Have you ever had a killer project killed by the procrastination demon? Do you have an idle project that should be in the wind this spring? This little rant is aimed at procrastinators (of which I am one), new builders and guys on the fence that keep talking about getting a build going. Veteran wrench turners know the procrastination demon can get the better of anyone or any project, so you have to stay on your toes as that sneaky bugger creeps up quick and a winter project turns to...2 years later wondering where it all went wrong. I know I need to kick the procrastination demon’s ass and my own every once and a while.
I can confess that I have let real world responsibilities take a front seat many winters but I have worked out a few things that tend to make sure I follow through with my project plans no matter what time of year I start. I have found these 7 simple principles go a long way to completing a project in a timely manner.
1. Make your project public: Tell friends about it, ask for help and let your plan be known, nothing puts a fire under my ass better than saying I’m gonna do something and having to live up to it. Start a thread, a blog, chronicle it on Facebook whatever it is just make sure you’re accountable to more than your self for the progress.
2. Don’t make excuses or tell your self lies: The fact is you have to want it bad enough and make it a priority. Over the years I have found a laundry list of excuses why I didn’t complete a project in time for spring. The fact is most of the excuses I have made are bullshit. I don’t have the money (I have seen plenty of $500 choppers that were cool), I don’t have the time (make it), I don’t have the skill (learn it or get help)… I’m at least 50% computer geek but I manage to figure things out when I decide to. Skinned knuckles heal and they make girly computer hands stronger. I have found none of the excuses most of us make hold water… when it comes to bike building you simply have to want it bad enough and commit.
3. Make a move! It’s easy really; you can start right now… get out a pen and paper write some shit down, set your goals and your budget. It's the first step and it gets you past the day dreaming point or out of the rut on a stalled project. Far too often people don't realize how cheap it can be to resurrect an old bike or update their daily rider, but it takes figuring out what you want to do. Set some deadlines and make it a priority. The one irreplaceable commodity in life is time and if you don’t build now, when will you. I meet old men at gas stops all the time that say I always wanted to build a bike, and I always answer with a polite matter of fact tone "why don't you"...
4. Plan ahead: Some of the obvious things that need to be considered: The parts you will need, the tools and of course the space to do it in. Now I know this all sounds kind of no-brainer, but how often do we PLAN UNTIL SPRING and not get the project done? Be mindful of the fact that it's truly amazing what you can do with only a few solid weekends of work. Sometimes just getting a bike back in the wind is a good starting point. How many of you have a non-runner kicking around?
5. Always have a dedicated area: Even if it's very small, one too many bikes never see the road again because someone moved a box of parts and the wife or kids put it at the curb. Make it clear to people that you are working on something important to you and not to mess about in that part of the garage, basement, or living room (A special wife is required on that last one).
6. Get in the garage: Work tends to happen when you surrounded by tools and parts... not when you surfing the web so get the hell off the internet, Xbox or boob tube and get at wrench or torch in your hand. Just reinvesting 50% of your internet and Facebook hours can go a long way for many people, so unless you updating you build thread or getting tech help ask yourself if maybe you should be in the garage right now?
7: Network: Trade skills and share resources, find friends in your area to work on bikes with, the camaraderie produces results and the satisfaction of riding bikes you built together afterward makes it that much more rewarding.
For me turning wrenches is 50% of being a biker simply riding one does not give you that title. Whether it’s a simple make over or a full on build does not matter, but turning wrenches does. I promise you won’t regret following through. Just don’t get caught in perpetual planning mode… remember all those excuses we tell ourselves, they are just lies. You just have to want it bad enough! If you’ve never done it, if you have an idle project or if you have been talking but not doing…
THE TIME TO BUILD IS NOW!
See you on the road!
Old Bike Barn