I fully planned this week to start work on a built-in shelving unit to organize the equipment in my media room. (Right now everything’s held up by a rickety-ass piece of crap I picked up when we moved in six years ago and needed something before the satellite guy showed up.) But alas, time won’t allow, and the project’s pushed to the back burner again.
That got me to thinking: What are the best ways to assure that I don’t wait another six years before I start the project?
I came up with a few:
Over the years I’ve come up with a number of awesome “solutions” for the media equipment rack dilemma. Originally, I intended to buy and install full cabinetry, complete with closed-in shelves on the bottom and slick raised-panel doors. When I realized that was out of my price range, I planned on building a veneer-ply/hardwood bookcase with behind-the-back-panel wire routing. (I intended to cut open the wall behind the bookcase and frame it up so I could access the wiring from the closet behind the media room.)
Of course, that’s not exactly a weekend’s worth of work. So when I didn’t have time to jump in and knock holes in the wall — or even clean all the crap out of the closet — I did absolutely nothing. If I’d have scaled back the project to what I tried to do this week — a basic painted-white bookcase along the lines of what you’ve seen Sean do recently — I’d have done it years ago.
Maybe that’s a key to getting projects — especially those around the house — done: Pick a solution you can complete in the short term. If you still want that badass stained-hardwood cabinet unit, do it later. In the meantime, your life improves.
Break It Up And Keep It Going
If I’d have started on the badass cabinet unit six years ago, working on the damn thing one day a month even, I’d be done now. And if I’d have spent $1,200 on it, I’d have had to cough up a whopping $17 a month to get the job done.
So maybe that’s another way to avoid stalling a project: Break it up into little pieces and plug away at it, doing a little bit every day/week/month until the project’s done.
Combine It With Other Tasks
What if I’d have made working on the project family/friend time? Sean and I could’ve shot the s*** over a beer (though probably not two) just as effectively while hammering together a shelving unit as we could playing Halo or watching Ocean’s 11. If I’d have converted even a small amount of screw-off time into shelf-building time over the last six years, I’d have a shelving unit.
How Do You Get Projects Done?
I’m out of ideas, but maybe you can help me out. How the hell do you get projects like this done — especially when the “just get out there and do it” gets nixed by bigger mortgage-paying responsibilities?