The Cost of Perfectionism and Procrastination

Subtitle: How to be the Worst Sawdust Diary Client Ever


Hi there! This is Kelly – remember me? No, you don’t? Hmmmm…. Maybe that’s because it’s been months (and months, and MONTHS) since you’ve seen an update on my built-in cabinets.
“But Kelly, where have you been?” you may be wondering. “Did you get swallowed up by a sink hole? Did you win the lottery and buy your own island? Have your children finally driven you completely insane and you’ve been committed to an institution?”
#1, no. #2, I wish. And you wouldn’t believe how close I’ve come to #3, but no.
Unfortunately I’ve been the victim of my own devices: Procrastination and Perfectionism. Can you relate?
A lot of people think that procrastinators are lazy, but the truth is most of us are really perfectionists in disguise. Because to a perfectionist, if there is the slightest chance that something won’t come out perfectly, we will either put it off or not do it at all. Talk about counterproductive!
Here is my list of what I have been doing wrong so you will know what NOT to do when working as a Sawdust Diary client:

  • I got messy – When I’m not working consistently, I can’t keep track of where my tools and materials are. It becomes a disaster. This is just one tabletop in the room where I’m working.
    The sad truth is, the whole room looks like this.

    The sad truth is, the whole room looks like this.

    As a result of this mess…

  • I got disorganized – Trying to work when you can’t find anything is maddening. I put something down, walk away, and when I come back I can’t find it. Being disorganized makes getting things done take TWICE the time (or more). Trust me.
  • I got bored – Yes, building is fun. But there are parts of the process that seem to go on forever.
  • I got snowed in – It felt like my kids were home for three months straight this winter! Work pretty much came to a complete halt.
  • I got lonely – I am a stay at home mom whose kids are in school during the day. I love having that freedom, but being in the house all day gets LONELY. It takes a lot to stay motivated when your only partner is a dog who eats your shims and needs to go in and out 100 times a day.


  • I got embarrassed – Sometimes I would put off calling Sandra because I didn’t want to admit my lack of progress. I’d struggle with something for hours when she could have helped with in minutes. Ridiculous, right? Especially considering that Sandra is the best cheerleader, never judges and always gets me excited to build again. DIY Coach and Coachee


Now that you know what NOT to do when working on your project, I’ll end with some positive thoughts!

  • I’m back on track! Sandra gave me a timeline (also known as a “Get your ass back in gear” deadline). We are checking in on a regular basis and I know exactly what needs to be done, and by when. There is an end in sight!
  • I have the most understanding and patient husband in the world. He has not criticized the process one bit, even though I know the mess and my stopping and starting is killing him. I truly want him to be proud of me and to have our home back in order again.
  • When I look back and reflect on why it took so $%&# long to finish, at least I can say that I spent tons of time with my kids. They don’t let me get anything done, but they will only be little for a short period of time.
  • And most importantly, I’m not giving up. This project will get done. And it won’t be perfect, but it will be awesome.


See you soon with more updates!! I promise!

3 thoughts on “The Cost of Perfectionism and Procrastination

  1. Andrea says:

    This could be my exact post about my project. Word for word.

  2. Mary H. says:

    I go to the store and buy everything, bring it all home, and then it sits because I’m afraid to start because I might screw something up and it won’t be “perfect.” Crazy, huh?! It’s our type of personalities. We all need a “Sandra” to kick us in the butt!!

  3. Frances says:

    You’re totally singing my song. I stopped working on my large project last fall because my workshop is an unheated garage. Now it’s spring and warm enough to work. But now I have to remember how to set up the equipment, use the tools, etc. Maybe I’ll mess up the first few cuts … Or maybe I won’t. Shouldn’t be scary but it is.