I figured out these two qualities I want to have in the type of work I really really want to do: sharable and compoundable.
What I mean by compoundable is that I want to do work that builds on itself. Work that accumulates to something larger over time. Like if I can manage to put a few drops in every day, soon enough I"ll have a bucket of water and some day even a lake (or some larger body of water).
Writing is one example of work like that. If I spend 1 hour writing every day. I will have written hundreds of posts over the course of a few months and definitely many more in a few years.
Coding is not always like that. If I code for 1 hours every day, it may not amount to much (unless I'm tending to an existing Codebase and improving things by adding incremental features or pulling out weeds by refactoring and removing cruft). But the reality is that you cannot build a new product by coding 1 hour a day for a year. Building a product is a project work not ongoing work (such as writing daily).
It makes sense for me to separate these two types of work. Because (due to my current constraints in life and time) there are weeks or even months, where I only have 2 to 3 hours a day of total work block. All my other time is called for. During such time, I've noticed that the thing that keeps me motivated is doing work that is sharableable and compoundable. I know that if I spend two hours reading or writing or learning and logging something, I'll have something to show for my time.
I figured out that this is super important to me. Spending two hours figuring out Shopify admin API and constructing the right GraphQL query that allows me to apply discounts and change product prices programmatically is good (and I enjoy my time lost in the weeds of this stuff). But this is just one piece of the puzzle towards building a Shopify App. It is nothing I can share on its own.
What I mean by shareable work is work that I can point to at a future time and feel like I have something to show for my time. This is what I figured out after struggling with my plans falling through over the last 3 weeks.
I am reading and sharing book notes every week. And I am returning to daily writing. This does not feel like enough tbh. But I am starting here. A third thing I am looking to add once I've done the above two for a few weeks consistently, is making coding screencasts of tech I learn along the way to building my product(s).