What do you do if you’re a single founder, you haven’t launched and you can’t seem to motivate yourself to code right now?

I came across the above question, which was originally posted on Quora, and it resonated with me big time, so I decided to give my thoughts. Click here to read it on Quora, or see below:

I know this feeling all too well. Being a single founder and working from home, you have no one to keep you motivated and no one to let down if you fail. It’s easy to give up or move on to the next project but realistically if you think there’s value in what you’re doing then why wouldn’t you continue.

I would highly recommend getting into some sort of collaborative working environment if possible. For me this was being accepted to a startup accelerator. Not only will they give you seed funding (to possibly employ people and lighten your workload), you’ll also have somewhere to work from and daily interaction with like-minded people. If you’re currently working alone it’s easy to underestimate how valuable this can be.

For now,

  1. Write down a list of things you need to do to get your product to a stage where you can launch it - the Minimal Viable Product. Be as granular as possible here, as another user said - “Minimize the scope as much as possible and think through the whole feature and whether it really needs to be done.” It should take at most 20 minutes. I use Wunderlist - http://www.wunderlist.com
  2. Set yourself a date to have everything finished by - For me, this was the week before our accelerator began. Take a few days break now, then take the items on your list day by day and attack the most difficult ones first. This may be difficult at first but as your workload gets easier and you get closer to your end date your motivation will increase hugely.
  3. Give yourself set hours to work and make a distinction between work time and down time. Stop seeing it as your hobby and start seeing it as your job, but one you enjoy. Remember if you were working for someone else you would be motivated by responsibility to them. Be responsible to yourself.
  4. While you’re working, stay productive. Follow your to-dos and mark them off as you complete them. Track how productive you’re being, stay away from Facebook and Twitter during ‘work’ time if you can, it’ll make it more enjoyable when you’re finished. Use RescueTime to track how much real work you’re doing - http://www.rescuetime.com

This may look daunting now, but I can guarantee you it will be worth it as you see your product progress toward being finished and ready for launch.