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General Discussion

Demotivated, how can I overcome this issue?

Hi all,

Im my aim here is to learn everything i need to know to be able to become a wordpress theme developer but i keep hitting issues. This demotivates me and i end up giving up for a day or two and i end up doing something else like playing Xbox or something. This isn't good as it is making my progress slow. www.dan-croft.com/fruition this is what i am currently working on and im just not happy with how its going at all.

What do you guys do when you feel demotivated, what makes you carry on

8 Answers

Spen Taylor
Spen Taylor
13,027 Points

Ice Cream.....

But seriously, when I hit a wall with something and have absolutely had enough, I tend to do the same - xbox! but lately I've just tried to focus on a different project for a day or too, or a different topic - keeps you productive but gives your mind a rest from whatever issue you've been struggling with.

Last week I had a PHP issue that took me 4 days to nail - I swear I could feel my brain hurting by the 3rd day so I took a rest and worked on the site I'm building for my dad's 'business'. I went back to the original project on day 4 and nailed the code!

There definitely comes a time when you need to rest or else you'll burn out, but rest doesn't always have to mean less productivity!

Unfortunately im not days on an issue before i give up its more like an hour or two then im like meh! this is a really bad trait i seem to have. You think its a good idea to be working on more then one project at once then?

Spen Taylor
Spen Taylor
13,027 Points

In a way I do, just so that if I get tired of one I can focus on another, although in practice its probabily not the most efficient way to get something done!

The project for my dad is only a small, relatively easy one compaired to the one for my own business so it plays in nicely as something to do when I can't bare to spend more time with my own. I'd imagine working on two big projects at once would be much more difficult.

If you don't want to be working on more than one project, you could just take a break by starting some tutorials that cover a different language, or that don't focus on languages at all, like the illustrator foundations or user experience. Again gives you a break from what your stuck on but keeps you learning something relavent

Thanks food the good advice, Ill see if i can stick to doing something like this without giving in to temptation and playing on Xbox ^^ which will be increasingly difficult at the end of this year with all the new titles and consoles >.<

Spen Taylor
Spen Taylor
13,027 Points

Haha true that! I learnt my lesson when I pretty much failed a year of my degree when MW2 came out! Control is the key ;D

Greg Jones
Greg Jones
7,451 Points

I try to remember that I have debt to pay.

Write down your goals in life and find what you need to do to get you there. For me it's paying my debt from college so that I can start a family and buy a house, so I'm constantly looking to increase my professional skills. It's hard to stay motivated at something it isn't working towards a passion/goal.

I'm sure you'd have an easier time sticking to something if it had deep rooted purpose :)

I hate my day to day job with a passion right now im dreading going back tomorrow it makes me depressed thinking about it. Ive always done websites as a hobby but now i want to go into it as a profession as ill be 24 next week i need to make this change sooner rather then later. Some may say im still young but i feel time is passing by too quick and im not getting anywhere. so i guessing my purpose is to earn an income via something that ill love rather then something that depresses me.

Greg Jones
Greg Jones
7,451 Points

One thing I've seen a lot and have come to agree with, is find a way to be held accountable. Try to get someone else involved if you have a side project. For me, my side project is to make my mom a website for her photography hobby. I'm trying to help get her certain website features that could give her the chance to turn this into a profession. It's a hell of a lot easier to keep working on it when she is breathing down my neck to get this done for her. If it was for myself, I'd no doubt have stopped a long time ago. Consider doing a side project for someone else, or maybe find some way to get someone else to hold you accountable when you aren't working on it.

Also, you might want to consider making it harder to play the games if you are having trouble staying on task. Maybe unplug the system whenever you shut it off. Anything that will make it annoying to start back up might keep you from just starting it back up :P

That works in reverse too though. I bought a Herman Miller Aeron cause I knew it was the one thing that could keep me in front of my computer. If keeping me in front of a computer is my priority, then investing in an Aeron is worth it.

Find what you can do to make you more motivated to get in front of the computer, and what will keep you from starting the games up! Make sure to keep those goals handy too.

Soooo... i just Googled "Herman Miller Aeron" no sure what it was and yikes! that's an investment! Ive been meaning to do a website for my dads company for god knows how many years, I always get to the same stage start designing it... dont like it.... delete it.... I dont wanna move my console :( i dont think its that bigger issue the bigger issues are Facebook and twitter!! i really need to somehow ban my self from those sites i don't really post on them i just mindlessly read peoples boring posts. I can name my issues but seem to be too weak to do anything about them. I think as issue is i dont do much other then stuff involving my computer i think i need to set aside time to do other things hobbies etc that don't involve technology at all so i kinda feel fresh when i come back to it, I'm not sure.

