally I use a mix of a wiki and mantis bug tracker. Another thing I looked at is called trac. I only read the site but it seems to be project management orientated. It seems quite straight forward though. You create some tasks and then you assign them to the roadmap. This then lets you see what needs to be done for each stage of your project as well as how far along you are. The trac version of that can be seen here. The mantis version can be seen here.

    All in all the reason you keep stopping is something only you know, what I've described here is something I learnt many moons ago but maybe it's a totally different reason for you.

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    • JimmyGosling agrees : this would have been my recommendation
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    Sounds like procrastination. I also suffer from that, as do many people.

    Here is a recent article on procrastination from Stepcase Lifehack

    Here are some sites that tend to focus on productivity. Might be worth subscribing to their feeds - but try not to let them increase your procrastination even more

    http://www.lifehack.org
    http://zenhabits.net
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    Thanks for the advice guys! I'll look into trac, I seem to like it from what I've seen so far. I personally think my lack of motivation is a mixture of different things, like procrastination, overwhelmingness (is this actually a word? ) and perhaps even a small lack of confidence.

    Seems like a lot of work has to be done.. thanks for the wake-up..

    yours,

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