I am unmotivated.
The thing about motivation is that some days it’s just cleaned out. I find myself sitting in front of Tumblr with no motivation to share anything. I almost just took a picture of Hotline Miami (argh to the controls), but then I thought “Why not talk a bit about being unmotivated?”
There are probably plenty of reasons why we lose motivation. For me today, it’s because today has been a long long LONG day, and I just don’t have it in me to stare at a computer screen. Other days, I’m being drawn towards something (like a comic or a TV show) that demands more attention than doing something productive. These are all frustrating, in all honesty, but they can be overcome. More or less.
I’ll share some of my favorite techniques for re-motivating.
First is to walk away. Sometimes I dive into things too far for too long, and my eyes start to bleed due to too much focus (not literally, of course; though when working on a computer, it feels like this). I just need to get up and walk away. Sometimes that means doing something entirely different, and sometimes it just means closing my eyes or starting out a window for a moment.
Another is to make a list. It’s pretty common for me to lose motivation because I have too much to do, and not a clear enough picture on how to do it. So I make a list, and I figure out what the smallest thing on that list is, and I do that thing. Which brings me to my next tip…
Make something else. Come up with a tiny project you know you can get done - sketch some eyes, crochet a mitten, etc. It can be a really good boost to my ego to just finish something, even if it’s not the thing I’m spending most of my time on.
Play! Whatever your idea/project is, pick a part of it, and just play with it! For example, let’s say I’m working on a game mechanic. I’ll do it, then I’ll think “What else can I do with this?” And I look at how it might operate if I add a little something to it. Or what if I take something away from it? What if I remove the restrictions I’ve imposed?
Another is to listen to people I find inspiring. I usually find this through TED Talks, YouTube interviews with any of my favorite personalities (CM Punk and Jonathan Blow are making the rounds in my brain right now), podcasts, etc. Music works too sometimes, but not as often. Unless it’s an album that I really dig!
I have a lot more techniques for motivation, but my personal favorite is to just get passionate about the thing you’re working on! Maybe this is a little silly, or maybe it’s just oversimplified, but I find it incredibly difficult to work on a thing that I don’t feel passionate about. I can probably still do it, but if I’m not 100% invested, then it’s difficult to sink too much time into it. If it’s fun, I can usually spend more time on that, but it can be hard to spend more than a couple weeks on a project I’m not passionate about. In fact, I usually walk away from projects like that.
So yeah, hopefully that’s helpful to someone. And by the way, I’m not proofreading this. I am invoking the secret motivation technique I didn’t mention above, which is “stop doing stuff, and come back tomorrow” (which actually works far more often than you might think) :-)