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motivation and disipline for the unmotivated & undisciplined

  • this is a thread for procrastinators, lazy people, and people with no drive, or people formerly any of the former.

    please share, not your sob stories, but anything that has ever worked for you to fix your problem. maybe a motivational fix that you forgot about, but helped you see something through to completion. please no "just do it, you gotta push yourself" type comments. i have some techniques that worked really well for me for a while, but my break is almost over so i'll post those later. [edit: added it to this post now]

    i know i said no sob stories...but go ahead and sob, sometimes it helps to see someone elsewho you assumed was motivated admit they struggle as well.

    I'm adding my reply here, I meant for it to be in the original post anyway, I just didn't have time:

    i apologize ahead of time for the walls of text, but its hard to see paragraphs on my phone.

    i have 2 really awesome techniques that work for unmotivated people

    ok, for starters, i'm not one of these fake unmotivated people who thinks they have a special trick, but doesnt really know what its like to be truly lazy, and easily distracted. i'm the most unmotivated person in the universe. i mean, i'm 29 with kids, and sometimes my bedroom has clothes all over the floor, and random papers on every desk and flat surface accumulating for weeks without me building up the motivation to fix it.

    also, between having kids, and an 11 hour a day job(including driving), i also feel like i have no time for anything.

    the two techniques i use are the 2 minute miracle, and breaking things into steps. ill say the 2 minute miracle first, in case youre not motivated enough to get through them both. each will work on its own,, but combined, they really can turn your whole getting nothing done thing around.

    the 2 minute miracle is simply this. decide a time you are going to do something, or a general time frame. its best if its right before you would normally sit down and waste sometime doing something uselesss, but enjoyable, like play video games, or read random stuff on the web.

    at that time, before you are allowed to do that, devote 120 seconds to whatever it is you need to get done. 2 minutes, thats it. after that you allow yourself any timewasting fun you wsnt. you can play games, you can take a nap, you can look at beautiful peopl, and do what it is people do when they look at beautiful people on tbe net. the miracle is that you will almost always find yourself working passed the two minutes once you get yourself started. if you dont however, dont sweat it. dont punish yourself in your mind. be glad you spent 2 diligent minutes, and try again the next day. try it for a week and get back to me... when youre hesitant to do your two minutes, remind yourself, you can do whatever you want in 120 seconds. youll be amazed how much this can change your life.

    the next technique is breaking things into steps...now to be honest i think the first time i got thiss to work, the actual breaking into steps was done in a 2 minute miracle. all this is, is writing down everything you have to do in a large project, in broad terms, like, draw characters, make fighting events work, etc. then break it down into further steps, like if you have 20 characters to draw, break it down into each character, and if they are bones based characters, you cna even break it down into individual limbs. write them down, so you can cross them out, or put em in notepad, save it, and erase the ones you finish.like i said, you can do just this activity as your first set of 2 minute miracles... its not important to break everything down into each tiny step, just into steps you can picture yourself accomplishing in one sitting, also, its important to try to get as many " next" steps in as you can, meaning, things you dont have to finish other steps for before you can start on them...

    now when you sit down to do something, instead of being overwhelmed by this huge project, you can decide on a single step your in the mood for, or one you dont mind doing at the time. also put down, " break next section into steps" down everytime you havent finished breaking down your whole project, or youll find yourself forgetting how you got so far, and back to being overwhelmed again when you finish the steps you wrote...it also makes for an easy activity to choose on a particularly lazy day.

    the two minute miracle will also help you learn to sit down and get started quickly, even if at first you usually waste your 2 minutess being distracted. combined with having a list of things to get started on,, like i said, youll be amazed.

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  • Utter failure reporting! Haven't made any games in months now, been writing but scrapping all drafts. All I can do is be a smart ass on some forums.

  • Damn, I was hoping to FIND some tips here, not have to try and think of some xD

    I get so busy, I have to be in the right mood to work on anything... usually it helps to get me "into" it if I have done something else creative or fun during the day. I guess that can lead to inspiration which, for me, turns into motivation... especially on the creative side of things.

