First of all, let me say that I am one of the lucky people that actually does something they truly find interesting, have fun doing, and can get paid for. I am not unhappy in my job at all, and actually look forward to starting work every day. There are still moments that I feel frustrated and tasks that I put off until later, and I'm starting to look at those moments and tasks to see if there is a way to either eliminate them or change my perception of them so they aren't so difficult for me to deal with.
I have been trying to figure out the best way to develop my latest personal project, the Awesome Countdown event timer. I have been creating the core functionality using Test Driven Development, which produces a higher quality application in my opinion. I created my standard list of user stories and have broken them down into their basic lists of features that need to be implemented in order to complete each one. The problem is that my motivation started to fall off and I actually dreaded working on a specific task, and I actually started avoiding it. This is not a project I have for a client or my primary day job. This is something I chose to do, so why was I dreading it?
I decided to step back from the individual task and see if there was something else that I could work on that I would find interesting and sure enough there was: the parallax scrolling effect. Instantly my interest in the project returned not because the project had changed, but because I decided to work on the part of the project that seemed like the most fun to me at the moment.
What I am finding is that if I am not having fun on a project, I will not want work on it. It becomes a chore instead of something I enjoy. Why would I work on something in my spare time that I don't enjoy and I'm not getting directly compensated for? It just didn't make and sense and as soon as I shifted gears all was right in the world again.
I'm going to try applying this to work projects and see if the overall enjoyment of my work improves, I think it will. Will there still be things that need to get done that I don't enjoy? Yes, of course there will be. Will I do those first? Not if I can help it. There may even be a way to outsource some of this stuff so that I don't have to deal with it, who knows. All of this is something I am open to finding new solutions for.