‘Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.’ Winston Churchill
Oh, joy…yep, it’s motivation slump tiiiiime! The motivation slump often happens in conjunction with the questioning the legacy project phase – just to make your life that much more interesting.
The motivation slump is the worst part of working on a legacy project. It makes running out of other types of resources almost bearable. You can very clearly see that you are standing in your own way, but you feel that there is nothing you can do about it. It’s like someone has put you in an iron cast and you simply can’t make a move. Ah, well, at least not on your project. When it comes to surfing the internet, chatting to friends, counting the grains of rice in your cupboard – you name it, almost everything else in the world sounds more fun than working on your legacy project. Oh yeah, and having to dig even deeper into resources you don’t have in order to buy food to keep working on your project, or rather watch yourself not working on the project, makes things even more delightful.
The motivation slump will be there, so it’s a matter of recognising when you’ve hit the slump and knowing how to get out of it.
What I’ve found really helps getting out of the slump is using the procrastination associated with it as leverage. If you’d rather clean the house than work on your legacy project, then clean the house. In fact, approach it even more systematically than that: make a list of things that need doing anyway, that you’d rather do instead of working on your legacy project. And then do them, one by one. It does not lead to progress with the legacy project itself, but at least it removes some of the other things burdening you and makes you feel better about yourself.
Feeling better about yourself is half the battle in terms of getting out of the motivation slump. I’ve found that once I’m halfway down my list, I can get back to working on my legacy project for a few more days, until the next slump kicks in.
What, did you think there would be just one slump? Well, it depends how big your legacy project is, but if it is longer than one year expect lots and lots of slumps. But here’s the good news: by the time you get your first big legacy project to completion, you will be perfectly equipped to deal with motivation slumps on your next projects. You see? There are ways to get out of the slump. It’s just a matter of practice.
The time is now.
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