Sunday, October 18, 2015

Just Keep Making Progress

Our home renovation is almost complete. The new room is done and painted, and our desks are in there (although not in their final arrangement.) The fancy barn door into the office is up, and half painted. We like the colors we chose. The expanded living room is awesome. The removal of a built in bookcase inbetween the living room and the kitchen/dining area has opened the space up even more, and I'm still amazed by how spacious our common living area feels now.

The new patio we had to get due to some drainage issues is great, too. It will be really nice once we get some furniture for it and it will be even nicer once we come up with the money to put up a pergola or something to give it some shade. However, the new room provides some shade, so I think the patio will be really nice even as it is.

Of course, there is a lot left to do. Our garage is still a mess. The walls are painted, but the skirting boards are not- that is on Mr. Snarky's list for today, actually. He's gotten some shelves back up, but we haven't put our big floor to ceiling shelves back where they belong, so the garage is currently not functional as anything except a storage area.

Yesterday, we moved the piano and Mr. Snarky's desk out of what used to be our office/guest room and will eventually be Petunia's room. When we moved the desk out, we found some mold on the wall behind it. This is not completely surprising: we had a problem with mold growing on some outside walls back before we added insulation to our walls. I cleaned the mold off the walls, and started the process of de-molding the bottom of Mr. Snarky's desk drawers. As we surveyed the walls in that room, though, it was impossible to avoid the conclusion that the room needs to be painted. Hooray. More work.

Before we can paint, we need to finish boxing up the things in that room. Mr. Snarky has a ton of CDs, and they need to be boxed, and the shelves moved out of the closet. I had some shelves on the wall that need to come down, so I need to find a place to put the things on those shelves.

You'd think the obvious answer to that last problem would be: on the shelves in the new office. But we don't have shelves in the office yet. We're going to buy the Ivar shelves from Ikea and paint them. That is the best solution we can find that we can also afford- the overall renovation project has been quite expensive, to the point that the $3000+ cost of getting custom shelves is not feasible, and we have been unable to find any non-custom shelves we both like other than Ivar (if painted).

And the list goes on. I won't bore you with the rest of it. There's just a lot to do. I have given up on having a firm goal for when everything will be done. My new goal is that we just keep making progress- certainly every weekend, and sometimes during the week, too. I guess this is an example of matching the project management methods to the team and the project. There are just too many surprise additions to our to do list to be able to have a firm schedule for this project. But we do need to keep pushing to get it done, so we have defined an overall workflow and set firm intermediate goals for ourselves.

I have taken the "just keep making progress" mindset into my business work, too. at least a bit. There, I have more firm deadlines for myself. But those are all intermediate goals, really. My current push is to finish the book I will giveaway as part of my Tungsten Hippo birthday celebration. (I'll post it for sale, too, of course.) I will also be giving my Better Projects class starting this Wednesday, and I have a new book submission to write editorial comments on. I'm toying with the idea of taking the talk about job searching that I have given a couple of times in person and turning it into a seminar I could deliver online. I need to make a decision about whether to do that soon. I've decided I want paperback versions of my books to be available at, so I need to work on that. And this list goes on and on, too.

In this case, the long term goal is "build a sustainable business." That is a bit daunting, even more daunting than "finish the home renovations." The intermediate goals are a lot less scary, so I focus on them. I am beginning to think that is the secret to starting a company. Yes, I need to think about long term strategy and the like, but that is just words and aspirations. The real progress comes when I translate those aspirations into concrete, short term projects, and then complete those projects.

And with that in mind, my morning tea is done, and it is time to get to work on the real to do list for the day. Up first: finishing the ebook text and converting it into HTML for the ebook.


  1. Wow, your life has been incredibly busy.

    Have you seen the IKEA kitchen cabinets we put up in our sewing room and study? The cabinet carcasses (w/o the doors and hardware) are cheap, sturdy and install really easily. You can add doors later, as your budget allows.

    Also, remember the email I wrote about Unspotted? Feel free to quote it. I should give it a proper review, but I'm incredibly busy, too. That bookette (if it were fiction, it would be a novella) deserves a larger audience.

    1. I think you posted it as a blog comment here. I can't figure out how to cite that, so I'll wait for you to have time for a proper review. No rush- one of the great things about ebooks is that I can be patient and wait for the sales to build.

      We looked at all the Ikea cabinets, regardless of room. There were many options that would have been fine with me. Mr. Snarky is very picky. I try to view that as one of his strengths....

  2. Remodeling is so sucky, but so great when it's done. Quite honestly we still have tasks remaining wrt unpacking after our remodel was done in Feb 2014 :) It probably means we don't really need that stuff but I haven't confirmed it yet.

    Also, house projects multiply when you're not looking. We had someone come and look at the leaky roof in my craft space in 2013, and that turned into our crazy huge remodel that touched nearly every part of the house except the kitchen, one bathroom and the living room. I'm afraid to see what else might need to happen after that :D


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