Friday, February 2, 2018

No loitering!

I got inspired by this post by Bob the Valley woodworker who is organizing his shop.


At a point in my life I would actually feel kind of frustrated after being in the shop, because I felt I didn't get anything done at all.
I would go out there, look a bit around, maybe try to take a couple of stokes with a plane, perhaps move some tools away and try something else etc. But I rarely started a new regular project, and I never completed anything.

After being unproductive in the shop for some time, I would go inside the house disillusioned, and have a cup of tea and feel sorry for myself.

I wasn't getting anywhere at all.

Someplace I then read about another guy who had experienced the same thing, and his mean to  overcome it was that he could only stay in the shop, if he did some actual work or actual cleaning of the place.

I decided to try out that approach. So I put a mental sign up in my head when I entered the shop where it said:
NO LOITERING!

The minute that I started procrastinating or dreaming about future projects or looking at this and that, I had to leave the shop.
It worked great!

Clearing out the shop and organizing all the tools suddenly went really fast, because I would not loaf around - wasting my own time.
When all the tools were in place, I swept the floor and vacuum cleaned the machines. Then stopped for the day, leaving the shop with a feeling of accomplishment instead of frustration.

The next day I opened the door and looked inside. the shop was inviting. But I didn't have any actual plan for what I wanted to do in there, so I remember just looking around and then leaving again.

I can't remember what my first actual project was after my new shop practice, but I remember that it went a lot faster than normally, because I stayed focused all the way.
And due to being focused, I never have the same feeling that I "waste" my time by being in the shop, because I try my best to always be productive out there.

Despite my best efforts, I still experience that horizontal flats will eventually become crowded with stuff, and suddenly there are old pieces of glass in a corner of the shop, scraps on the floor and some surplus wood from the last five or six projects occupying space along one wall. But it doesn't scare me anymore, or get me in a bad mood, because I still keep my imaginary sign hanging in the shop, so as soon as I am out there, I try my best to be efficient, either in building or in cleaning.

10 comments:

  1. Great idea, Jonas. I have to say, having had the privilege to watch you work in that shop, your strategy really works. One thing I have learned from you over the years is if you stop and admire your work every single time you make a cut, things grind to a slow pace. You tend to be looking at the next three or four operations while you are working on the current one. I would like to think I am a more efficient woodworker because of your influence.

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    1. Hi Brian
      Thanks a lot.
      I had to change my ways, because it really frustrated me that I never seemed to get anything done.
      And now it has become a habit :-)
      Brgds
      Jonas

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  2. Jonas,

    You are a stronger man than I, but I will say your mind set would increase my productivity greatly.

    Also If I lived by that rule, I would no longer live in Casa Chaos but instead Casa Serenity and MsBubba wouldn't have anything to fuss about, I'd hate to take that joy away from her :-).

    ken

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    Replies
    1. Hi Ken
      Thanks for the nice comment.

      I am pretty sure that Mrs Mulesaw would love it , if I had the same sign hanging in my head while generally loafing around the property, but so far it is only in the shop.

      I am certain that MsBubba is glad that you think of her and make sure that she has got something to fuss about :-)
      Brgds
      Jonas

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  3. Interesting mind set, will give that a try

    Thanks for the inspiration

    Bob

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    1. Hi Bob

      I think that you a lot more tools than I have, but the overall principle should still work.
      It really helped me, and got back the joy of going into the shop.

      And likewise, thanks for the inspiration.
      Brgds
      Jonas

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    2. Seems to be working, so far. Everytime I passed by, I drop in and work at something. So far got the wood removed from Post drill area, cleaned the wooden parts of the BBM and started doing some fixing on these parts. At that rate should be all done by Spring :-)

      Bob, the eternal optimist who just gave Rudy his weekly bath

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    3. Hi Bob.

      Glad to hear that it seems to be working.
      It is a tough decision the first times that you force yourself to leave the shop, but if you need a small break, it is better to leave the place, go sit in the kitchen for a cup of coffee or tea and then return when there is renewed energy.
      I thought that I had commented on your blag last night, but we had some intermittent Internet connection, so I guess that my comment is floating around somewhere in the cyberspace.
      Brgds
      Jonas (who will soon be able to give Berhta a treat)

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  4. Jonas,

    I forgot to add....Last week a set of 6 E.A. Berg chisels sold for a little over $600 USD on eBay. Other folks think the same as you do about your chisels :-). I thought about bidding but by the time I got off my duff they were already a little more than I wanted to spend.

    ken

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    1. Great Scott!
      That is a hefty price, But then again, they really are good chisels.
      I guess I am lucky to have a dad who supplies me with chisels from auctions etc.

      Brgds
      Jonas

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