    Failing all that, I get really drunk and hope for the best... which usually isn't very good. xD

    ~Sol

  • i apologize ahead of time for the walls of text, but its hard to see paragraphs on my phone.

    i have 2 really awesome techniques that work for unmotivated people

    ok, for starters, i'm not one of these fake unmotivated people who thinks they have a special trick, but doesnt really know what its like to be truly lazy, and easily distracted. i'm the most unmotivated person in the universe. i mean, i'm 29 with kids, and sometimes my bedroom has clothes all over the floor, and random papers on every desk and flat surface accumulating for weeks without me building up the motivation to fix it.

    also, between having kids, and an 11 hour a day job(including driving), i also feel like i have no time for anything.

    the two techniques i use are the 2 minute miracle, and breaking things into steps. ill say the 2 minute miracle first, in case youre not motivated enough to get through them both. each will work on its own,, but combined, they really can turn your whole getting nothing done thing around.

    the 2 minute miracle is simply this. decide a time you are going to do something, or a general time frame. its best if its right before you would normally sit down and waste sometime doing something uselesss, but enjoyable, like play video games, or read random stuff on the web.

    at that time, before you are allowed to do that, devote 120 seconds to whatever it is you need to get done. 2 minutes, thats it. after that you allow yourself any timewasting fun you wsnt. you can play games, you can take a nap, you can look at beautiful peopl, and do what it is people do when they look at beautiful people on tbe net. the miracle is that you will almost always find yourself working passed the two minutes once you get yourself started. if you dont however, dont sweat it. dont punish yourself in your mind. be glad you spent 2 diligent minutes, and try again the next day. try it for a week and get back to me... when youre hesitant to do your two minutes, remind yourself, you can do whatever you want in 120 seconds. youll be amazed how much this can change your life.

    the next technique is breaking things into steps...now to be honest i think the first time i got thiss to work, the actual breaking into steps was done in a 2 minute miracle. all this is, is writing down everything you have to do in a large project, in broad terms, like, draw characters, make fighting events work, etc. then break it down into further steps, like if you have 20 characters to draw, break it down into each character, and if they are bones based characters, you cna even break it down into individual limbs. write them down, so you can cross them out, or put em in notepad, save it, and erase the ones you finish.like i said, you can do just this activity as your first set of 2 minute miracles... its not important to break everything down into each tiny step, just into steps you can picture yourself accomplishing in one sitting, also, its important to try to get as many " next" steps in as you can, meaning, things you dont have to finish other steps for before you can start on them...

    now when you sit down to do something, instead of being overwhelmed by this huge project, you can decide on a single step your in the mood for, or one you dont mind doing at the time. also put down, " break next section into steps" down everytime you havent finished breaking down your whole project, or youll find yourself forgetting how you got so far, and back to being overwhelmed again when you finish the steps you wrote...it also makes for an easy activity to choose on a particularly lazy day.

    the two minute miracle will also help you learn to sit down and get started quickly, even if at first you usually waste your 2 minutess being distracted. combined with having a list of things to get started on,, like i said, youll be amazed.

  • I might try that 2 minute thing lucid, seems good.

    Usually if I'm unmotivated I'll do some exercise or walk away and think about something else then come back to it.

  • After a can of Red Bull I can do anything for about an hour and a half.

  • I find if a project is getting to be tiring it is sometimes a good idea to start working on smaller mini-projects.

    I know this may sound like a bad idea, but it lets you keep your mind on making games (or whatever) and it provides an escape from the project.

    If you work back and forth from one to the other it breaks up the monotony.

    (* WARNING: Please concentrate on the first project more than the other(s), or this will be no different from giving up on that project )

    In the end you may even find you got two games done by your deadline (happened to me twice . )

  • Usually to motivate myself I must boost my emotional state and in a hour I will be in relevant condition. So...watching some emotional scenes (like this) are amongst the best instruments for me.

    If you have low resolution monitor - please, enable "fit to width" option in your browser.

    <img src="http://i28.tinypic.com/dopfmd.jpg">

    <img src="http://i30.tinypic.com/2lxcz2q.jpg">

    <img src="http://i25.tinypic.com/2dma7tl.jpg">

    <img src="http://i27.tinypic.com/24zlija.jpg">

  • Hmm, now that I remember, I am the most creative and motivated whenever I am walking somewhere. Long walks usually produce the most 'creative energy'.

    Which usually evaporates as soon as I sit down and check forums or stuff.

  • walking makes your body oxygenate your blood, which goes into your brain.

    So, whenever I lose INSPIRATION, I go for a walk.

    Whenever I lose MOTIVATION.... well that one is harder, but without inspiration I usually lose motivation.

    I'll try the 2 minute thing... like right now.

    for game motivation I sometimes watch movies that make me want to do a nice game. Like The Matrix, or Jumper (inspiration for my teleporting stuff), or dunno, gamey movies.

  • Lol, a thread for the unmotivated got posts. Wait..that means, this thread is actually..procrastination!

    If you're REALLY sure about your project, but just need the umph to get it going, outside pressure has worked for me. I involved my nephews/nieces in a game project, having them draw the characters background or objects. They hounded me with "did you bring my game?" "is it done?" "can I take it to daycare?" until I finished it for them.

