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I have two shops, packed with a myriad of tools and machines. I like to work with my hands to create things. Lately, I haven't even been motivated to walk out to the shops to start something. I have a serious lack of motivation I can't seem to overcome.

Christmas is coming, and normally I would be out there creating all sorts of Christmas and holiday decorations to sell or more likely, give away. I spend time on Pinterest.com looking at all of the "eye candy," and pick things I know I can produce, or modify in some manner. Nothing seems challenging.

I have the ability. I just don't have the motivation. :frown:
 

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I have a similar issue, too many "projects" filling the shop. Some are tools, parts, pieces and devices still in their shipping boxes that I haven't gotten to. Can't seem to prioritize what to work on. Feel like a hoarder sometimes. I'm using the past two months weather with humidity as the major excuse. I tried a major cleaning, but it only showed there isn't enough room. I go out there and many time get overcome by what isn't getting done.

Best example is that during the summer I went to a swap meet and found a "great" deal on most linear motion parts to build another faster CNC 200+ ipm, but only 2' x 4' cut area. A prior weekend I came up with the 8020 framework. Between the swap meets and dusty inventory, I probably have 70% of the parts, but where to put it if I finished it??? Answer is to get rid of something already taking up space, but that is where the comparison to a hoarder comes in.

My answer to getting started making something happen, is to commit to a sibling or son/daughter for a project. Spouse stuff doesn't work as well since you can get too many day passes. Getting somebody else to work on the "something" with you is also helpful just for keeping you on track.

Steve.
 

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I got an order for a Polish Eagle plaque, and by the time we got done talking the order was up to 9. Had 2 1/2 weeks to get them done for pick up Labor Day week end. That kick started me to get into full shop mode.

Not going to go out of my way for the holidays this year. I'll take what comes in, but not going to go looking for stuff to do.

The deer herd needs some more thinning.

HJ

Nothing wrong with a little libation while creating, especially when the eyes are closed.
 
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Doug
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Do something small that only takes a couple of hours. Sometimes I just need an icebreaker.

Or, look up the fox chapel "gizmo's and gadgets" magazine and make a rubber band machine gun.
 

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Sometimes I find myself not having clarity about what's next. I have a process i have my clients go through that clears this away. Take a loose leaf notebook and, placing only one item per page, write down everything that is passing through your brain. Get it all down on paper. The brain does not have a hard drive, so putting each thought on paper lets you unload the constant mulling over and over.

Fiddle with each page/ideas, and then move that page/idea to the top. That will be the one to take on.

Some of us ARE tool collectors. Those tools get used occasionally, but not a lot. Is there anything wrong with that? Only if you are a puritan. I think some of that acquisition impulse may come from childhoods where we didn't have all that much. Maybe its just making up for those lean times, and doing it because we can. No sin in that unless you're a Puritan at heart.

Or perhaps, its just that we like making something a few times until we get it right, then want to move on?

Take a break, go find a movie, volunteer to make something nice for an organization. I'm thinking of popping for materials to build theatrical flats for the local community theater. One thing you guys pointed to was the power of making a promise to others, kind of putting your @$$ on the line. Once you get making something, all the iffiness disappears, doesn't it?

Or just enjoy the whisky. No one says you have to do anything else. Right?
 

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Some of us ARE tool collectors. Those tools get used occasionally, but not a lot. Is there anything wrong with that? Only if you are a puritan. I think some of that acquisition impulse may come from childhoods where we didn't have all that much. Maybe its just making up for those lean times, and doing it because we can. No sin in that unless you're a Puritan at heart.

Or just enjoy the whisky. No one says you have to do anything else. Right?
Probably a lot of truth in that, Tom. I grew up very poor, and am now just poor, so I get what I can when I can, even if I may not use it much, if at all. Never know when you'll need it. Drives my wife nuts.

But, whiskey tastes better with sawdust in it.

