April 21, 2019

What could help you stay motivated?

Dan Shin @deyshin

Due to being laid off recently, I'm trying to clear my mind, simplify my life, and prepare to get into the life of an Indie Hacker.

While trying to do so, I find it hard to stay motivated. While I am motivated to work, I'm also scared to put the work. With all the energy that I have combined with the worries, I only grow anxious.

So, I want to ask you: What keeps you motivated? What clears your mind from worries? Is there something that you wished to have heard back when you started?

Look forward to hearing your opinion!


  1. 6

    Mindfulness, sleeping well, eating enough, not eating too much, exercising (yoga, thai boxing and biking). Staying in the present, because it's only now you can make a difference; not historically, not in the future. A collorary to that is; do the most impactful (e.g. revenue/profit delta) task for the time horison you set (e.g. 1 week, 1 month, 3 months); because it's not always the smallest task that is the best, and nor is the most wanted one.

    And have a way to stay afloat, so you don't go under while trying to make your impactful tasks actually have the impact you intended them to. That way you can avoid the worrying, because you'll always survive and have food on the table.

  2. 3

    It differs from a person to another, but here are what works for me:

    While working on something:

    • Short breaks
    • Motivational videos that. Not necessarily a speech or so but something that reminds me of the big picture.
    • Promodoro Technique.

    In general:

    • Connections with positive like minded people.
    • Constantly reviewing my progress, seeing what I have done & what to be done to achieve the next goal.
    • Regularly thinking about my recent experiences & what I learnt from them.
    1. 1

      Thanks for sharing your methods!

      Finding my own rhythm with methods like Pomodoro would be helpful for sure. I have gotten used to taking small breaks here and there, but I don't do it enough.

      Do you have any suggestion in regards to finding positive, like minded people? I don't have that around, and it is draining me a lot.

      1. 1

        I also have this issue regularly due to my introverted personality but you can try coworking spaces, meetups, events, . etc

  3. 2

    First of all, I think you mix two things together. But they are actually connected. You need to get rid of worries and it will help you stay motivated.
    If you are in a situation when you need to earn money, starting a new business is probably not the best idea.
    If you have some savings it makes the situation much easier. So the motivation will be high if you will keep some rules.
    For example, if you have several ideas you need to verify them all, and quickly. Have a plan for what to do and when. Don't spend more than one week on each idea. Listen to potential users, listen to yourself. If you feel you are losing motivation working on some idea, it's okay. Put this idea aside and take the next one.
    Try to imagine what happens if you would stick the idea - can you see yourself with it next several years? If not, go ahead.
    If you still can make yourself work you would probably better find a new job.
    Anyway, good luck!

    1. 1

      Thanks for the insight!

      I have some worries that I plan to put behind or deal with not to worry about going forward. I should prioritize them before the motivation, as I read your advice

      As of now, I am not in need of making money, as I do have enough savings to get by for a year or so. Though I'm not worried about paying bills, I feel anxious about burning through the savings. Probably something I need to come to terms with.

      I'm not at the stage where I'm building products yet - though I have a small book of small ideas, I think I want to wrap up with what worries me first.
      Once I'm done with that, I'll be sure to cycle them quickly through the process of implementation and verification.

      Regarding finding a job - since I wasn't sorted out regarding finding a job, I did look for a job and have a couple more onsite scheduled throughout May. I'll see. I'm starting to think that IndieHacker route as a second choice might just mean that I'm not fully committed, hence not ready for it yet.

      Thanks again!

      1. 1

        I feel anxious about burning through the savings
        Well, to decrease the level of anxiety you need to have a clear plan. What do you want to gain for this year, what you should do to gain, and, what is most important, when. Deadlines. As soon as you have a plan you will worry much less. And you need to have a plan B if something goes wrong.

  4. 2

    The vision I had for the project kept me motivated. For the first time I wasn't working for a client, had not to make any compromises and felt excited about owning all I built.
    I definitely felt anxious at times. When I was just hacking along, worries grew. What helped me most was setting clear milestones to reach. I knew what I had todo and that it was OK to be where I was and to do what I did. It was also very important to take breaks, sleep early (not hack until late) and start the days fresh and early. Track the time you spend working and be OK with just a couple of productive hours each day.
    Something I had heard a million times, but still ignored and wished I hadn't: Release early. Besides insight from potential clients, there is a lot of excitement and motivation to be gained from launching your product. Use it to improve upon what you have and possibly advance much faster after going public than you would keeping it to yourself a little longer.

    Best of luck!

    1. 1

      Thanks for the reply!

      I just remembered a small research project that I wanted to write an article about. I'll start with that tomorrow, just to have something published and have some feedback.

      1. 2

        That's great! I just remembered: I open-sourced a package* (part of my app I could share) and got motivation from each GitHub star and download I got while continuing working on the main project.


        1. 1

          That's awesome! It must feel great

  5. 1

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