I'm working full time 5 days a week, mostly between 10 and 14 hours a day. At the end of the day I'm very tired and just want to take a shower, hang out and go to sleep.

I have a lot of ideas that I want to implement and someday sell maybe through an online software business.

I have my weekends free. However, when I get to the weekend I can't even imagine myself turning on the computer.

But I really want to make my ideas happen, and I can't leave my job right now to devote myself only to my ideas.

What do you say? Do you find some method helpful? Do you use some technique?

  • I think I know, but what is your occupation?
    – Dynamic
    Apr 10, 2012 at 22:34
  • 12
    All I can suggest is get another job where you're working less than 10 hours a day - there's plenty out there
    – HorusKol
    Apr 10, 2012 at 22:35
  • "I have my weekends free. However, when I get to the weekend I can't even imagine myself turn on the computer." Do it anyway!
    – hairboat
    Apr 10, 2012 at 23:04
  • You have to be careful In many (especially common law derived) legal systems any work you do that is "related" to your employment belongs to your employer. And many contracts of employment say you have to get permission for any side jobs.
    – Neuro
    Jul 15, 2012 at 13:36
  • 1
    I'd suggest maybe accepting some more answers to your other questions. And also, working on these personal projects. You say you cannot think to turn on the computer on a weekend, yet you still want to make your ideas happen. Pick one. Either turn your computer on and do work, or don't. Either one is 100% acceptable, and understandable. However, either course will naturally exclude the other.
    – acolyte
    Aug 17, 2012 at 18:24

5 Answers 5


Some things to try:

  • Distance yourself from the work you do at your job. You can keep it relevant, but change it up enough that you're not doing the same thing seven days a week.

  • Keep lists of goals and tasks for your project. It's a lot easier to get going if you limit yourself to one small task at a time.

  • Schedule out time to work on projects. A definite schedule is harder to ignore than a vague notion that you might have some time this weekend to spend on your project.

  • Make sure you enjoy what you're working on. If you view it as more work, it's going to be difficult to get started. Plus you'll burn out eventually.

  • Get other people involved. If you commit to working with others, you'll be much less likely to back out.

  • Distancing yourself from your day job sounds like a good way to get forcibly, involuntarily, permanently "distanced"...
    – hairboat
    Apr 11, 2012 at 0:18

When you are looking for motivation you have to make one thing clear in your mind: why are you doing this?

If you are developing the idea just for kicks nothing in the world will motivate you to do it when you can have fun.

So basically all you need to repeat to yourself is : in 3,4,5,6 months when I finish with my idea I will be able to give my boss the bird, quit and work the hours I want on something I like to do.

Having a family that supports your endeavor also helps. Although finding a spouse that understands the long term goals is a challenge but is a great motivator.


10 to 14 hours is rough!

If you can't get motivated to turn on a computer then don't at this point. Stick to pen and paper. Get your project ideas down, add any sketches or diagrams that you have in your head now and move on to the next idea.

Get everything out of your head - do a full data dump.

Now, motivation has to come from within so look back over your projects and see if you have anything that pulls at you, something cool, something fun, something that excites you. When you are working that much during the week you really need something to help you unwind and relax during the weekend. If you find you have a project that does that for you then you have a winner, if not then at least you have everything down to come back to later. Take your time and go for a hike, go see a movie or take a nap... Or maybe even polish up your resume.

  • I agree. You're getting hell where you are now. You need to rest your head as much as possible, socialise more at weekends to give your creative juices any chance to flow. But like DKnight, I think that some casual looking around for a more congenial work environment is the real solution. This'll take some time and a good deal of "engagement" with others in and outside the IT world. But for now, you just need to relax more on weekends - and take a shower more than once a week !
    – Deek
    Jul 16, 2012 at 23:17

I'm going to be contrary (and potentially unpopular) here and say that you shouldn't try and work on your personal ideas on the weekend -- at least not right now.

Presumably, your ideas are something in the software development realm that you would to evolve into something that can financially sustain you and your family. By investing a significant amount of free-time into a personal software dev project, you will likely indirectly impact your performance on the software dev job for which you are currently being employed. These impacts could be burnout, distracted focus or fatigue. This is not necessarily fair to yourself or to your employer.

So, for now, I'd recommend jotting down your ideas in an 'ideabook' with supplemental information as appropriate. Once you get to the point that you may be ready to move on from your job, I'd revisit that 'ideabook' and see if there's anything in there you're actually willing to commit to and take a risk on. If not, then I'd close the book and come back to it some other time.

In the meantime, spend your free time playing games, reading novels, taking long walks or any other hobby that is not also your job.


Trying to think outside the box here, because I have the same problem: Tons of ideas not enough hours in the week to see them out.

Have you considered taking a "Working vacation" instead of trying to cram it into a weekend? Take some days off of work and commit yourself to making significant progress during those days off. The fact that you are using up your valuable vacation time might be enough to convince you to get your butt to work on those ideas.

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