When I start a new project, I get excited. It doesn’t matter if it’s building a Lego set with my son, or building a hot rod, I’m always excited about the end project. I have a short list of things that I want to get done, and I attack them wholeheartedly.
The problem is, on big, long-term projects, I usually lose momentum after a few weeks or months. The grind and drudgery set in, and I realize that that shiny finished product isn’t going to be as easy as I envisioned.
This isn’t meant to drag you down, but rather give a few tips on keeping your momentum up, and staying excited about the project at hand:
- Get it running. If your project has a motor, get it running, and moving under its own power as soon as possible. Being able to drive or ride it at the outset will give you loads of motivation for finishing it, as you’ll have the photos/videos and memory of when it ran. Do this, and it’ll keep you going even in the darkest hours!
- Do one thing every day. Even if it’s simply cleaning up your work area, or organizing your workbench; bolting a mirror on, or tightening some lug nuts. Doing one thing will keep you moving, making progress, and if you do this long enough, suddenly you’ll see some real progress!
- Help someone else! What you may not realize, especially if this is your first project, is that you have knowledge from your experience working on it, that someone else would love to have! Answer someone’s question on a forum, or go to a car show, and talk to kids. This will re-energize you, and get you back going on your project.
- Race the clock. Estimate the amount of time it will take to do a task… mount a bumper in 15 minutes; change the oil in 10 minutes; remove the door glass in 45 minutes. Anytime you can race the clock, there’s an element of competition, and as an added bonus, you’ll be more focused on getting the chosen task done, and not be sidetracked by the radio, or checking your phone.
- Remove distractions. Schedule time where you can be free from distractions. Maybe it’s only three hours on a Saturday morning, but if you spend time the night before getting a list of things to do together, you’ll be able to be organized, and get those tasks done quickly.
These are some things that have worked for me in the past, and I hope they help you get your projects done as well!