Large and small projects and keeping the Chaos Managable
Controlling the number of projects that you have is key to keeping interest in your projects. I try to keep the number of projects to a minimum, but I may have many ideas of things that I want to do. This makes it tempting to start a new project. When I get tempted to start something new I write it down for later reference.
Long term projects are the hardest to complete, but it isn’t impossible. These are my household or seasonal projects. I can usually complete one household project every other season (I don’t rush it by any means). I do landscaping or outdoor projects in the summer and an indoor project in the winter. Mowing the lawn is not a project it’s household maintenance.
Manage your project as if you are doing it for someone else. I remember when I was a mechanic, we used a simple notebook. We kept this notebook right out in the open and kept it in the same place all the time. We never covered it up with other junk, books, or parts. The notebook had its own designated area. In this notebook we wrote the name of the vehicle underlined it after that we wrote what needed to be done on it. When each item after the truck name would be completed, we would draw a line through it. The items didn’t need to be completed in order. When all the items after the truck name were done, we would move the truck out and start a new one.
Truck #53 rear brakes, front steer tires, grease and inspect, rebuild hydraulic pump.
Trailer #27 right rear leaf spring, right turn signal is not working, new brakes on rear axle, inspection and grease
Now the above example would have 2 or 3 empty lines under it. I might find something else that was wrong with the truck or trailer while I was working on it or doing the inspection, such as an extremely low tire (usually a puncture) or a busted leaf spring. If I did find something, I would add it to the list. The shop owner was happy that items were not forgotten and the customer was happy that failures were prevented.
This worked out extremely well. The thought was, one guy can only work on one truck at a time. The same goes with my shop; I only do one project at a time. I do jot down project ideas when they pop into my head. If I still think they are a good idea when I am done with the present project; I will pick one that will best compliment my shop and abilities.