Forcing Myself to Code... For Fun

Some of my personal projects were on the "back burners" for the last six months. I started working on them again only because I set some goals for myself. I told myself I needed to have a minimum of one commit per week. That's not a lot, but it's a lot more than I have done in the last six months. After a week or two I was already doing multiple commits every few days. The whole point was to set a minimum task to get into the habit of working on my coding hobby projects.

I do this mostly because I like measurable accomplishments. I like these hobby projects, but I am really lazy. So if I don't set a measurable goal, I can't find the will power after a full day of coding in my regular job to code some more in my spare time. This trivial goal of one commit essentially gives me the energy to break the "laziness friction" (which is analogous to static friction). Once I break the laziness friction bond, I start coding and realize how much fun I have working on my coding hobby projects.

I find this trick can be applied to many things in life. Just pick a really easy target goal (ie. a target goal representing 10% of some task you have to accomplish) and try to reach it. More often than not, you find yourself saying "Wow, 10% wasn't that bad, let's get to 20%". Before you know it, your task is done. An example could be a work desk overflowing with with receipts/forms for income taxes. A goal could be to organize/file and process the top 2 items on the desk. Chances are you are more likely to do several before stopping, thus accomplishing more than you set out to because of sunken cost fallacy psychology.