On a serious note since you brought that up......When ever I cannot complete a task, I find it helpful to attach a tag or note reminding myself of anything that I needed to finish, or something I needed
to insure that I would take care of.... Often your plan to return the next day gets pushed aside by lifes other distractions, and when you return weeks later, you can't remember what it was that
you wanted to be sure not to forget. Yep, you do remember there was something you didn't want to forget, but "What" was it.
Tom Rush and the "Remember" Song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yN-6PbqAPM
Many times I've gone home after work, got undressed and found tools in my pockets that I'd been looking for much of the day.
Many times I've gone to my toolbox to get something and it's not there. Look everywhere, can't find it. Spend time looking for it in the airplanes I've been working on. Not there either. Someone must have stolen it but nobody will 'fess up. A week later I find it in the wrong toolbox drawer, right where I left it with other tools I'd been using at that time.
When I torque a bolt or nut for the final time, I put a red paint mark on it so I will know latter. If there is no paint mark, its not finished. My wife's Red finger nail polish works great. She will never know.
F-900 TORQUE SEAL from Aircraft Spruce
A different color given to each 'member of the team' so you can tell at a quick glance who fastened that critical fastener.
A few years back while working on my 1980 mini clubman 1275GT, i was replacing the spark plugs and the HT leads wouldnt pull off very easily so i prised them off with a small screwdriver. I then left the screwdriver on the rocker cover and removed the 4 plugs. I then proceeded to open the box of plugs...the box is all taped up...i reach for the small screwdriver...where's it gone? Did it fall down into the subframe or under the car? Nope.
I freeze for a moment and think 'please dont have fallen through one of the spark plug holes', as i peer down the holes. Cant see anything. I turn the crank gently by hand, turns about a quarter then stopped.
I proceeded to remove the cylinder head and rebuild the top half of the engine.
Top tip: dont leave things in silly places!
When you injure yourself, avert your eyes and complete the task at hand. Once the task is complete, break out the duct tape and super glue and patch yourself back together.
Try not to bleed on the project too much in the meantime.
Like some of the others, I don't clean up til I start some other phase. Like going from wing woodwork to cutting and welding chromoly. Need diff tools. I never have put the tools up at night...that's time and then the time tomorrow to dig em back out again. So they get piled on the table so next morning everything we're using lately is right there in the pile. Yeh, I lose stuff in there and spend time digging around for it but no where near as much time as it would take *me* to do the organize drill everyday. I'm not really into savoring the process anymore; mostly just trying to get some work turned out. The table pile is the best for me. And I try to save all my anal-ness for weight reduction. Now i can get into that.
Well, we're all different, huh?
I sleep about 5 hours a night...lotsa times the really sticky problems are solved around 2AM lying there and it suddenly comes to me. I don't fight insomnia...middle of the night can be very productive. That's crazy as hell...this is sposed to be a hobby.
The biggest contributor to time saving and efficiency for me has been to close the gate behind me every morning.
Interesting comments on work habits. I would probably be considered part of the messy shop crowd but occasionally I get on a clean freak kick but it never lasts long. I usually hire out engine work as I'm mostly a metal fabricator and make lots of metal dust and don't want any of it in my engines that carry me aloft. I'm wondering if other forum members have odd hours like I do. 34 years of flying mostly on the back side of the clock as a cargo pilot will do that to you. I often don't go out to the shop till midnite and will work till 6 or 7 am and that seems to be my most productive times. Sleep for me usually comes in five hour blocks, not healthy for sure. Having a separate workshop from the house is important for night owls, don't want to disturb the normal people.
I had a wonderful experience yesterday. I had been missing one of my pairs of reading glasses. I have two pair because, well, it's always easier to find one.
Well anyway I was considering replacing my pair that had been missing for days, but when I reached up to slide the glasses down to read something, there were two pairs on my head!
Now only if my cat would come home.
Small tool cart has been the biggest improvement in general workshop organization. Take out whatever you need for the current job and keep them on the cart until the job is done. Stops tools from being put on the floor. All floors have soft spots like quicksand, where tools rapidly sink into without a trace.
"Aeronautical engineering is highly educated guessing, worked out to five decimal places. Fred Lindsley, Airspeed."
If it still won't fit, find a bigger hammer.
when it comes to final assembly, check, check and check again....do what we do in the airline; if you get distracted, go back at least two steps and do a mental review of what you were doing. It really helps.When it comes to inspection of critical things like controls, get a second set of eyes on the job. You'd be amazed how even untutored eyes can spot a snag.