    I find I do that splitting things up stuff too, just not in a planned way. Like cutting the grass, I'll mow off a section then knock it out. People have actually stopped to comment on my odd patterns, but it just tricks the brain in to saying "Oh look, you've only got this much left until you can move on." I'll give it a try with the game stuff soon..maybe..if I feel like it

  • best motivation for story writing is "Bubble maps", its stupid i know and the younger folks on the website might not enjoy it, but that and brainstorming DURING your bubble map session works every time. its the basics of all writing

  • You mean mind mapping, like with Freemind?

    I have used freemind for my �berproject, and the program is really simple and usefull. However, i still can't really decide where to start. And the graphics part is really pulling me down. My problem is that i suck at graphics (not really suck, but i'm not as good as i would like to be) so I'm trying to make the engine without graphics and add the graphics when everything is finnished. This is really hard to do, since you can't really see your progress, and it feels like you're getting nowhere.

  • hey guys. I finally solved this problem, for myself at least, and the vast lifechanging life changes that have changed my life have been lifechanging.

    Now I still get distracted here and there, but no exaggeration, I'm on track to reach a milestone in my project that was originally projected for around october/november, and I think I will reach this milestone before I go to bed tonight. I only discovered this different way of working a few weeks ago.

    it's very simple, so it might not help some of you, unless you have severe issues with organization and distraction, but it's made a big difference for me, so just wanted to share.

    The first is organization. Wait wait....I get it. when you're disorganized, you're disorganized, there's just no way around it. everything is always a mess, and no matter what you try from sticky notes, to wall charts always fails, because you don't stick with it, you forget about it, and half the time, it's so annoying trying to be organized, you just get distracted from that too. And in actuality, you just kindof feel like you're going through the motions anyway...

    The solution? Software. Find a piece of software that lets you organize. I've been using Assembla.com. there's a small fee($9/month) for using their project planner (which is an Agile Planner), but there are plenty of free ones out there, it's just this one comes with an SVN for managing source code, and bug and feature tracking, and I wanted that as well.

    what's important tho, is that the software you choose let you EASILY move stuff around, add stuff, delete it, and most importantly, break it into smaller bits, for instance:

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1013446/assembla.JPG

    at first I just put in the 3 major parts of the first major project milestone, the 2d engine, the procedural stuff, and the editor specific stuff, then under those I added all the things that needed doing. it turned out to be much less than I was always panicking about.

    but that's when the magic started happening...when I started programming, and suddenly I'd realize something else that I had forgotten I needed to do, or discovered a bug that I'd need to fix later, instead of just getting crazy overwhelmed and entering distraction zone, I'd just add it to the list of things to do in the appropriate spot. I can't emphasize enough how much this changed everything for me. first, my project just seemed to shrink overnight, instead of a million things to do, I realized it really wasn't that much. but more importantly, it was literally lifechanging. I'm just happier in general now. may seem silly, but I guess all those random worries about the project. when it just seemed like there were too many glitches to keep track of, or features I'd periodically remember...it was all weighing on me at all times, even when I didn't realize it was in the back of my mind. I can think more clearly, and I can even hang with GladOS and Mileena from time to time without feeling guilty, like I'm wasting time when I should be laying the next brick for the Tower of Babel. so...let's review, planning SOFTWARE, not paper, if you have problems with organization, paper will get lost, it will get messy, and if you need to add some steps in between two others, it will be messier. Make sure it lets you edit and divide things with little or no effort, and make sure it feels natural.

    And second, minor, simple, BUT ESSENTIAL!!! I unplugged the internet. I always heard, if you get distracted, eliminate the distractions...but all my distractions were right here at my pc?!!?

    so I unplug the internet from the back of my PC. it's kindof a pain to go down there and plug it in everytime you want to be distracted, but more importantly, it showed me just how quickly and out of the blue I get distracted...I mean...no exaggeration. it was like this:

    ok...hmmm...so, it crashes here at this code...we have

    selectedbones[0]->animation==... and then BLAM right there in midthought, I see my browser opened up, with the CHECK YOUR CONNECTION message. I swear, I didn't even make a conscious decision to open it. but now, instead of just realizing I got distracted somewhere 45 minutes into lurking in scirra chat, looking at pony pictures, and reading random blogs, I immediately had a decision to make. Do I connect the internet in order to proceed with this compulsive madness? or do I continue my work? now instead of a helpless thing being distracted without knowing it, it's like a popup window

    [quote:1ej1ghp9]Distraction Firewall has prevented Firefox from using your internet connection

    Allow Block

    and I have a choice in the matter.

    these two simple steps have taken about a year off my project. and they've been consistently working almost a month now, where pretty much every time I sit down to work, I get something done in one or two nights that would have taken me weeks to complete before...

    hope this helps someone, and if not....at least writing it was a nice distraction...

    jk

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