Dealing With Distractions / Procrastination
I’ll freely admit that I’m a subject-matter expert on procrastination. The way I often deal with distractions is by completely indulging them, by letting them freely pull me away from the task at hand. I’ll also admit that allowing myself to be distracted by other shiny things has definitely hindered my progress on the Disgustang.
Distractions are all around us, yelling and screaming, trying to pull your focus at every turn. When my projects become frustrating, almost overwhelmingly so, I give in. I’m not proud of that fact, but I do. Over a month ago, after spending hours installing the transmission, the clutch linkage, and the engine, after having drilled holes and installed parts that have sat in my house for literal years, I was discouraged when it turned out the cable clutch linkage didn’t fit with my headers. Yes, it’s reasonable and common that parts won’t play nice with others when you’re stacking two modifications together. Yes, I could have anticipated some fitment issues. No, this isn’t the first, nor will it be the last time I’ll have to reconfigure my plan as a result of tolerance stack-up.
Still, the clutch installation snafu took a lot of the wind out of my sails. First of all, the hydraulic clutch kit is double the price of the cable kit, so I had to sell the cable kit before I could buy the hydraulic kit, and that meant likely taking a loss on the cable kit (I did). Second, the hydraulic kit is a much more time-intensive installation. I figure it’ll take me the better part of a day to do it, and that’s if everything goes smoothly (fat chance!) Since the hydraulic kit arrived, I haven’t really had a full day free to devote to the installation, so the drivetrain assembly process has been on pause since then.
Instead, I gave in to the temptation and need for distractions and bought a 1959 Edsel. Yes, I have broken the cardinal rule of restorations, “don’t start another project until you finish the one you’re working on.” More on that later.
There’s really only one good way to deal with distractions, and that’s to stay strong. I remind myself that I will finish my project eventually. I tell myself that the frustration is only temporary, and while it’s reasonable to feel discouraged, that I need to focus on completing the tasks I can complete. If I can’t tackle something now, that’s okay, it can wait. And it’s okay to toss a cover on the car and come back to it next week, or even next month. This is a marathon, not a sprint.
And you know what? I’m kinda grateful for the distraction the new car has provided. While the next steps on the Mustang are onerous and time-consuming, I’ve been able to tackle and complete lots of small tasks on the Edsel. That sense of accomplishment has helped build up my confidence and has refreshed my desire to work on the Mustang…perhaps just enough that I may pull the cover off the Mustang this Sunday and get back to work.