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I got a new mobile development role about 6 months ago. I love it, the company and the people are great. I work from home too.

Previously I’d been in web development roles and grew to hate it.

I used to loving working on my own mobile projects in the past, in the evenings and at the weekend. Although the actually tech stack is different to my current day job.

I kind of needed my programming fix which I wasn’t getting during the day.

It also used to be a way to learn new skills.

I would still love to get into the exact tech stack.

I really want to get back into my own projects.

However, I just can’t motivate myself. I don’t really know why or how to resolve this.

As mentioned I also work from home, which might be an issue.

However as I have a laptop and a laptop board I used to do stuff on the sofa.

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  • 1
    Motivation comes and goes, once you have a great project idea you'll start again. Not a lot of point forcing it.
    – Kilisi
    Feb 2, 2021 at 20:32
  • 6
    Maybe you need an actual hobby instead?
    – mxyzplk
    Feb 2, 2021 at 20:53

3 Answers 3

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Get an accountability partner who is trying to do something similar. You can meet over Skype or Hangout and share each other's screen. That person doesn't even need to be a software developer. They could just be a writer trying to write their next novel.

Only focus on completing 10 minutes of coding a day. You'll probably end up doing a lot more than 10 min a day, but getting started is the hardest part and can help you start the momentum going. See Atomic Habits by James Clear or Tiny Habits by BJ Fogg.

Use the contribution graph provided by github or gitlab. Every day that you code, you get a little green square.

When you're not sure what to work on next, use Code Wars or Leetcode to do some warmup exercises. The former is much easier. The latter, Leetcode, is more difficult. Use the one that you prefer.

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  • Thanks, I like that idea. Not sure where I can find a partner. Also a Swift UI site like those, hmmm.
    – BillThomas
    Feb 2, 2021 at 21:23
  • 1
    You can post a request on craigslist, or on a local tech meetup discussion board/mailing list for your favorite technology. If the person is local to you and once the pandemic is over, you could even decide to meet at a coffee shop. Feb 2, 2021 at 22:09
1

Here's what helped me in a similar situation:

  1. Cultivate a list a small project ideas, make a habit of taking the time to regularly come up with new ideas.
  2. When you have a sizeable list, pick two projects that sound both achievable short term and exciting to you. Ideally these should also involve technology that you don't use at your job (to add some variety).
  3. Set yourself a realistic goal of working on these projects for e.g. one hour a day after work.
  4. When you feel stuck on one of them, work on the other. This is crucial because if allows you to keep building the habit of working on your personal projects without the danger of burnout or frustration because you're not making any progress.
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I would strongly encourage you to take up jogging. Get up to 15k /day (every day).

Try it and report back.

4
  • Thanks, my fitness isn’t anywhere near that level, I’m slowing trying to build up walking.
    – BillThomas
    Feb 2, 2021 at 21:32
  • Oh did you think - instead or might motivate ?
    – BillThomas
    Feb 2, 2021 at 21:35
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    Just do it. If you're at the point of can't really job, a great trick is find a (gentle) hill (say, 1-3 km long) to walk up. Walking up a gentle long hill, is absolutely perfect to get you in shape for jogging. Stand up, walk to the door, and go for it. Enjoy.
    – Fattie
    Feb 2, 2021 at 21:37
  • I do need to do more. I’ve been putting off moving up a gear. But I can try I guess. I do feel good about this.
    – BillThomas
    Feb 2, 2021 at 21:54

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