James Barnett
James Barnett
39,199 Points

Fun unrelated fact, one of the designer's of Herman Miller's web site @ricardodiaz is actually a Treehouse student

http://blog.teamtreehouse.com/deans-list-ricardo-diaz

If you use Firefox, you can block time-wasting websites with this Add-on : https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/leechblock/

Greg Jones
Greg Jones
7,451 Points

I understood what I was getting into with the aeron. We use them at work. I wouldn't suggest diving into something like that without understanding it quite well first.

Sounds like you're getting too close with the website for his company. One thing I tell our other developers a lot is, "Make it work, then make it pretty." You might benefit from an interative development on the site. Get something into existence first, even if you think it's bad. Then start working on improving it. You aren't going to go start from A to Z without a few stops along the way :)

If you don't mind some reading along the way, I'd suggest reading 'Your Brain at Work' by David Rock. It helped me realize a lot of obstacles that were getting in my way. I'd also suggest just deleting the Facebook if it's that much of an issue for you. I did and I haven't looked back. Maybe even just post to twitter, not look at the feeds?

You can always say you're too weak to do something. But you can just as easily disable/delete your account. Think of it as starting a new adventure if you need. I know I appreciate whats around me a lot more when I don't think of what Sussy or Billy are doing with their day.

Greg Jones
Greg Jones
7,451 Points

meant as a reply to your reply. forums might be short of some niceties though for managing a post that has already been made, so just assume this belongs under our previous chain.

Yeah i might try it that way just make a basic site that works then over months just keep building upon it when i got spare time to do so. Im tempted to try reading a book im not really into reading books never ever finished one if im honest I guess i can find this book on good old amazon :P Facebook yes i could delete it but i like to keep up to date with things >.<

There is a Firefox extension that allows you to block access to certain websites during certain times (e.g. 9-5, etc). Might be worth looking into, if only to help you focus during "work time".

Might be worth looking at but if its easy to turn off of remove i might find my self doing that far to easily >.<

They say that in learning stock market trading, practicing with paper money only teaches so much. It's hard to learn how to manage emotions unless real money is involved, unfortunately.

I think the same can be said about learning to write websites. These days my motivation is seeing my bank account total draining away because I still haven't learned enough for people to pay me for writing a website.

That whole --if you treat it like a hobby it will remain no more than a hobby-- thing.

Yeh i know i need to look at it as more of a job but something when hobbys become jobs they become less fun :(

Chase Lee
Chase Lee
29,275 Points

If you have passion for this you'll go through it very easily.

But if you don't then finding a project to do will help, when you want to add something to it that you don't know how to do, you find it and learn it.

Another thing is balance in learning these things.

If you just keep on trying to do something that's harder to wrap your head around then take a break and learn something else that's easier or just less boring than what your doing right now,(that dosen't mean that it will be less boring all the time), cause if you don't then your head will explode!

Basically just try a bunch of different things and find what fits you.

Yeh im tempted to look at that code racer course (http://teamtreehouse.com/library/code-racer) just as something fun to do. Im more of a designer naturally but i want to learn more skills so its easier to understand whats possible and what isnt plus i want to be able to do more without relighting on other people. I going to start setting my self more short term goals i think.

Brendan O'Brien
Brendan O'Brien
9,066 Points

Daniel Croft-Bednarski, you story sounds similar to mine in so many ways. One good thing is that you are on the right track. Understanding what your distractions are and what motivates you is a big help. I often spend hours mindlessly looking through Google+ or facebook and not even realise it until a couple hours went by. One way around this is I've set myself a timer.

So I set the timer for 45 minutes and I work for that length of time. Maybe it's a project or watching some treehouse lessons, or practicing drawing, or working on a tutorial. Once the 45 minutes is up I set it again for 15 minutes. I then have 15 minutes to check my email, get a snack, check Facebook. Whatever. The trick is having a time limit. Once the timer goes I set it for another 45 and get back to work.

It doesn't always work. Today I haven't been setting it and I've wasted most of the day. But now after seeing your post and talking about it I'm going to set it :)

Good luck with your adventure.

David Mazza
David Mazza
1,253 Points

This happens to me all the time. I want to work on some app functionality, but it is less important than a bunch of other stuff I need to do first.

Instead of worrying about the frustrations you have with wordpress, try designing a static HTML/CSS page just for fun. Maybe even pretend it is a blog. You could even delete it at the end of the day. All that matters is that you exercised your design muscle, which is totally separate from your Wordpress skills.

Avoid getting bogged down in problems that you don't need to deal with just to get some practice.

Timothy Boland
Timothy Boland
18,237 Points

I tend to go for a drive or a walk to clear my head and think about the problem in a different environment then where the problem exists. Surprisingly this helps alot; for some reason, I can think outside of the box when im not staring at the problem at my desk.