Often when we think of productivity improvements in the workshop our minds go right to a new tool or item to purchase to save time, space, etc. However, this blog is going to focus on things you can do to improve without spending a dime!
1. Have More than 1 Trash Can
This one is a game changer, disposing of scraps and debris is a great way to keep your shop free from clutter. I have trash buckets all over the place, especially where I know I’ll be making messes. As much as you can, try to avoid saving those tiny scraps of wood. They’ll quickly take over your shop if you hold onto them. You think you’ll need them… You won’t.
2. Block Out Shop Sessions
You’ll get a lot more accomplished if you can get into a woodworking groove for say 3 hours straight without distractions to mow the lawn, wash dishes, etc. Block a portion of your daily or even weekly schedule off and set intentional time aside to hone your craft or work on your project. Make sure your SHOP time is YOUR time!
3. Set a Specific Goal for each Session
Before you even step into your shop it’s a great idea to set a goal for each session in the shop. Using something as simply as Google Calendar is a great way to block this stuff out and plan for each session. Maybe even plan out each phase of a project in advance and see how far ahead you get! Being more intentional about how you use your time will help prevent unnecessary distractions from absorbing your time in the shop.
4. Know When to Break for the Day
Even if you haven’t finished that goal you set for the day, if you’re tired and starting to slip up, you risk making costly mistakes, wasting time and material, and increasing risk of injury. No hurry! If you’re tired, stop.
5. Put Tools Away
This may seem counterintuitive, but keeping a clean and organized workspace as you go is one of the leading ways to maintain efficiency as you work. You’ll really only need to take a few extra steps to bring it back out but having things put away will help you avoid losing small pieces, getting overwhelmed and even losing things! Everything in it’s place!
6. Clean Up Messes as They Occur
Cleaning up messes is one of the best ways to stay productive. Keeping a broom handy has helped me use it more often. The more you clean throughout the day, the easier it is to stay on track. It’ll help prevent you from tracking it through the shop and into the house! Plus, there’s nothing better than walking into a clean shop at the start of the day so you can get straight to work.
7. Use a Set of Plans
Avoid just winging it when it comes to your project. Having a complete set of plans for even the most simple of projects will drastically increase your productivity. You can just set up and get to work rather than wasting time trying to figure out where to start! If you’re looking to learn how to design your own plans, check out SketchUp and my tutorial on how to use it.
If you’re still looking into how to or whether or not you should set up a shop I welcome you to check out my Weekend Workshop Course where I teach you how to turn ANY space into a workshop that works for you!