Ask HN: How do you all deal with lack of motivation? | Hacker News

I use an app called dynalist, I use it to keep track of all my sprint notes

I wrote this sometime last year, but its a general gist of how I do things

This is how I generally organize myself

I quadruple gif scrubbed this here so you can see the big picture. I have some personal information that I didn't really want to share

Each of those little red dots = one week's worth of notes. The notes above the first little red dot is today's notes.

When I expand the list item, those are all my daily sprint logs of things I achieved and major notable things that happened during the day. There all organized with the latest date appearing up top.

I organized my weekly logs (those red dots) the same way. The farther you scroll down the page, the more older weekly snapshots you see

What you see on my left side are all my notes, some are courses, some are project documents. What your seeing on the right is just my journal notes only

some of my notes are journal notes is just what people do with rubber duckies. I talk to myself asking myself things I need to do. Today, this is what my journal notes looked like:


3PM @codepen

- [screenshot] of work done with a frontend component I made on codepen

1PM @vendor-tag

- Meeting with {{XYZ}} vendor

- {{XYZ}} brought up a great point today about some specific technical {{ABC}} requiring 1000 {{GHI}} stuff.


- I need to start working on things today. Stop posting things on hackernews

- Time to start driving forward and pushing through things that matter

- What do I need to do today?

- Catchup on {{client}} work

- With with {{dev}} and checking up on his templating work


I find its extremely helpful for me to write down, the things I have to do everyday. I don't plan very far ahead, I usually know what needs to be done in my head (because I have a vision of what the final project should look like etc).

My notes are generally simple and to the point. I put most of my team communication and specific notes on slack though. Sometimes I'll have more fleshed out journal notes, but those end up becoming blog posts generally.

I have a macro that makes me a timestamp

I wrote about what macros I use here

I have some more generic posts on how I use dynalist (my notetaking app of choice) here


I don't think it matters what noteapp you use honestly, I think its important to stick with a convention and roll with it. You can just do things on a hand-written journal and many people are happy with that

Just so you know I spent literally 9 months deciding on my notetaking workflow before commiting to the one I have right now. I have been using this workflow for about a year now with no issues. I tested every workflow I could possibly imagine, this one works great for me and I'm commiting through with it. You can go through my thought process here, I kind of spammed the forums with my silly ideas.

I try to jot important notes as things happen. I realize that notetaking is technically a waste of time, so I treat it like I do with email - only do it 3 or 4times a day, unless I'm taking course notes.

Same with hackernews, I realize that posting things on hackernews is a waste of time but I still do it all the same. I just limit myself to 3 or 4 blocks throughout the day and keep it at just that. But it does help me write and come up with ideas I want to blog about later

What's really great is I can go to week15 of this year and say I did {{ABC}} stuff and recount everything I did that week. Its really interesting and puts things in perspective how far along I've come, because I simply can't remember the little things I did.

This also forces me to do


- Visionary is just one sentence describing what I like doing. Its building solutions and software to empower business and peoples to do things that matter. I commit this to memory, all my other visionary "mission" statements are derived from this, including all the goals I wish to achieve (e.g. do a triathlon, do a full handstand, do an L-sit, build the app I see myself using everyday, finish this work project).

- Discipline is done through forcing myself to make a daily log everyday. I'm a slight perfectionist so I get anal when I see I forgot to log a days worth of notes. It happens, I just recount it after the fact.

- Reflection is when I also wrap up and condense 7 days worth of notes into that one giant red bulletpoint. But those are just short summaries, I write a blog post every week or 2 and make a commitment to do so. I have 100 drafts on backlog and its growing so I always have something to reflect on, either something recent or months/years ago

- Release happens when shit happens. I just write my frustrations either in the app, or just on a piece of paper. Then I collapse those notes / shred it, etc. I talk to friends about some of the issues I'm facing for advisement, etc. But my notes are always a place I can go to for a sense of relief because it will always be a place where I can vent, this is not so true for friends & family whom I don't want to burden, etc.

A combination of all of these is how I never get imposter syndrome either anymore or get stuck in paralysis analysis.


Last note is I am not the best writer and I continue to strive to improve. I really enjoy the writings of this person here.

I gained a lot of insights on how to journal and write in general, this person also gets featured on hackernews every now and then

I think its important to make sure you have people you can follow, read, and learn from that are better at you in their respective fields. They don't have to people you know personally, there's tons of great youtubers and writers out there that I really enjoy following.

For me, I drive inspiration from these people. I keep a list of these people on twitter. Its like 100 people from different fields and industries

Also, I want to point out the way I do things here doesn't work for everyone. It requires a specific type of personality IMO. I am naturally introverted, so someone who is extroverted might not benefit as much from this setup.