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Vitamin: How to Stay Motivated
2014-06-16 10:16am -07:00T Visit Vitamin


(Photograph by Flickr user Chris Waits)

Staying motivated can be tough, especially on longer projects. Recently a professional acquaintance told me about a 3-year-long client project. This is an extreme case, but long projects are not uncommon in the tech industry. In fact, I’m working on a personal side project right now that I expect will take about 1.5 years. How do you keep going once the initial rush of a new idea has faded? Through trial and error, I’ve found a few techniques that work for me, and I hope that by sharing them you can stay motivated too.

Be the Boss

Nearly every company will use deadlines to motivate employees. Sometimes there’s rewards attached, such as a raise for good performance. However, if you’re trying to retrain for a new career or if you work for yourself, it can feel like there’s no pressure to get anything done. This is purely an illusion created by our own poor perception of large time scales. Nobody is going to tell you what to do.

Rarely are there short term consequences for moving at a humdrum pace on a client project or procrastinating on learning a new technology. Over longer periods, it means missed opportunities. These might be new projects you’re not ready to...

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