How to Get Things Done (not just for Construction and Design Projects)

It sounds so easy, “You just start” and you’re on your way.  But maybe you’ve never done a construction project and are a little apprehensive. You’ve heard the horror stories and don’t want any part of that….

Sooo….with a nod to David Allen author of Getting things Done and Stephen Covey author of The Seven Habits of Highly successful people, here is how we do it….for our clients and ourselves.  In this order

1. Reflect    2.  Focus    3.  Schedule   4. Execute

Reflect– is my catch all term for your research, due diligence, interviewing, gut-checking both factual and emotional. This means from the most general issues of location, budget, scope, appearance. You do not want to focus too early, because you may miss some element of the big picture in your premature desire to drill down.

For example: did you review your financing, what can you comfortably afford? Not determining which banks have the best rates for refinancing.

Focus– Digging deeper into your assumptions, the process of weeding out the good from the bad, useful from useless, possible from unlikely until you get a sharper picture of what is feasible, attractive and  worthwhile.  You do not want to execute too early because the lack of the details may come back to haunt you later.

For example: Your future addition sits on an area where grass does not grow, why is that? should you invest and dig test pits to reveal the nature of the soil? Or are you comfortable waiting for the contractors to begin excavation and telling you that the rock to be removed for your basement is going to cost you another $20,000 dollars to remove?

Schedule- Though it seems self-evident, you need to transfer the action items from the to-do list to the calender and give it the same weight as an appointment that cannot be missed.Consider the real amount of time needed, what info and feedback you have to have before you act.

Execute- Plan the design and construction work in a rational sequential order to facilitate a smooth, less chaotic schedule.

For example: get all the bids in and fully vet them. Do not just surrender to a knee-jerk reaction to go with the low bidder, who has many exclusions in his estimate that will require extra costs later.