Renovation Lessons: Learning To Finish What You Start

As I renovate my home I am learning lots of interesting little things about the way I work. One lesson that is coming to the forefront as of late is finish what you start.

I'm always faced with a never-ending list of things to demo, make, buy, and refinish...a continual juggling act. What I discovered throughout my renovation is although I may try to focus on one area, another area always seems to come together first, so I just go with it. I love this spontaneous and surprising process, it keeps me on my toes. What I don't love is when an area is 90% done, and all I have left are just the mundane details or the not so fun parts to tie up loose ends...my attention starts drifting off elsewhere.

I've recognized once I've nearly finished a project and see that it's really coming together, I get a little bored and anxious, and want to move over to something else that is screaming for help. If I am waiting for the rest of the concept to gel in my mind or finding the right finishing touches then I'm fine with holding off, but when I am just being lazy about finishing the not so fun parts, that's gotta stop. Here is how I'm trying to combat this unfocused method of working:

Focus, Focus, Focus: Every time my mind starts wandering to a different project beyond the one on hand, I pause what I am doing, and write the idea down for later to keep on trucking with the task at hand.

Picture The Finished Product: Now I am able to see the finish product and get excited about the potential, so I have to keep visualizing the grand finale when I begin feeling the itch of distraction. It's also good to keep telling myself how nice it will be to be completely done with the space and not have to think about it anymore.

List It Out: As I'm in the process deciding on what area I am going to focus on, I am continually listing everything I need to do finish it from beginning to end. This prevents me from not moving on until everything has been crossed off my to-do list.

Multitasking Is Not A Virtue: Although multitasking has its time and place, I use it way too much. In the process of renovating, it is better to start and finish one project than start and almost finish four at the same time.

Distraction: I often listen to podcasts while I work, and I have begun to save episodes I'm really excited to hear for those last few tasks that I am really not looking forward to. It is a good distraction and helps me forge ahead.

Does anyone else out there find themselves in this predicament and how do you combat it? Let us know below.

(Image: Alysha Findley)

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Alysha is a photographer and designer living in Seattle who loves dark chocolate, tea, and all things furry. In her spare time you'll find her with paint in her hair renovating her 1919 Craftsman and sharing the process on her blog Old House New Tricks.

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