11.15.2008

a tinkerer's tale

I am not a prolific modeller. I do not manage to complete a project a week. I tinker. I fiddle. I skip from task to task as thoughts prompt inquiry or shed some light on a hurdle to be overcome. Being surrounded by people who can produce large quantities of material on a regular basis can be daunting & intimidating. This is a constant source of irritation and distress, expecially when something really needs to get done.

Over on Mark Making Things, Mark talks about "Cheating Time" by breaking up a project into smaller and smaller discrete chunks that can be completed in very short time frames; a great approach to achievement.

Due to various space constraints (i.e. too much stuff, too little room), I cannot leave tools & projects out in the open. In-process work is therefore not readily available for short bursts of activity. If I find that I have 1/2 hour available, it may take that long to dig out what I need to proceed, only to find the sand in the glass has run out.

Think of the little (non-electronic, pre video game) puzzle composed of 16 spaces and 15 tiles. You shuffle the tiles around until a complete image or numeric sequence appears. Picture living in the one empty space, and having to shuffle all of the tiles (equipment, tools, projects) every time you want to do one little thing. It rapidly becomes easier to do nothing at all.



Activity is underway to correct the problem of space for the long term. Meanwhile, I have been gifted with sufficient room (and generous assistance) to put up my module set and work on it with an arranged schedule.

I always resort to to-do lists in order to codify what needs to be done, prioritise the sequence, and identify materials that need to be gathered. It can be a cumbersome method but, for those of us with atrocious time management, it can be enough to keep moving forward. Items are not listed with time estimates, simply the order in which they need to be completed. You slough along with whatever is current, until it is done.

That said, the MoW/speeder shed is nearing completion. Also, all the little paint touch ups on the module fascia, additional foliage, and the critical repair to the track alignment & elevation are done. Time before the next show may be running out, but the list of outstanding items is also diminishing at a gratifying rate.

"Why are you wasting precious time writing a Blog"? I hear you cry. Frankly, I find it helps to clarify my thoughts. It doesn't really matter if anyone else reads the content; it is available for my own review at any convenient Internet access point. It has always been meant as a journal or logbook rather than a publication. I can use it to remind me of things to do or methods to follow. In addition, it builds into a record of achievement which can be helpful when it feels like nothing has gotten done.

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