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I think I have DIY ADD.

Working on my primary bathroom has turned into daydreaming about the time when I’ll be done and can work on the outdoor patio. Which means it has me making plans. And now I find myself writing down a purchase list for things totally unrelated to remodeling a bathroom.

I read about a study recently where dieters that did not tell their friends about their progress wound up reaching their goal weight with greater success than those openly discussing it with those around them. It was almost as if by saying the plan aloud, it gave the dieter a premature sense of accomplishment – making falling off the wagon that much more likely. Or maybe the one squawking about her diet and carbs and fiber and metabolism just annoyed her friends to the point where they shoved a cookie in her mouth to get her to clam up. No? Just me then I guess.

In light of this news, I can’t help but wonder, is that what happens to me in my DIY world? I love my projects, and I love putting a big fat line across a task on my to do list. And yet I seem to only get a thrill when I am planning the next project after this one.

I realize that to really get a project done right, one must plan, especially big ones like landscaping, so my patio daydreams can’t be all that bad. But I must admit in my history of home ownership that the last finishing step often goes ignored. Filling in nail holes are indefinitely postponed; the last piece of shoe molding to truly call the flooring project “over” has still gone unpurchased. And the cover to hide the TV wires in the living room hasn’t been painted thanks to my plans to repaint the walls (why whip out the paint brush if I’m already going to paint everything else anyway?).

My mother will claim that it’s in my blood: my dad has always had multiple projects going on at any given time. But I know myself better than that. I’ve just been allowing myself to gravitate to the more interesting thing. Daydreaming about a patio and planning it out in paint.NET is soooo much nicer than putting on that dust mask and sanding the wall again.

So, as I spend yet another night fully intending on working on the bathroom (and hoping that I really do), I thought I would ask for your thoughts on the matter. If telling people about one’s plans can hinder the actual accomplishment of them, what does that say for DIY home improvement bloggers? Do you ever feel like you’re sludging through your projects? If so, what do you do to snap out of it? Or do you find that blogging about your projects gives you the motivation to get things done, so that you have more to talk about? Feel free to discuss – I see something shiny, be right back…

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  1. I tend to think about more fun projects when I'm working on the mundane. Or when I'm in the mundane project – thinking about when I'll finally get the fun part of it: the painting, the decorating, the standing back and looking at the finished product! There is definitely no basking in the glory of each step around here!

  2. You can get derailed from a project so quickly. I know I have times where I stop what I'm doing because I think of something we already have to do the next thing on the list, or I find the perfect materials on sale. However, I find that also keeps me from getting bogged down in a current project.

    And relax. I still have quarter round molding “finishing” my floors. Summer's coming…

  3. I think we were separated at birth. Assuming that’s true, maybe my little trick for keeping myself on task will work for you, too. Write the words “FINISH WHAT YOU START,” or something like it, on a piece of painters tape. Next, stick that piece of tape on the left side of your chest, with the letters upside down. And, voila! Now, every time you glance down you’ll be reminded to stay focused. :-)