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I've been coming back and forth to this Django guide (https://docs.djangoproject.com/en/dev/intro/tutorial04/) for a few months now and can't seem to stick with it for more than a few minutes/an hour without losing focus.

I'm jumping forward a lot and never really read any section carefully, but am simply copying and pasting the code, hoping to get to the end product to see whether or not I'm interested in continuing this project. I think it's okay to jump forward and not read through documentation, but I feel like I'd be more interested if I knew what was really going on. However, I've picked up lots of projects before and have dedicated lots of time only to finally drop them and realize that they weren't what I was looking for. I guess I'm trying to avoid wasting time from overdedicating to something. Any advice on how to break through this dilemma?

Perhaps I need a stronger motivating end-goal. Most of the projects that I've completed have always had a clear end product in mind (and tied to some desire like a bonus at work/ trying to impress others / related to grades (when I was in school)). This time I'm just trying to learn something new and see what I can get out of it. It seems this isn't motivating for me at all. I need to motivation such that I could simply tinker with something and attain enjoyment from learning more about it, unconsciously pushing me to work harder. How do I get there?

With this project, I'm not really sure what I hope to get out of it. I know I want to learn how to build websites better (moving up from basic python cgi/html programming). But I definitely don't have a end product in mind. It seems like there are already a ton of websites out there and I'll definitely be replicating something or trying to improve upon an existing idea. But I don't know what exactly this is yet, so I'm just trying to build my skills first. Just can't seem to get the motivation without knowing the end goal.

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2 Answers

I've picked up lots of projects before and have dedicated lots of time only to finally drop them and realize that they weren't what I was looking for

There are plenty of ways to get a summary about the pros and cons of different technologies to give you some indication that you're not wasting your time. Also, if you weren't doing this type of research what else would you be doing with your time? Time is only wasted when you have something more important to be doing.

If you're looking for additional motivation, talk about what you're doing with coworkers. To put more pressure on yourself, tell them you're going to create a presentation or other document for them to look at. Give yourself a due date. They may not care about it, but the goal is to motivate yourself whether they're interested or not.

Have you discussed with your supervisor what new technologies she would like you to research?

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I have suffered from the same thing and in my case it it only got worse and spread to more things as time went on.

The fix for me was to develop a genuine curiosity by asking questions about what I was doing. When I had to read a book about a technology I was not really interested in I would pique my interest by asking questions, sometime unreasonable questions. Example questions I use:

  • How can I use this?
  • What is the underlying principle, is is sound, and if so can I apply the same principle somewhere else?
  • Where else have I seen this problem solved in different ways?
  • If I had to teach this to someone else, how would I change the information?

Remembering that even though I may not need this specific technology (django for example) the value in learning far exceeds only the ability to write a script. You learn new ways to approach old problems, etc.

I could say more but that would take away from the simple truth stated at the top and repeated here: develop a genuine curiosity by asking questions about what you are doing and the excitement will begin to grow.

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