We all have that friend or relative who has been renovating their kitchen for a few years (and counting). There are no cupboard doors, no sign of trim and the backsplash, which has been up for months, still hasn’t been grouted. Renovations always take longer than we think, and it can be extremely trying to complete anything after a 40-hour work week. If you’ve fallen victim to reno-crastination and have been living in a construction zone for too long, read on.
Brian McCourt is a contractor, design expert and co-host of HGTV Canada’s Backyard Builds.
There’s nothing quite like a good old-fashioned deadline, but the best deadlines involve friends, music, food and drinks! Give yourself lots of time to complete the renovation, but set a date and invite your friends to check out your handy work. This is perhaps the most useful tool for completing a project. But let’s face it: 80 per cent of the work will happen in the last two weeks of your deadline – it will be a long few weeks, but worth it in the end.
Take One Day Off Per Week
So you have a full-time job, and the last thing you want to do is come home and work on your house – I know the feeling. If you take one full day off per week, it allows you to tackle the next week with ample motivation and energy. Productivity will increase and you’ll enjoy the renovation process more. I almost always take Sundays off so I can recharge and get excited about the week ahead.
Bulk Shop Your Supplies
When tackling a large-scale renovation, I found that having supplies on-site for multiple projects made it easy to keep busy. If you run into an issue with one task, you can stop and move onto something else. Walking away and revisiting later is the most effective way to work through the brain freeze. You’re not solving anything by initiating a staring contest with that 2×4 or taking seven extra trips to the hardware store that day (a bit much).
Set Realistic Goals
I had a tendency to be over-ambitious in my early renovation days. My idea of how long jobs would take was fictional. I would plan unrealistic goals for the day ahead and constantly disappoint myself for not achieving them, even though I worked a productive 16-hour day. If you think it’s a two-hour job, then give yourself four hours to complete it. Celebrate the wins and stop putting yourself down.
Ask For Help
It’s okay to ask for help! A major reno is enough to throw anyone into an overwhelming headspin. You’re normal, don’t worry. Working alone can be a roadblock because, well, you’re lonely. An extra set of hands will give you the motivation you’re lacking. Plus, the satisfaction you get from a super productive day will echo through the rest of the week.
Give Yourself a Break
that for every 52 minutes of brain work, 17 minutes of rest is the perfect amount of time to recharge without derailing your focus. For physical renovation labour, I would be inclined to double the minutes, working for one hour and 44 minutes followed by a 17-minute break. There’s no exact science here, but the point is that small breaks are healthy as long as you aren’t losing motivation. A little java never hurts, either.
Create a Detailed Do-To List
Seriously though, who doesn’t love crossing something off a to-do list? Sometimes I jot down tasks that I’ve already completed just so I can check them off – weird, I know, but it helps put me in the right frame of mind. The real tip here is to work off the same list instead of writing multiple, and only cross items off once they’re 100% complete. A short list for the day is fine on a leftover piece of cardboard, but a digital master list or excel sheet will do wonders in keeping you organized. So make a list, check it twice, then make your home nice.
Find Inspirational Photos
A visual inspiration board is highly motivating. It’s the light at the end of the tunnel and a reminder of why you began in the first place. Leaving random inspirational photos in highly visible areas (like this amazing kitchen design by Sarah Richardson) for your spouse to see is also passive aggression at its finest. And while I don’t usually condone this type of behaviour, sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures.