do you projects on hold for no good reason?

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Not for any other reason other than lacking the motivation. You have all the supplies and tools to get started, you can even see that finished project. But getting there can seem so far away LOL

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy every aspect I partake in with DIY, the planning, the executing, the execution, the admiration and self satisfaction.

Do you ever get in a slump lacking motivation then procrastinate with projects? How do you get jump started again?
I became a little bored with this topic, I think I will start another :eek:

Seriously though, I think I'm on to something good.....and I think I can...- makes B line to fridge-. Why don't more people take the "I" line, its looking much faster?

Getting back to a project and started can and usually is the hardest part.

I will also return to projects at a later date. They usually fall under a some type of category. I try to prioritize things that will be useful, or cool, or useful and cool, or just cool. At the moment I'm working on something useful cool and beautiful. Thanks mostly to mother natures hand in it.

-kicks self in ***- I will get started this afternoon, I just promised me I would :eek:
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I have set aside projects sometimes for a year or more when I think the approach I took was too risky. This eventually results in a rethink of the approach to reduce loss in the event of failure; the odd thing is these are invariably my most successful projects - low or uncertain expectations and a big win as the end result. (My GM70 amps were almost still born - got half way built lost my nerve, they sat for a year. When I picked it up again came up with a much simpler and less expensive power supply which fully met the design requirements.)
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Mine is more of a traffic backed-up situation.

I have many drivers that could be used to build quite a number of speaker systems.
I already have too many systems. There is no room, I want sound in that doesn't already have a system.
My speaker storage room has now spilled out into other rooms with drivers and systems that are not even hooked up.
My wife is not as thrilled with my hobby as I am.
Projects on hold.
I have retired and closed my shop. As I laboriously go through all the crap accumulated over the last 60 years of electronics, I find all those "one of these days I am going to convert this into a..." projects. Things i was interested in, but not as much as I was interested in something else.
I have a terrible time staying focused on a project. So many go unfinished, it's downright embarrassing.

Right now, sitting directly across the room from me, is my latest - a hardware multichannel SACD ripper. I'm pulling I2S out of a Yamaha AV receiver just ahead of the DAC, going into an 8-channel ASRC chip, then to a miniDSP USBStreamer to get it into the computer. (The ASRC is there to solve the 2-master-clocks problem.) The stupid thing is, I've already done the tough bits - the 64-pin, 0.5mm FPQ IC is soldered to the breakout board, and the fly wires are tacked to the DAC pins and tested. And yet, there it sits. I dunno if it's fear of failure, or some other ridiculous thing, or what.

You know what? I'm gonna close this goddamn web browser, put on some good music, and see how much of this thing I can get wired before it's time to go to bed.

Thanks everybody! :)

-- Jim
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Usually I stall out at the moment right before ordering parts...I have a hard time putting money into a project until I am sure I know every single part I want and how it will be laid out. Even down to small stuff like wire and connectors. I'll plan for 6 months or so...just to be sure I don't have to make multiple mouser orders. And then I'll forget something and make multiple orders anyways. I will even stagger my orders, timing wise if stuff is coming from China so it all arrives at the same time. Sounds ocd...but trust me, Iam not a neat person. Actually, I enjoy all the planning just as much as the building.

My new technique is to buy the most expensive item like the chassis or transformer first. Then there is no going back.
It's both funny and sad reading through this thread. So many of us share the same dysfunctional symptoms! So many of them sound so familiar to me!

Familiar, yes, but not surprising to me, because, some years ago, I read a fascinating book called "Crazy Busy" by Dr. Edward Hallowell.

As a child, the good doctor suffered from ADD (or maybe ADHD). He went on to become a doctor, and make a career of helping others with the same condition.

Then something happened. As the years went by, Hallowell began to notice a change in society - more and more "normal" people (who did not have ADD or ADHD) - nevertheless were starting to display many of the symptoms of people who really did have ADD/ADHD.

The short version of the story is that our evolving technology - particularly in the 1990's - pushed many of us to "multitask" more and more, at first in the workplace, and now, during our entire waking lives.

We cannot do two cognitively complex tasks at once, so what we actually learned to do was to switch our attention back and forth, rapidly, between multiple tasks. In other words, we trained our minds to constantly hop from one focus to another, over and over and over.

The human mind is very flexible, very good at learning. When you practice something for hours daily, it eventually becomes unconscious and automatic, as any musician, tennis player, or circus juggler can tell you.

So, through multitasking constantly, many of our minds were now trained to automatically and constantly lose focus on the current task, and hop to another one - whether we actually wanted this to happen, or not.

Which is pretty much how a doctor would explain what happens in the brain of a person with ADD. :(

According to Dr. Hallowell, many or all the symptoms described in this thread - starting too many projects, but not following through with them, being distracted by new and "shinier" projects, forgetting what we were working on as soon as we leave the room, buying supplies for projects we never start, collecting things we are going to "someday" use for something - these are the same symptoms that people with actual ADD suffer from.

