The battle rages for all of us, doesn’t it?
We paused our home renovations during the holiday season but returned with a vengeance to tackle the kitchen and dining rooms. Two long days of sweat equity and we have the ceilings de-popcorned and the walls painted. Next will be a session in the woodshop to build the teapot shelf above the cabinets. I was heading to Home Depot to harvest lumber but it is 14°F on the front porch. Monday is forecasted to be 50°F. Isn’t that a sound reason to procrastinate? Besides, I need to write this blog.
As an engineer I wrestled with multi-tasking operating systems. One little processor has to service many tasks. Priority levels can be assigned to the various tasks with the higher priority task gaining service before a lower priority task. Seems equitable. A diabolical programmer can skirt the system, though, and his lower priority task can hog the resources, forcing the higher priority task into starvation. Priority inversion makes bad things happen, like forcing harried engineers to work long hours debugging.
I am project oriented—get it planned, get it done, clean up, and put the tools away. Shawn works at a different pace and savors the experience. The conflict makes for interesting discussions, except for the time we were not speaking this week. As a team we accomplish a great deal. Here are the steps we follow in our project methodology:
- Talk – Share ideas, dream, and brainstorm. Nothing is being committed at this stage.
- Discuss – Deeper than talking. A project seems doable and we want to dig deeper.
- Sketch diagrams – A pencil and napkin work fine.
- Listen – I will hereby admit, in writing, my wife is a genius and her ideas and suggestions are rock solid…when I listen and finally understand.
- Surf the web – Pinterest is a cool tool although I have been told I am not using it correctly (John’s Pinterest). Look for ideas others have shared and learn from their examples. Clip magazine pictures. Talk to friends.
- List the steps – Be sure to include site preparation. Remodeling a room may mean moving furniture. Placing the couch across the front door may not be a good choice if the project requires multiple days.
- Put the steps in order – To de-popcorn we clear the room, replace the lights and ceiling fans with temporary lights, and cover everything with painter’s plastic. We scrape, cleanup, spackle, sand, cleanup, prime, paint, and rehang lights. There is a definite progression.
- Agree on the plan – The word team means working together toward a common goal.
- Set aside distractions – We know any job takes twice as long as we think. Block out the time on the calendar, and say “no” to distractions.
- Get ‘er done – The plan is of no value until we execute it.
Hey, this works for us. Shawn is delighted with the kitchen improvements, especially the new track light, and we are discussing the next steps. Breakfast was lively as we tossed ideas across the counter.
Do you need a good book on conquering procrastination? Check out Rita Emmett’s work, The Procrastinator’s Handbook: Mastering the Art of Doing It Now, available from Amazon and possibly your local library. It is worth the time investment.