Rawson Custom Woodworks,LLC Blog Article: "What Everybody Ought to Know About Patience and DIY Projects"
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January 13, 2014

What Everybody Ought to Know About Patience and DIY Projects

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photo of a Christian Monk

It’s a new year! This is the time when we set goals and plans, when we think about all of the things we want to do but haven’t yet, and when we gather enough mental momentum to tackle that undone project from last year.

So, we are here to help you accomplish your new year’s goals and help you start (or finish) that next project on your list by giving you the most practical, tested, and effective DIY tip.

Yes, the key that has helped us to succeed and grow a business for over twenty years, the key that has led us through hundreds of different projects, the key to being a DIYer is patience.

We know how hard it is to complete a project. Unfortunately, there is no pause button for real life. Work and family always and will always demand your attention. So how do you find time to start and finish a DIY project? Patience.

Yes, patience is the key to completing your next project. But having an all-powerful key and not knowing how to implement it is pointless. So if patience is the key, how do you really use it?

Well, here’s our best advice on how to actually use patience to get stuff done:

1. Overcoming interruptions:

Patience is the only way to overcome the most pesky adversary to your DIY project: interruptions.

Interruptions are going to happen. Whether it’s your kids, an unexpected work deadline, or a errand you forgot about, interruptions will sidetrack your DIY project, but patience is the tool you use to overcome them.

When an interruption strikes, take a breath and realize it’s ok if your project takes an extra day (or even two). It’s ok to take more time on your project than you planned. Your project isn’t running away. It will be there when you get back from dropping the kids off, so relax, breathe in, and be patient.

Don’t let an interruption sap all of your energy. Don’t let it kill your motivation. It’s much easier to take a deep breath and take extra time on your project than to try and gather back up your momentum once it’s been depleted.

Of course a word of cation must be used here. Don’t let interruptions turn into excuses.

It’s so tempting to just let your energy evaporate after you’ve become frustrated and distracted by an interruption. It’s just after an interruption strikes that it’s much easier to make excuses than it is to be patient enough to just admit that it will take you an extra day to finish your project.

2. Overcoming Expectations

There is nothing like the thrill of starting a new project. It’s almost as if you’re setting off on an adventure. The excitement of seeing where you are now and where you will be is invigorating. You step back and picture how great your new basement will look, how your friends will be wowed by the new carpeting, trim work, and built-in closets.

But then something happens. You start your project and realize you have absolutely no idea how to hang and finish drywall.

This is where patience will save your sanity and your project. Patience is the key to managing your expectations.

If your expectations misalign, you will become discouraged and more than likely give up on your project. If you think it is easy to finish drywall and find out that it actually isn’t, you will become discouraged. Even for the most self-disciplined out there, if you underestimate the difficulty of the project, the amount of time needed to complete it, or the cost of the materials required, you will become unwilling to continue your project because you’ll be discouraged.

So, instead of being discouraged, be patient.

Be patient enough to choose projects that are within your skill set. It takes a lot of time to learn (much less master) carpentry and woodworking skills. So, if you’ve only refinished a bookshelf, don’t try to remodel your basement.

Yes, it’s exciting to dream big. But you have to temper that with patience. Realize that the bigger your dream is the longer it takes to build it. Realize that if you want to finish out your entire basement but your only woodworking experience is refinishing that bookshelf, you will need to complete many more projects before you have the skills needed for that major remodel. And if you’re patient, you’ll know that’s ok.

Yes, in our experience, we’ve found that these two things: interruptions and expectations are the killers of DIY projects, but we’ve also found that patience overcomes these killers.

We’ve found that if you’re patient:

1. You won’t be sidetracked by distractions.

2. And you won’t be overwhelmed by a project that’s too big, because you’ll be honest about your limits.

So here’s to another new year! Here’s to another new project! And here’s to being patient!

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