Our Own Worse Employees

I started redoing my main personal site, An Eclectic World, awhile ago.  As in sometime in 2011, around April. The site still says a new version is coming in the Summer of 2011.  Yet it still isn’t done!  I’m redoing the site from its now over 7 year old PHP/MySQL version to ColdFusion/PostgreSQL utilizing Mach-II as the framework, jQuery for pretties, and some other nifty UI stuff I’ve picked up over the years.

Still, it isn’t a super extensive site.  Basically an about me, a page for my pets, and databases of my books, movies, and video games.  The rest is just linking off and acting as a hub for my social networking, other blogs, and Flickr feed.  Using our base model, I’m able to rapidly create the initial models for it and have usable pages within just an hour.  Once I had the first section done, it was even easier.

I’ve helped build a huge, complex app with some seriously extensive JavaScript in less than 3 months!  So why are we here at over a year later and my simple personal still isn’t done?  Because I am my own worse “employee”.  Working at my job, I have a schedule, deadlines, and accountability.  I put in my time, work my tail off, and get it done.  For my own sites, however, no one really gives a frack one way or another if I redo it, update it, etc.  No one is pushing me to have it ready and when it comes to deadlines, if I’m the only one setting them they are soft as butter left on the counter awhile.

From what I’ve seen and heard talking with other developers, I’m not alone!  Despite our own sites often being the first “portfolio” pieces potential clients and employers see, we are horrible about keeping them up to date and maintaining them to the degree we would do a work site.  We get home, we’re “tired”, and we give ourselves lots of excuses not to do it.

I understand the what and the why of it, the question is how do you fix it?  How do we kick our own tushes to give our sites the time they deserve?  I know for me, I can’t even make the excuse of it takes too much time.  Literally for AEW’s redo, once I forced myself to work on it awhile, in 2-3 hours I had it 90% done.  All its waiting for me is to put the finishing touches on the front page and about me page and its ready for testing.  So is it just laziness? Fear of burn out?  Mental tiredness after a day coding other people’s stuff?

For me, maybe it’s all of the above.  I struggle the same with editing my novels, painting, editing photos, and basically doing anything that engages the creative side of my brain after a day at work.  Is it something you struggle with as well?  Have you found a way past being your own worse employee?