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Why Is My Build Taking So Long?

December 17, 2011

I’ve often wondered if other peoples time lines were as aggressive as mine when they started out.  I’ve never really thought that my targets were un-achievable, or even that aggresive.  However as 2011 starts to wind down and Christmas approaches I look back on predictions I’ve made and wonder where the time went.

When I first started this blog I made it pretty clear to myself that this is a chronicle of my build, not a how-to.  Now I am sure that years from now you’ll be reading this in 2015 and wishing I’d been more precise about what I did here, or how I handled this gizmo.  But that wasn’t the point of this.  I’ve tried to document certain things that stumped me and what I did about them.  99% of the time when I get stumped I look at other build sites.  There are some fine examples of people who are building and doing how-to.  Which is GREAT!  Thank goodness.  Having said this, I don’t think that the amount of time I’ve taken to write this blog or take pictures has been overly taxing on my schedule.  Where else could my time have gone.

Much of the time that I spend on any given task is spent reading the instructions, puzzling over them and trying to figure out what they’re talking about.  Then reading the instructions again and checking VAF to see if anyone else has had the same question.  I am very surprised when I find nothing on VAF.  I usually find that other builders have had the same issue.  Sometimes I will then check builder blogs to see how they approached it.  Once I’m completely confused and absolutely sure that I’m about to screw it up and have to order a new part from Vans, I dive in and perform whatever I’ve been stressing over.  Invariably I find the task wasn’t nearly as daunting as I thought it was going to be.  This “hand wringing” probably consumes 50% of my wasted time.  Call it “fear of making a mistake” for lack of a better description.

Other things that eat up time.  Research.  All that reading VAF and surfing other builders sites eats a bunch of time.

Laziness is another culprit.  Just dragging myself out to that garage, which is now 45 degrees to work with 45 degree metal and 45 degree tools is just a chore sometimes.  Like so many things we procrastinate like working out and saving for kids college, we find that it isn’t so bad once we get going and we’re pretty glad we did it.

I think the thing that I really didn’t plan on being an impediment to building was family time.  We usually take this time for granted and forget the hours and minutes that get by.  I spend so much time on the road, as it is, that it is important for me to spend time with the kids to make up for it.  Yesterday my wife reminded me that we were going to Springfield MO. for my sons hockey games today.  I was also informed that in January, on back to back weekends, we’ll be going to Oklahoma City and St. Louis for hockey.  My first reaction was “Ugh…4-days on the road for hockey.”  But like that procrastinating thing above, I’m always glad I did it.  So for the remainder of my “lost” time building I will chalk it up to family time.

I guess in retrospect there is nothing wrong with the speed of my build.  The real problem is my time line.  I have not factored in variables that I take for granted.  So remember that when you’re budgeting your time.  Fit your building time into your family, not the other way around.


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