Sometimes You Just Need to Stop Working and Get Organized

Reminder: Introductory pricing on live-edge cribbage boards expires Saturday night.

I feel that my time is limited and valuable. I am usually trying to get the most impactful tasks done as quickly as possible and ignoring the less pertinent ones.

But, sometimes, it is a good idea to take a break from directly trying to achieve progress and take time to optimize your work environment so you can do better work more easily and efficiently.

Last week, I spent a few hours organizing the crawl space at the end of my shop which I used for wood storage. Since I moved into this shop five years ago, wood was simply piled on the floor. While this approach required no set up and little thought, it was an inefficient use of space and difficult to pick through.

I pulled everything out and installed racks on two walls to store lumber up off the floor in an easy to access manner. Short stuff on the left set of shelves, long stuff on the shelves to the right. (Really long stuff stays in the shop, as it doesn’t fit in the crawl space.)

On the third wall, I stood up wide boards that didn’t make sense to put on the racks.

I also commited one of my rolling carts to use as a metalworking bench. When grinding, I used to have to monitor the location of the grinder as it vibrated across the bench. Not any longer. I cut some thick rubber mat to fit under the base (an offcut from my 2016 April Fool’s Day Flexible Straight Edge), then screwed the grinder down to the cabinet.

I even removed the gooseneck lamp from the grinder, which I never used! This was one of those projects that was quick and easy to complete, but never important enough to start.

I also bolted down my baby metal vise which I recently moved into the shop from storage.

Although I could have been working on building website pages for the new cribbage boards or something else to help generate income, getting a little bit more organized and freeing up space in a tiny shop was a good investment of time. I am confident that it will pay off with increased productivity, a safer physical environment, and a healthier mental space.

6 thoughts on “Sometimes You Just Need to Stop Working and Get Organized

  1. A man was struggling to cut down a tree with a very dull crosscut saw when a stranger passed by. The stranger said “hey buddy you need to sharpen that saw”. The man with the saw replied “I haven’t got the time. I need to get this,tree,cot down.”

  2. Hi Chris,

    As a hobby woodworking guy I am a strong advocate of being organized. The benefits are many (more output in small shops, safety, and better storage). Another over-looked benefit is being organized usually translates into doing better work.

    As a business coach, i preach similar benefits to my clients.

    Always enjoy your writings, woodworking tips and projects.

    Keep well,

    Joseph N. Petraglia
    Sent from my iPhone

  3. In woodworking, we really need to be organized for us to find the tools easily and be able to focus on some works or projects. What a great job you have done. Got some amazing tips from you. Keep up the good work!

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