I thought I'd share some of the tips I've learned over the years for successfully completing projects. It always seems like I have one going and for the most part I do. Sometimes more than one, but the key is to get them completed and have the end result meet my expectations. Here are some of the ways I make that happen:
Devise A Plan
I plan out my projects - what I'm going to do and how I'm going to do, it step by step. I write it out and then I mull it over for several days, sometimes longer, until I feel sure about what I'm going to do. If I have helpers (usually my girls) I also make sure and run the plan past them so they know what to expect. It makes them better helpers.
Make It Scaleable
This one was a biggie for me to learn, but in planning out the process it is important to make sure it is scaleable. Setting reasonable goals and timelines with which to complete a project is vital to a successful outcome. Having too much to do and not enough time makes it stressful and leads to poor results.
Do Some Research
If I'm about to embark on something I've never done before I do my research. I'll check online, watch videos (YouTube is awesome), check out books from the library, speak to a professional, or tap someone who has done the exact same project I have planned. Asking advice at the hardware store is a good idea too.
Set A Budget
No matter what project I take on it has to be affordable. For me there is no point in going overboard or into debt in order to get a project done. If it is a big project then I start planning well ahead of time and that includes saving up for the cost of that project. Gathering supplies little bit by little bit or finding ways to get those supplies for little or no money. Let people know what you have planned and they may be able to kick in and help you out by giving you a gift card for your birthday or giving you their leftover supplies from their own projects. Every little bit helps. And don't forget to return the favor.
I make a thorough list of all the supplies, tools, etc. that I will need for a project. I take measurements, draw it out, to be certain I have enough supplies. I go through and collect all of those items ahead of time to make sure I have everything I need. Anything I don't already have on hand goes onto a separate shopping list. Then I do an online order online or head to the store to pick up those items. I do this well ahead of project day and try to avoid any shopping on project day so I don't waste time or feel rushed to get the job done.
Take Your Time
If I've learned anything it is to take my time and work methodically. When painting I take the time to prepare first by repairing, sanding, priming and taping off before I ever crack open the paint can. And then I take my time to do the actual painting. Remember things like glue, paint, putty, spackle all need time to dry and cure. Don't be tempted to rush ahead. Be sure to take breaks and rest if you feel tired. Drink plenty of water and take time to eat too.
I may not get things done as quickly as I'd like but that has to be okay. Because when I do complete a project I am usually quite happy with the results and that is what truly matters most to me. Coming in under budget is a bonus too!