Sometimes life feels like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gporNcuC76M
I do all of this stuff during the day and week and I feel like I am being productive, but then I look around and feel like I haven't really done anything at all. Progress can be slow at times, and I live for the little moments where I feel like I have won some small battle.
I try to keep records and documentation of what I have been doing, so that I can at least measure the progress that I have made on my work. Even though I do all of this, I still sometimes feel like I am making a futile effort at getting to my goals. That is where the documentation comes in, if I can some how quantify my progress at least then I can recognize in some sort of abstract way that I have done something. That even though the measurement may have only moved a tiny bit, at least I have gotten it to move up that far and hopefully in the future I can get that measurement to move further. The only down side is that when I get to the point where that measurement is moving so little, I check it more often trying to watch progress happen. This really doesn't help me get any more done. All it really does is make that needle move even slower. The sad things is that some days I just want to see the needle move without having to do any work. That is just not going to happen. As they say, there is no such thing as a free lunch.
It is times like this that it is the hardest for me to find the motivation to keep working on my goals. When it feels like I am getting nowhere, I don't have a reason to make myself work. It becomes difficult to convince myself that I will eventually get there, and that at some point my effort will pay off. This is why I have so many half finished ideas and projects. I have become discouraged about my work and just give up trying. I lose faith that eventually things will turn out.
I have to admit this is the most difficult time for me. I often get depressed, because I don't see what my work is actually achieving. I try to be determined that this time I am not going to give up. I may think to myself that I will not become discouraged by the lack of progress, but it is just so hard to fight sometimes.
I don't know if there is a magic trick to overcoming this lack of motivation, but for me I have not found it. I have just learned that it is going to suck for a while. Things are just like that. They will suck, but if you really want to reach the end goal then you are just going to have to push yourself through this hard part. This is what helps you delineate between the things that you really find worth the time or the things that may not be worth it. If it is important enough to you that you are willing to push though this rough spell and keep working than you know it is worth your time. If you aren't willing to push through this then maybe you weren't as passionate about what you are doing as you thought. In the end you have to decided, is what you are doing it worth it? Is the effort you are putting in worth the value of what you are going to get out of your completed goals?
If it is then don't give up. Take a breath maybe step away for a second to realize that it is worth your effort. It doesn't feel like such a task when you stop to think the value of your time when you finally reach your goal. It was time well spent, it was effort well expended. It is all just part of taking the bad with the good.