Barbarian Meets Coding

WebDev, UX & a Pinch of Fantasy

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How To Stay Motivated When You're Not Feeling It And Some Other Things

Yet another week gone by and January, and winter, will soon be gone. Yey! Spring is coming!

I’ve spent most of this week writing my new book. It is coming along real good, and I’m really happy with the shape it is slowly taking. But there’s been a lot of hiccups for the past couple of weeks.

As it often happens with any (side)project, sooner or later, enthusiasm wanes, and what used to be exciting and fun starts becoming a drag. This will often manifest as tiredness, difficulty to focus, a strong tendency to procrastination and a nagging feeling of lost opportunity as you slowly recount in your head all the other things and projects you could be pursuing with your time.

In my experience, there’s two ways to break this evil cycle:

  1. Visualization
  2. Just doing the thing even when you don’t feel like


The thing that helps me the most to break away from the shackles of apathy is the practice of visualization. Whenever I start losing faith I visualize (imagine) how awesome the attained goal is going to look like and that gives me the energy, motivation and enthusiasm to keep creating. I don’t compromise nor am I realistic when visualizing. I just let my imagination go and think about the most awesome outcome. In this case I imagine a beautiful leather bound book completely finished, with lots of great and clear imparted knowledge, entertaining and delightful prose, gorgeous images and illustrations. I imagine a reader thoroughly enjoying the book and even laughing once or twice as they read and learn the intricacies of Vim.

Just Do It

The second thing that helps me a lot is just doing it. It is such a cliché but it is useful. It works. Whenever I recognize the signs of me procrastinating or being too distracted I push myself to just, fracking, do it. Perhaps the creative output won’t be stellar, but I’ll push the project forward.

The most pernicious aspect of procrastination is that it can become a habit. We don’t just put off our lives today; we put them off till our deathbed.

Never forget: This very moment, we can change our lives. There never was a moment, and never will be, when we are without the power to alter our destiny. This second we can turn the tables on Resistance.

This second, we can sit down and do our work. Steve Pressfield - The War of Art

We often underestimate how much we can get done with small consistent effort over time. But that’s how I’ve learnt lots of things, written numerous articles and published 2 books. Putting a little effort in a consistent way over long periods of time produces awesome results.

Then there’s also self-criticism, that little voice in your head that never forgets to remind you how much you suck. I just don’t listen to that one. Remind yourself that you are not your thoughts. Create some distance between yourself and the thoughts that pop in and out of your mind from time to time and you’ll live a better and happier life.

“Are you paralyzed with fear? That’s a good sign. Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember one rule of thumb: the more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.” Steve Pressfield - The War of Art

What more did I do this week?

  • I wrote something on my blog but not much…
  • Go a new split ergonomic keyboard to alleviate my wrist pain. Really, really nice!
  • I have been applying some of the tricks from Atomic Habits like habit stacking, habit streaks, increasing/decreasing friction to great success. I must write an article on that.
  • Noticed Tweetdeck supports some Vim bindings. Their keyboard story is really nice! If you like Vim and Tweetdeck you should try them out
  • I read some interesting reads…
    • The Mastering Vim book by a colleague from Google Ruslan Osipov. It is shaping out to be a very good holistic book about Vim that includes everything you need to know about Vim from basics to setting up a modern development environments with plugins and such.
    • Using Vim in an IDE is a great article about Vim that narrates a very similar experience to how I discovered and started using Vim. In this case, Kevin Krazer shares his story of how Vim has enhanced his development skills when used as the IdeaVim plugin inside WebStorm. In my origin story it was Visual Studio and VsVim. Potato Potato.
    • What it is like to be a woman in tech by Chloe Condon is a crazy, stranger than fiction story of how tough it is to be a woman in tech. Important read.
    • A thought provoking piece on Wired about the recent #10YearChallenge meme
  • And listened to
    • The Colour Of Magic which is just amazingly awesome. The book is genious, and the performance of the narrator is out of this world. Thoroughly enjoying this re-reading (first time listening) of the first book in the Discworld series. All of this came of of someone in making a play at Discworld and me realizing that it was the perfect vibe for Wizards Use Vim.
  • And watched

Until next week! Take care and be Awesome!

Jaime González García

Written by Jaime González García , dad, husband, software engineer, ux designer, amateur pixel artist, tinkerer and master of the arcane arts. You can also find him on Twitter jabbering about random stuff.Jaime González García