It happens to everyone: we undertake some huge, time-comsuming project only to become unmotivated and disinterested halfway through. Blogger Gino Lomelino has a simple solution: when you feel your motivation start to wane, distract yourself with a smaller project instead.
When we work on these big projects, taking time off from it can kill your motivation later on. When you come back to it, it just seems like an enormous undertaking that you'll never get done, and many of us give up entirely. Instead of letting yourself become overwhelmed, Lomelino recommends keeping a few other simple projects on hand. That way, instead of giving up and wasting that time on other, unimportant things (like watching TV or playing video games), you can at least keep up your productivity:
Try creating a project folder on your hard drive and stashing every good idea you come up with in one of two sub-folders, simple or difficult. Work on the difficult one until you feel your interest start to slip away. Then, open up the simple folder and pick one of those to work on. And make the simple ones really simple! You should be able to crank them out in a few hours or a few days. One of my simple projects was to write a screen-scraper for a particular site. It only took 2 hours but it gave me the break and the confidence I needed to continue working on a larger project.
It's easy to become disinterested in a project when it seems like there's no end in sight. By keeping up that momentum, though, you might find that digging your heels back into that big project isn't so hard. Hit the link to read more. Photo by Marcin Wichary.
Using Small Projects to Stay Motivated Through Large Ones (Part 1) [Distractingly Bright via Hacker News]