» (Personal rant, feel free to ignore.)
I just realized that I'm bored most of the time. It took me a few decades to figure that out, but there you have it.
I suspect it's the main reason that I can sit in front of my computer for hours, doing virtually nothing. Sure, I visit sites, clicking link after link, probably downloading a bit (or a whole lot), picking up some new knowledge as I go... and still feel empty and dissatisfied afterwards. It's boredom. Not ADD. Not NADD. Simple, plain boredom.
You see, I look at things that *could* be interesting, and often are, in a mild way (or they wouldn't have piqued my interest at all)... but there's no thrill. These things don't motivate me. They don't encourage me to get off my ass and *do* something. They don't fuel my creativity.
Over time, it's gotten pretty bad... Lately I've almost been looking forward to work, because it's something to do. Almost. I suppose it would be more enjoyable if our main customer did not scream "urgent! urgent!" for every stupid little feature or bugfix. They have been doing so, incessantly, for a month and a half now. Maybe this is business as usual for many developers out there, but I am not used to a constant onslaught like this, and it makes me feel rushed, all the time.
So when I don't work, I should be relaxing or doing something cool. But somehow that doesn't work; see above.
The solution seems obvious... find something to do that is non-boring. But what? I've been looking for that for years now. Programming used to be cool; it's not so thrilling anymore, at least not enough to make a lasting impression. There's enough to do that I find interesting... hacking, reading, astrology, drawing, origami, gaming, game design, etc, etc,... but it doesn't last... afterwards, it's all back to the same old situation.
So yeah... I am still looking for a real solution for this. If there is one. Self-hackery isn't easy. :-(
I am now considering the following plan of action:
The "little things" are called that because they should not take much time. They should, however, have a clear goal and purpose. They could be, e.g., making an origami figure, or trying to sketch something specific, or read a specific chapter in a book, or outline a character for a story or interactive fiction, or play an old C64 game for a few minutes, or write a blog post, or compute and look at somebody's horoscope, etc, etc. They can, and often will, be part of a larger project.
(The catch is, of course, that these things must be actually enjoyable, at that time. When I reach the point that all energy is drained out of me, not many things seem like fun. So the trick is to not let it get that far.)
If this actually works, I might start a self-help service, like some of my fellow Pythonistas. ;-)