I suffer from what can only be described as Incomplete Project Syndrome, and was wondering who else might share that.
With many projects, I start, gain some momentum, and then something happens that puts an abrupt halt on things. The reasons vary – maybe what I’m making is a jig or accessory that I need to put to use immediately. Or maybe I’m waiting on a last-minute tool, part, or accessory.
Take my tool cabinet, for example. Above is an older photo. I’d take a new photo, but cleaning up the area around it to allow for a photo might lead to a few hours of distractions.
As it looks now, there’s one bay that’s fully loaded with drawers, and an attached second bay that has 4 drawers equivalent to the larger ones shown here. I need to make 2 more.
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There are no handles.
I haven’t done any more work to finish the drawers with shellac and polyurethane.
There are no drawer fronts, despite having all the wood and tools to make them.
The countertop hasn’t been put on yet.
I haven’t made any decisions about how to extend the tool cabinet around a corner to make a new workbench or tool cabinet.
I have updated how the 80/20 fastens together, although I’m not sure there’s now enough low-end clearance. Maybe if/when I replace the feet with swivel feet for better leveling I’ll raise everything up that way.
When sizing the new 80/20 frame, I had the extrusions cut to different dimensions so as to minimize the dead space behind drawers.
But, after a year, the build is far from finished. Once it was usable, I just put it to work immediately, thinking I’d get back to the other bits – putting a finish on the drawers and making drawer fronts – when I could.
I bought a new dehumidifer for the basement, and the included drain tube is too short. I haven’t made a stand for it yet, and positioned it as close to the drain as the 8-foot tubing could reach. The tubing is held in place using grey push blocks that I stopped using after buying Bench Dog ones. I’ve been meaning to build a PVC trap instead of the tubing “pretzel” option that the dehumidifer company recommends as a trap option. But the “pretzel” is doing the job for the time being.
I don’t even want to tell you about the LED lights in the utility room. They’re not quite ideally mounted to the ceiling, and I haven’t secured their power cords either yet.
I find that I don’t complete things that don’t “need” to be completed. Even for a high-priority project, once the sense of urgency is gone, it’s hard to get it back. It’s something I really need to work on.
Maybe part of the cause is that I don’t have good personal organization. Maybe if there was a whiteboard in front of me, with lists of tasks and projects that need to be done, I’d forget.
Hmm, yes… having to-do lists might be one potential solution, or at least a way to combat this. One list could be what I need to do in a project, and then I can have a more visible list of projects or specific project-related tasks that need to be done.
With ToolGuyd, I have a rough editorial calendar that helps me stay on top of things. Things get better structured when I work on a lot of posts at once, such as when know I’ll be away from a computer for a few days.
And when I worked on Make Magazine’s ToolBox review section, I created a spreadsheet to stay on top of things for each issue, with each issue getting its own page.
So maybe organization and planning is a way to combat Incomplete Project Syndrome. Most of my incomplete projects are “good enough for now,” but I have a feeling that things will only get more chaotic as I start more projects and work on smaller ones in between.
What do you do to help get past the “good enough for now” stage that can leave projects unfinished?