Ask DN: How do you handle mood shifts?

almost 6 years ago from Onur Senture, Design Lead @ / Co-founder @

  • Cristian MoiseiCristian Moisei, almost 6 years ago

    The way I see it you are talking about two slightly different things, and I've spent a good deal of time on trying to understand this problem (being a freelancer for 4 years, I had a lot of time on my hands).

    On one hand, you brought up motivation, which is the series of factors that justify my actions. This means that if I lack the motivation to give 100% to a project or a part of it, there must be a problem there, and the worst part is I may not always be aware of it (it could be something I never thought could affect me or matters).

    Motivation is generally divided in two categories: internal (which covers factors like your need to please people and fear of failure, the degree to which this project is aligned with your views, that is how much good you think it will do, the degree to which you believe in the project, that is if you think it will succeed and make you feel good about yourself, etc.), and external (which covers factors like the possibility of getting fired or penalised if you fuck things up or the possibility of getting promoted, goals you set, that is I do this project then I get access to better opportunities, etc.)

    Try reading the wikipedia article on motivation and you'll be able to get a better understanding of what it is and how it works. Then you can look at a specific project and understand what you are missing and why you feel unmotivated.

    On the other hand, you have moods (which are longer lasting emotions). These are fairly easy to de-mistify and understand, and I actually summed up my findings when looking into this topic (with the help of a friend) on this site.

    This approach may not work for everyone - some people just need encouragement or different types of projects, but I found breaking things down and understanding them in detail, in an almost empirical way, will definitely help me identify the problem. Kind of like how you'll have a much better time driving your car properly and fixing it when it's acting out if you know how every part works.

    I hope this helps.

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