...how does one deal with the loss of interest in the day job when starting out on this new moonlighting adventure? Is there a trick to continuing to perform at peak potential in the job you are hoping to leave one day?
Great question. I don't have a nice tidy answer for that one - my guess is that it will vary from person to person, and from job to job. Off the top of my head, here are a few ideas. I would love to hear ideas from the rest of you as well.
Ask yourself, "what motivates me?" Try to build more of that into your work. For example, if you're super-competitive, how could you use that to help you stay motivated?
I once bet a friend who was starting to learn Spanish at the same time I was that my Spanish would be better than hers at the end of a year (we planned on hiring a Spanish teacher to test us). I think the bet was for lunch or some such thing, but it really was for bragging rights. We never did do the testing, but it kept us really motivated in those difficult early weeks of learning the language.
Take stock in your current job. What are the positive aspects? Try being aware of those things as your days unfold and focus on them. Look for opportunities to bring more of what you enjoy into your day to day.
Make your work relevant to your new business. Look for opportunities to gain experience that you might be able to apply to your new venture. Try making a list of the "R&D" opportunities that might be available to you at your current job, and start pursuing them.
Find a motivation partner. Maybe someone at work, or someone who works someplace else. Get together for lunch once a week to talk about what's going on in your work, where the motivation is lagging, what you might be able to do. Get an outside perspective.
Develop goals for yourself. Share them with someone else (e.g., your motivation partner). Plan what you want to accomplish this week. Plan what you want to accomplish today.
Take a risk at work. Take on a project that is outside your comfort zone. Something that will challenge you. Now is not the time to go into hybernation.
Vary your routine. Even just a little change in the same ol' same ol' can sometimes make a difference.
Remember that you're not superhuman. Give yourself permission to have some down time as well. You've got to keep that well filled.
That's it off the top of my head. I would love to hear others' suggestions!