I've been out of work all year, and have been spending an increasing amount of time in my shop. (Happy, happy!) I have noticed in myself a tendency to "fiddle around" rather than get right after it. Recently I took a couple of jobs for real money with real schedules and I noticed after they were done that I am now a lot more productive! Moral of the story is if you want to discipline yourself to stay focused on the work, take a job for money with a tight schedule!
If it were not for the last minute, I would never get anything done. I see the conscious mind as not having a working majority at controlling my body until forming a coalition with my emotions fear of being late.
I've notoced that also. I take a lot more time to get a project going and completed. I've been medicaly retired for 3 years now and don't plan on going back to a money paying job. Those tight schedules is what caused my retirement in the first place.
I've been reading this thread with particular interest, as I'm nearing the end of my "Work Career" as some of you have for medical reasons... As I've known that the day was coming for a while, I've made a serious effort to develope some productive skills and uses for the time I will have once I'm done with the "Real World".
The issues I struggle with now, while trying to balance work, Shoptime & family are the number of projects that run concurrently, 2 to 3 seem about the max depending on how large or complex they are. Any more than that I get pissed off that thet're not getting done fast enough, and I end-up doing nothing (except getting more frustrated).
The fact that my vision is going only makes me more anxious about getting as much done now as I can...
I have not had a job since 1971 and have been self employed almost all of my adult life. One of the things I have learned about working for yourself is, you have to have schedules and structure in everything you do, or you won't get anything done. I have a black board in my shop and it is my boss. If I put down something on there to do, I consider it like it came from top management and has to get done. It is to easy when you don't have a boss to just do meaningless things instead of what you should be doing. I think it is the failing of most self employed people. It is best if you enjoy what you do, you can't do something just for the money.
For a long time that was my standard modus operandi for acquiring more tools and/or tooling for the shop.
I often took jobs that I needed tooling to do, charged the cost of the tooling to do the work, kept it as my reward. On some more expensive stuff with a long service life, I settled for less than the cost of the tools and made up the difference.
And then there is the occasional necessity to refill the coffers of "Secret Money". Surely, I am not the only person that has secret money.
I used to think the work only grew to exceed the available time and resources when you are working for a living. After I quit working for a living, work was replaced by "things I need to get done". And they too quickly grew to exceed the available time and resources.
The only real difference was who the person was that tasked you to drain the swamp and than came by every day to dump a new load of alligators in the yet to be drained or half drained swamp. It was now you yourself!
One thing I did learn was to quit work on anything that was making you mad. Especially if it belonged to someone else and you wanted it done right (money or no money involved). Come back to it, several times if necessary, and ideas, parts, and pieces fall into place and it get will done.
Getting worse or going away forever? Not the latter I hope. Lights, magnifiers, more lights and magnifiers, better glasses, and life goes on. Now I see my sons squinting at things, hand them any one of the numerous aids to vision I have around, and they are startled at what they were not able to see and suddenly can.
I too used to have "secret money". Then I divorced my wife and bought a house with my girlfriend. Now she has her money and I have mine, so money isn't an issue any more. (Now an issue is machines in the driveway ..)