With any project, it is incredibly easy to get off track and distracted. Most of us have plenty going on in our lives, so it can be very taxing to stay focused to finishing a motorcycle. I want to share some of the things I have found that work for me, with the hope this can help someone else with time management.
The first thing I do with any custom work I do, is get the bike on the lift with plenty of room around it. Then I remove all items that won't stay, so that I can start to visualize the end state. Once I have my plan in place, I start to make two list. The first is a list of all tasks I can think of, the second is a parts list that I need to order. Now these are one and done, type lists. These will always be evolving. These list help keep me on track and focuses on what's next.
For me, I keep task lists for just about everything. I have a small notebook that is around me at all times. You never know when you will have something you think of. This is what helps me balance my day job, my family, and my business. The also have two white boards near my bike lifts for anything that comes up while i'm working.
At this point, I know what I need to do and what parts to order. Also be thinking of anything you have to send out to vendors. You will want to reach out and check their turn around times. With this information, we can start to think about when. I try to dedicate specific days of the week to my own builds. Think about all the things you have going on and what works best. From there you can start to see how many hours you have each week/month. Now gauge the amount of work you have to do. Lay out the steps and also add in the timing of sending parts out. Be generous with the amount of time you give yourself. There will always be something that was missed, a task that fights you, or something unforeseen that comes up.
With a solid game plan, it just comes down to holding yourself accountable. I really helps to have a loved one or friend that will push you. It can help to post your build to social media and/or forums. Believe it or not, there are times where you don't want to go out to the garage and work. Keep pushing yourself and crossing off those items on your task list. There are a few milestones that I think really solidify what you are doing. For me they are;
- Rough design of the bike
- Tear down
- Bodywork progress
- Rolling chassis
- Assembled motorcycle
- First Fire
- First Ride
If you have a better idea while you are building the bike, evaluate the pro/cons of doing it. If the good trumps the bad, then go for it. None of this is written in stone. Don't let others feedback deter you, build the bike you are happy with.
If anyone has tips/suggesions that have helped them, please put them in the comments below.
And of course, the best part is the completed bike. All of your hard work is not a functioning work of art.