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Ask HN: How do you guys stay motivated if you don’t feel like working?
23 points by tomklein 11 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 11 comments





Depends upon the driving factor, for work most of us have to pay bills so the requirement for hard cash is pretty strong motivator! That's even more true if you have any dependents like kids. You may have to simply do something you hate short term just get by, all the time make sure you're on the lookout for what it is that you truly want to do. Short term could be days, weeks, months or even years. I'm working a job I don't like but it pays really well, so I've got a 5 year plan to work towards, saving my money, getting money off my hobby so I can hopefully quit my job in a few years time. All the time I'm learning what I need in place when the day finally comes, that's my motivation to keep going that target I've set in the distance. It's doable, it's damned hard to get to but it'll be worth it if i can keep going.

If it's motivation for a personal project, that's far more personal and the first thing is to make sure that the rest of your life is together to give you to the environment you need to get your personal projects done. I'm working on my second book right now, my first did really well but I've lost all the drive to do anything with the second one. The first one burnt me out completely, so I'm trying put things around me that will get me in the right frame of mind and wait for the spark of creativity to light and then I can get it finished.


Usually, when I reach a stage like this it means I need to take a break long enough to feel healthy enough to work or meet with a psych to deal with a relapse of depression.

One thing I definitely did wrong was not taking a 4-6month break after college to really decide what I wanted to do and de-stress. After leaving a FAANG about two years after graduation I did this out of desperation and cannot describe the positive effect on my work ethic and mental state after basically not doing anything productive for 5-6months.

This might be a common trait with those who have ADHD but I usually find that the only way to de-stress is to simply remove all forms of taxing sensory input or work for at least 3-4 weeks.


By reminding myself why I started it.

Talking to my close friends helps me retrospect what made me loose motivation in what I started.

Sometimes just by pulling out all my will power to do same non motivated task for 20mins brings back all the momentum needed to get me going.


What is the most important step one can take? It is not the first, it is the next.

When there is a task that you are faced with that you don't like, attempt to rephrase how you look at it. Instead of saying, "I don't want to $foo," say, "I want/need to do $foo so I can $bar." When you approach tasks by looking at the benefits you appreciate, it becomes easier to take the next step in that task. Or it might reveal that you shouldn't be doing a given task!


My next paycheck.

The less motivated I am, the bigger that paycheck needs to be.


Little incremental wins. That’s what keeps me going. But sometimes you gotta take a break and re-evaluate. Don’t work all the time. It’s okay to chill and relax.

I smoke a joint and the work gets less boring. And also, I spent the money well so I enjoy what the work provides me.

Adderall. I said it.

I know there's going to be a hoard of people who show up and provide countless documents and studies indicating that "nobody needs these stimulants it's just a fad". However, as someone who's been diagnosed by multiple neuropsychologists I can, with near 100% certainty, say that I'm three times as productive and steady (able to keep a consistent train of thought and tasks) while using Adderall and generally attribute my horrible GPA in college to a late ADHD diagnosis at age 20.

I've talked to my primary care doc and he's shared stories of patients in their thirties brought to tears after seeing what they could have been capable of by "giving in" to the use of stimulants day-to-day or at work.

In our industry the medical use of stimulants has no reason to be stigmatized.


How much and how often do you take? I think you need to create a base level of "just do it" yourself before relying on it.

Usually once a week or two is plenty to keep the flow going.


Any side effects?



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