I’ll be one of the first to admit that I am bad at finishing things. There are a million things I’d like to do and while I start plenty, very rarely do I finish things. Typically, I’ve already finished the hard part and am no longer interested in doing that last easy 10%.
Now when I say “finish” I don’t mean to completion. Nothing is ever complete and you should make sure you realize that as well. There are always a handful of things you’d like to improve given the time or money. But that’s not important.
The image above is the Ship It Squirrel that has been a big part of the culture at Github. People love Github and you want to know why? They’re constantly shipping things. I mean, hell, I’ve seen Kyle Neath go from suggestion via Twitter to shipping that feature in 30 minutes. That’s seriously awesome.
You can be that awesome too. Here are some things I find helps considerably:
Realize nothing is ever perfect
If you’re not consciously aware of this fact, you’re bound to become lose motivation eventually. You’ll buckle down so hard trying to make things perfect that you burn out. Pick those couple things you’d have to have, and everything else goes on the backburner. If you get some new idea, write it down on a piece of paper and get back to the important bits.
No matter how badly things are going, think of your blessings. Hell, you have a computer and the internet. That’s enough to be thankful for right there. Plenty of other people in the world are trying to find food for day. Your troubles are probably not as bad as you think.
Don’t give up. Ever.
Deadlines can be incredibly motivating. Use them to make sure you work twice as hard. When we have deadlines at work, I am almost four times as productive those days because I know things have to be done. Set deadlines on your calendar. Take them seriously.
If you’re a habitual email checker, block it. If you find yourself easily distracted with something, block it or remove it. Put on headphones and find a quiet corner to work in and forget about the world around you.
Surround yourself with likeminded people
Find someone to support you. Sometimes this is as easy as a friendly reminder from someone on twitter. Maybe it’s a reminder from your spouse or significant other. Whomever it is, find someone that you look up to. It will make you want to impress them. They will be excited about what you are doing and you will be excited that they are excited. Before you know it you’ve built an endless loop of motivation.
Work on side projects in the morning
Some days at work are worse than others. Every job is like that. If you find yourself coming home and unmotivated, try working on your idea in the morning. Get up 2 hours earlier and work then. You’ll have a fresh mind and be able to accomplish more than 4 hours with a clouded mind in the evening.
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Remember that guy that gave up? Neither does anybody else.