You’re at the beginning of a home renovation project. It’s not the first time you’ve been here, contemplating a massive change and all the time, energy, and stress that goes along with it.
But this time? This time it’s going to be different.
You don’t care about the size of what you’re contemplating. It could be something huge and structural like foundation work; a refit of the kitchen; or just applying new wallpaper to the living room. You’re going to own this.
No more, you tell yourself furiously, will you find yourself surrounded by panic with nothing ever going to schedule. No more will your house resemble a disorganized building site for any longer than it has to.
You’re armed with tips, tricks, hacks, and anything else the internet can throw at you. You’re going to commence the smoothest, most perfect home project that anyone has ever has. Maybe you will write a book about what you achieve. It’s going to be incredible.
Expectation: You’ll follow all of those tips you have lovingly curated.
Reality: You might… for a little while. Then you’ll get distracted and forget something, or you won’t be able to do exactly as the internet guide says. Then you’ll stop doing it.
Example: You’re tackling something big, like foundation repairs. So you begin by getting a notepad, a pen, and some time – you’ve followed all the advice and know you need to write everything down. You diligently set about getting answers: how much do foundation repairs cost, how long does it take, who do you need to get in touch with. You write it all down. You know that’s meant to be a good thing. Then you get diverted, forget to even answer the questions you penned for yourself, panic, and book the first quote that sounds kind of reasonable.
Fix It: If you write everything down, it makes sense to ensure you use it! So keep going back to your list until you’ve got everything ticked off.
Expectation: By being more organized, you’re going to save yourself a huge amount of time.
Reality: You might be more organized, but it’s sure time-consuming being that organized, isn’t it?
Example: So the kitchen is being renovated. You’ve got lists; oh so many lists. You know who you need to contact and you’ve got your quotes in. You keep a diary of everyone you speak to and the decisions you make. You’re thorough; you avoid the pitfalls of the first example. You note it down every evening when a new decision is made, then you realize you’re spending hours writing everything down per week. How is this saving time, exactly?
Fix It: It might not be saving time in some ways, but it’s definitely time better invested. It’s far healthier for your project if you’re working things out all the time, rather than wasting time panicking and making mistakes. While you may still have to give over more hours than you want to the project, at least keeping those hours to an organized schedule is actually helpful.