Sérgio Lopes Sakabatō, the reversed blog!

How does one keep the motivation?31 Mar 2014

How can we, working as freelancers or in the traditional arrangement, keep the will to get out of bed and jump to work? Lately I’ve found myself lacking any energy to do my work and just entered a state of automation: I get up from bed, prepare my day and start working until it is time to stop.

Those who know me (a rare thing to find I must confess) will know that I embrace the projects I like with all my strength and I can keep working, fully motivated, for as long as the project needs. As long I like and believe in the project I will keep finding new interesting things to do, even in those mind numbing tasks that no other developer wants to do. But how can I keep that when I loose sight of the project and start feeling as an outsider?

What drives me in a project is not always the same thing, nor is it a novel feature or fantastic new tech to change the world, it depends, but one thing I always need to have is the feeling of belonging to the project, of being part of the team, of discussing stuff and learning with the rest of those around me (even if they are in the other side of the globe) and once that is gone it gets harder to enjoy the work.

Today I got an e-mail that brought to light this lack of enjoyment I have been trying hard to ignore. At the end of the day I looked back and felt I did nothing I liked or wanted. This was my day:

  • Got up, prepare the week, decide task priority, look at what to do during the rest of the day, usual Monday stuff;
  • The day was rainy so no walk outside, just waiting for the weekly meeting;
  • Had the meeting, done in 15min, started working by adjusting the project planning and doing some “maintenance”;
  • Worked till lunch time, had a quick lunch, got back to work;
  • Prepared to close the day, wrote down all the times I spent, double checked to see what I wanted to include;
  • Realised I had worked 8 hours and hadn’t enjoyed a single minute!

Now I need to find my motivation again, else these are going to be long days and won’t end well.