Time or Motivation Poor?

So I have this project that I'm doing for my own interest and I constantly find myself getting nowhere with it.  I've done plenty of design work and I have my schemas and stories sketched all over the pages of a notebook, but there's nothing really tangible electronically yet.

The most common excuse I give myself is lack of time, but I don't think that's really true.  After all, I have tons of design work done and you'd think that'd be the boring part right?  I think the problem is lining up spare time, motivation, and resources.

Spare time exists in snippets everywhere.  When I'm on the bus, in a particularly boring lecture, at home after work, etc.  Motivation is more fleeting.  Sometimes I'm really keen to get into this project, other times it's the furthest thing from my mind.  Finally, resources are either available or they're not.  I haven't had a laptop for a while, so I intended to develop mainly from home.  I've borrowed a laptop, but I don't want to fill it with all my development tools.  Having said that, I'm doing it in php and I don't need much of an IDE to cut code.  I could probably get some meaningful stuff done in notepad if need be.  Testing? That's harder, particularly as I'd need a database running and a php web server.

So you see that even though I'm motivated more often than not, those three things don't always line up well.  I don't often have much motivation when I get home from work, even though I have time and resources.  When I'm sitting in a boring lecture, I've got plenty of motivation and time, but I don't have the resources.  You get the picture.

So, how do I change this?  Well you'll be pleased to know I have a plan:

  1. I bought a laptop.  It'll arrive in about a week.  It's powerful and I can put whatever the hell I want on that thing so you can rest assured it'll be running all the dev tools I want.
  2. Portable Apps.  I rediscovered these when I was thinking about how I could improve the situation.  If a computer is available, I can spin up a full WAMP stack as well as GIMP, Notepad++, and FileZilla.
  3. Target deadlines.  I have them.  And work breakdowns, heirarchical todo lists and all that stuff.  I'm organised.
So hopefully that'll help.  Too many people know about this project for it to go down in flames.  And I wouldn't want to disappoint myself either.

Damian Brady

I'm an Australian developer, speaker, and author specialising in DevOps, MLOps, developer process, and software architecture. I love Azure DevOps, GitHub Actions, and reducing process waste.