The big picture is not encouraging: the book was written before the arrival of the iPhone, Android, Twitter, and who knows how many other of life's modern distractions. Things have only gotten worse, and that trend is not about to change.

There is some hope, though. Since the human mind is quite flexible, it is possible to change it through focus and repetition. In this case, what we have to practise is the opposite of multitasking: we have to practise focussing intensely, for sustained periods of time, on one single task or object.

Some forms of meditation - many of them evolved over centuries or millenia - are a direct description of exactly this: focus on one thing for an extended period of time. Doing this regularly can be very helpful for our unhealthy, madly hopping minds.

I find I can also gain the same kind of benefit from other types of intensely focussed activity, for example, playing a musical instrument, or wood-working. You cannot multi-task while using a table saw, at least, not if you want to leave with all your fingers still attached to your hands! :eek:

Dr. Hallowells book had other good advice to offer, but unfortunately, I lost my copy during a big move to my new country, so I can't look it up for you.

And yes, I am quite aware of the fact that I just spent quite a bit of time typing up this post - and during that time, I've postponed doing a few household chores I have to finish before I get to bed tonight!

Was discussing my retirement and projects with a friend over lunch the other day - he's a doctor. At some point we decided I needed his phone number or email address or something. He offered, "Here, give me your phone, I'll put it in for you." It was impressive to see the deer in the headlights look I got when I told him I don;t carry a phone.

I think all those incessant multitaskers would do well to TURN OFF their phone or other handheld communication device now and then. No need to instantly respond to the latest facebook posting of someone just purchasing new socks. It can wait.
I think all those incessant multitaskers would do well to TURN OFF their phone or other handheld communication device now and then. No need to instantly respond to the latest facebook posting of someone just purchasing new socks. It can wait.
I agree with you entirely - but the sad fact is that smartphones have turned out to be incredibly addictive, and most people who've used them for a few years, feel utterly lost and quite disoriented without their drug of choice.

In college I had a friend who was a chain-smoker. The last thing he did before he went to sleep each night was smoke a cigarette. The first thing he did every morning when he woke up was smoke a cigarette. We were poor students, money was always tight at the end of the month, and this poor chap would buy cigarettes rather than food - he could stand being hungry, but not being without his cigarettes.

These days, most people with smart-phones sleep with them beside the bed. The last thing they do before they sleep is check their phone. The first thing they do when the awake is check the phone. Many actually wake up in the middle of the night, send texts to other people, and fall asleep again, remembering nothing in the morning: Google the phrase "sleep texting", which is now considered an actual medical condition. :eek:

So, most people who've had a smart-phone for a while, particularly young people who grew up with one, are at least as addicted to their phone as my old college pal was to cigarettes. (I bet they pay their phone bill each month even if they have to go hungry to do it, too.)

When you're addicted to your instant messages and Facebook posts and other random pokes from strangers substituting for the friends you don't actually have, it really can't wait. You feel awful if you try and wait. (Just ask your doctor friend if he would consider going an entire weekend without his phone, and see how he responds!)

I currently have no cellphone, like you. Haven't had one for two years. I did it for my mental health.

I think I have a built in natural defense mechanism towards social media sites like FB. But have found going without the net or even just my smart phone for a day unsettling. Speaking from experience it does feel similar to giving up video games or any other addiction like smoking. Apart from the physical addiction which wears off within a week the mental addiction can and does have some people trapped much much longer.
I have a terrible time staying focused on a project. So many go unfinished....I have a half finished single ended amp....

I can get a project to the point where I'm happy with the electrical and sound aspects of it, then it stalls. There is this little guitar amp. This picture was posted in the Hundred Buck Amp Challenge thread in mid December, last year. It still looks exactly the same, there is a bunch of pine stacked next to my table saw, and the saw has been dragged out into the yard at least a dozen times for other projects.......Can I remember to knock out a simple box for this amp when the saw blade is spinning? ......Apparently not.

Yes, there are half finished projects all over this place.....some have been waiting for a little attention for years.

TURN OFF their phone or other handheld communication device now and then........smartphones have turned out to be incredibly addictive

My wife and daughter can't live without these things. The two oldest grandkids are rarely without their tablets. We all went to a Memorial Day picnic yesterday in a relative's back yard. We were outside for about 4 hours. Since water was involved the kids had to leave their electronic devices inside. All of the adults, except me had their smartphones, and used them often. Within an hour all of the kids were whining, "When can we go inside." After about 4 hours they all wanted to go home.

I have a smartphone. I find it useful in times when I am stuck inside, or riding in a car for long distances. On a normal day it gets checked once or twice a day to see if anything important happened. When I'm driving, it stays in my pocket where I can't see it.....that's where it belongs in a car.......

OH, BTW, what did I do for a living before being "retired"?......UH, I was a cell phone designer at Motorola, creating the evil beasts!


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