How the heck are the programmers keeping themselves motivated?

My biggest dream and goal in my life is to become a better programmer. For now, better for me means: become better at what I am doing (programming).  That means the measure of my knowledge on programming should have gone up at least by a small point than what it was yesterday; everyday.

I know, to achieve my goal, I have to work hard; work more hours; read more and above all write more programs. In short, I should have plans. Of course, I have plans; and here they are with its retrospect.

1. Plan: Health – Play Basketball

Retrospect: Heck, there are no basketball courts near my home. So I went for swimming for a week. Then I went to Gym for a week. Now I don’t do anything

2. Plan: Read books.

Retrospect: I have a long list of books to be read. But I hardly concentrate on reading.  I don’t read them cover to cover.. I read N pages in one book and then jump to another book; read N pages and jump to another book..

3. Plan: Explore Opensource projects

Retrospect: I have sofar installed two open source projects. I didn’t spend time to read the code and for that matter, make it work.

4. Plan: share what I learn. In other words, write at least two/three blog entries a week; speak at local user groups etc

Retrospect: I hardly write blogs.  This blog is standing proof :). I haven’t sofar spoken in any conferences.

5. Plan: Learn New Language

Retrospect: No action sofar

Looking back, I have a plan – a good plan to make myself better.  What I am missing is “Motivation” and  the killer instinct to achieve my goal. I don’t know why I am not having them. I know I am failing to make improvements and will regret for it later, I know it will hurt my future.  I know I have to bring back my motivation.  Here is my attempt to bring back my motivation. I feel that if I get rid of my bad habits and bring in a DISIPLINE in my life, Motivation will come in. So here it is

1. Concentrate on only the important things

Heck, I read hell a lot of blogs every morning (6AM – 8AM). That eats almost all of my early morning hours. From now on, I am not going to read those blogs every single day and will read it during weekends. My priorities are my goals and not what everyone  does everyday.

2. Stop Procrastinating

Ask my wife and she would say how I procrastinate. I never do things immediately – either its writing blog when an idea strikes or taking care of family chores. Hey…. Reward comes after Labor in dictionary and real life.  Stop procrastinating. Procrastination is my worst kind of attitude for a long time. I have to get that out of me.

 3. No TV..

Someone once told me “People who watch Television(TV) doesn’t come on TV”.  “TV stands for Time Virus and it eats your time” Of course TV is the worst virus next to procrastination I am infected with. TV eats almost all of my time during weekends.  I am going to force myself for NO TV. 

4. Rome was not built in a day

I wanted to achieve so many things in a day. I have to understand that I can’t do everything in a single day and become a better programmer the next day. My To-Do lists gets bigger and bigger every single day – the reason – I  procrastinate. I feel that if I stop procrastinating and do things, I will be ok.

5. Google is good Friend and Worst Enemy. 

Yes, Google is good friend when I wanted to find information. At the same time, it’s my worst enemy.  It makes me lazy: If I want a piece of code, I search and find the code.. Heck, I am so lazy to figure it myself.  So, less of Google on stuff that I work on in my office. Try to reduce Google as much as possible in my programming job. I am only a half Google Driven Programmer. I can live without Google 🙂 (For my future recruiter)

6.  Get rid of the Thinking that I should do everything perfectly.

This is what “de-motivates” me all the time when I wanted to do something.  I wanted to do everything perfectly or dont do it..   I do the later more often and never do anything.  From now on, I am going to do a little something instead of not doing.  It will give me sense of progress..

7. Retrospect your progress every week and write a blog


Author: azagappan

Hi.. I am Azagu. I live in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. I am a .NET developer. You can reach me at azagappan at

2 thoughts on “How the heck are the programmers keeping themselves motivated?”

  1. Balaji,

    Thanks for your comment. Yesterday, after the conference, I spent sometime reading your blog and about your innovation. You are doing a great job. Nice to be associated with such a nice person.


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