Continued from page 1
6. Make a schedule. Be sure to allow for unexpected delays or having to redo parts of project. If you project is based outdoors, don't forget to take weather conditions into account. Consider how possible interruptions in project are likely to affect your daily routines, and plan accordingly. For example, if your place has only one bathroom, you would want to finish any bathroom renovation project as quickly as possible.
As with material estimators, there are time estimates available online and in printed sources on how long it takes to complete certain tasks. Again, adding 10% to suggested time requirement may save you unnecessary frustration.
Remember that every project is unique. Think where you are most likely to encounter problems, and allow extra time for figuring out solutions. Some problems are fixed pretty quickly - it is figuring out how to do it that can be time consuming.
7. Know what motivates you best and have a strategy on how to stay motivated. It is important to understand what motivational strategy works best for you, and use it consistently. Have a clear goal in mind all time while you are on project. Asking yourself two simple questions - "what will happen if I do?" and "what will happen if I don't?"- is one effective motivational technique. This is especially true in case of DIY, where your actions or lack thereof are likely to have immediate - and tangible - results.
8. Last but not least - don't beat yourself when something does not go according to plan, especially if you are just starting out. This includes bad time estimates that tend to be number one cause of frustration in DIYers. Remember that no job is exactly same no matter how many times you do it, so you cannot possibly plan for everything. That said, your estimating and project management skills should improve over time.
Alan Woodbridge writes about DIY projects, home improvement, and personal motivation. He is a member of the team that runs DIYProjects.info: http://www.diyprojects.info