Unintentionally Blank

Phil Nash on the Internet, Web Standards and Accessibility


Feb 26, 2007

by Phil Nash

I have never been any good at motivating myself. My university days were filled with lazing around followed by all night rushes to get the work in. Back in school a free period or breaktime before a lesson was enough time to finish the homework or revise for the test. My first teacher, when I was 5, said that I'd do very well if I could always have someone behind me telling me to work and she doesn't know how right she was.

In spite of this, I'm not doing bad for myself at the moment. I'm comfortable, but I think it may be too comfortable. You may have noticed a drop in the posting towards the end of last week and you probably assumed that I was working on something to blog about or busying myself doing something else important. I wasn't.

Staring At The Screen

Sure, I was at my computer, I was checking my emails, reading the feeds I subscribe to, thinking about the things I wanted to do. I never got around to doing any of them and this is now starting to annoy me.

I use the Google personalised homepage and have added the To-Do list to my main tab, but it isn't helping, it currently catalogues a list of things I still haven't done.

Turning It Around

What's the point of a to-do list if it doesn't encourage you to do things? This is the idea of Wendy's Motivation Monday. Post a list of things you need to do and, if you're feeling brave, set a penalty for not completing the tasks. I found this through Char and her first go at this and the crossed off aims show how hard this is. Not that it is not worth it, of course, in fact a failure or two should only strengthen the resolve and encourage you to try harder next time.

I don't want to do it exactly like Wendy, not just because, as I type this, there is only 19 minutes left of Monday and challenging myself to anything more than finish this post and go to bed would be ridiculous. I have a few big ideas that I need to schedule for myself, and maybe a bit of self imposed pressure will help. I don't really have the means to promise to pay out on failure of any task, however I do expect anyone who has read this to check up on me and post disapproving comments if I do miss out. There's nothing worse than disappointing people, so make me feel really bad if I don't manage this, please!

The Week's Aims

  • Tomorrow I must have a go at throwing some code together and putting something into Aaron Brazell's Wordpress custom fields contest. I have had a killer idea for ages and just not done anything about it, Wednesday is the deadline and if I miss this I will kick myself for losing the chance to prove to myself, as well as others, what I am capable of.
  • I am going to come up with an up to date CV and apply for some jobs. I am getting too comfortable in my current job and it's not what I want to be doing, so I've got to get out of the comfort zone and into the real world. Got to do this on Wednesday.
  • I am going to redesign my band's site, including integrating it into a proper blogging solution. For far too long we have relied on importing a blogger feed and now I know what I'm doing with Wordpress I am going to break out of the easy option. My aim is to be nearly there with a design and implementation by the end of the week.

So now you know what my aims are, can you help to keep me focused? Do you have a problem motivating yourself or a better solution than this?

You know what is ironic? I could have been doing any of the above instead of writing this. Don't worry, I'll motivate myself tomorrow.

Unintentionally Blank is Phil Nash's thoughts on web development from 2006-2008. Any code or opinions may be out of date.