HJ
 

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Oliver (Prof. Henry)
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Joe I'm 55 and in the same boat . I've got too many projects to accomplish , so instead I have a whiskey and procrastinate lol
I find Jameson [or any other Irish Whiskey] gives me all kinds of inspiration. Of course perhaps that shows in the projects I do. :grin:

Since I never work from existing plans and I'm never sure what I'm going to make next I often run into the same problem of being in the doldrums. When that happens I go to the shop and start playing with scraps of wood until I see a shape or combination that looks like it has potential.

Actually my recent Anniversary box was started because I was between projects and the idea popped into my head while looking at what materials I had laying around and trying to think of something to make. [Fortunately it also came at a convenient time.]

I'm an advocate of just doing something — anything — to kick your brain in gear. Glue a couple of scraps together ... cut some scrap on the bandsaw ... rout a design in a piece of wood. Once your hands start to get busy the rest will follow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
All good advice I guess. I am heavily involved in politics. Watching America crumble beneath my feet while being unable to do anything to stop it really irks me. Friends say, "Just ignore it!" Well, that is not in my DNA.

I disconnected my DirecTV over a year ago because they offered 500 channels of nothing worth watching. The news networks are nothing but sock puppets spreading pure propaganda, and it takes everything I have to walk away when some fool starts gushing over the thought of a Hillary presidency. I wish I could turn it off, but I can't. I am finding it difficult to plan even four hours into the future, because it seems that it will all be for naught.

I was going to mow the lawn today. I guess it can wait until tomorrow morning. So much to do, and absolutely zero desire to do any of it.


.
 

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Oliver (Prof. Henry)
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You are not alone, Joe. I have many friends in the same boat. Ignoring what’s happening politically may not be in your DNA but your friends who say “Just ignore it,” recognize that being so intensely focused on it isn’t healthy.

In college I discovered the writings of the Greek philosopher Epictetus and his words have guided me many times. He said, “There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will. We cannot choose our external circumstances, but we can always choose how we respond to them.”

Maybe that’s just another way of saying “Just ignore it.”

Personally, I don’t watch news programs because they just raise my blood pressure. I watch Turner Classic Movies if I watch TV, but I’m better off in the shop where I can get away from the world for a while to a happy place where wood and sawdust are in my control and I can fix all problems. It’s a groovy place to be.
 
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The thing that's getting me this election season is how stupid all my grandchildren are, believing the propaganda being delivered by so-called news people. It's as if every generation has to make the same stupid errors. Oh well. I went out to start a new frame and skipped the news tonight.
 

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For me, getting a new tool is a form of motivation for getting me back in the shop. Also, in the past year, I've taken classes on how to make dovetails, how to make spoons, and how to make knives. Inspiration to get back into hand tools and I swear projects are more rewarding when you shape things using hand tools.
 

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I believe we all go through these lean times when we just don't feel like doing anything. When I find my self in that situation. I go out and clean my shop. Just start at one end and go through the whole thing. While doing that, I always find some little project that I need to make my shop better, more organized. I will stop and build a needed shelf or a devise that I just realized I need. Some times I end up just looking at a magazine of shop jigs. You can always use another jig. Sandra will usually come to my rescue with a request for some thing to be built. She complained that since I have not finished the deck around the new back porch, it is too tall for her to comfortably step down, so she ask for some thing temporary. Only took a few minutes but while doing that I found something else that needed to be done. and off we go.
 

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I know this sounds funny but if I eat too much bread (gluten) I have no motivation. I'd rather sit around and do nothing. I went in to see the MD a few years ago because I was tired all three time, I was 35 and in good shape but it was a drag to get off the couch. She suggested the gluten allergy (it was the fad at the time I guess). She said she could run some blood tests for about $250 or I could just cut it out of my diet. So I saved the money and cut it out. My energy level and motivation came back. Now if I cheat and eat a bite of bread i can tell.
I love pizza so I make sure to only eat it when I know I can be a sloth for a couple days.
 

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Oh and another vote for cleaning. My shop has been a mess for a few months and I just can't get out there to work on any projects.
It started with piles of scrap cedar from the doors I built in the spring. Then things pile up over the summer. Oh and it's been really hot.
After working all day/week in the sun residing a house I just don't have the energy to clean or build.
 
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