Thorsen Side Table Challenge #3: Better Stop Thinking and Start Doing

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Blog entry by Paul posted 05-10-2007 12:02 AM 947 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Resisting the Urge to Plunge In Part 3 of Thorsen Side Table Challenge series Part 4: Progress »

Yes, I successfully resisted the urge to jump in. But, is the deadline now just three weeks away?

I have this sometimes unfortunate quirk in my personality that treats thinking about what to do, and making plans for what to do, in my head, as a quantitative and material act. That’s why I’ve read dozens of great books containing dozens of great ideas on a whole range of subjects but I have never put them to work outside my head. (You see, by just reading the book and thinking about it – perhaps even writing out or drawing up a plan, I feel like I’ve “done” something.)

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a great advocate for thinking and making plans. I’ve found it very helpful in woodworking and life. But my point is that it’s a very dangerous thing to say to me, “Get to it when you can!” Give me a time-line. Give me a deadline. Expect me to get it done by . . . and I will do the best job I can and I will meet the deadline. I have to discipline myself to do so, even if the other person says, “Get to it when you can.” I’m not really a procrastinator. It’s just that I love to think and there’s always something else to think about! Or I can always think about the same thing some more! And therefore, I always have a sense of accomplishment and that I’m doing something!

I took a “strengths finder” personality test recently and it told me that one of my strengths is “Intellection” (A Thinker). Yet, written from a management viewpoint it pointed out that if you manage a person with a strength in “Intellection,” you better pair him/her up with somebody who has a stength as an “Activator” (impatient for action) – the “Activator” will “push him/her to act on his/her thoughts and ideas.”

Is that deadline just three weeks away? I’ve got the plan in my head. I’ve actually taken one material step and reclaimed some wood from a burn pile. Gosh, I better get after it! March 31st is my Activator!

-- Paul, Texas

8 comments so far

View Karson's profile


35032 posts in 3823 days

#1 posted 05-10-2007 12:11 AM

Paul: Double time. Measure, Measure, Cut, Cut, Plane, Plane, sand, sand, Measure again cut to final size. Start milling, Start assemblying (dry fitting) Recut screwed up parts.

See how easy this is. Get a washtub of finish and just dip it in. let er dry and your done.

Just be creative in your picture taking so that the OK pieces are shown.

PS I’m not a shop teacher in real life.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View RickInTexas's profile


45 posts in 3475 days

#2 posted 05-10-2007 12:13 AM

Hey Paul, I think I fit into your same frame of mind. At work, they actually think I’m a procrastinator, but they don’t see me thinking of different ways to accomplish the same thing. By the way, hopefully “May” 31st is your activator, March is a long ways away.

-- Rick - Spring, TX

View oscorner's profile


4564 posts in 3733 days

#3 posted 05-10-2007 03:59 AM

Go for it, but be safe!

-- Jesus is Lord!

View Paul's profile


660 posts in 3515 days

#4 posted 05-10-2007 04:48 AM

oh my gosh! Is it May already!?


-- Paul, Texas

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 3749 days

#5 posted 05-10-2007 05:52 AM

I understand perfectly. If someone tells me “when you get a chance…” or “As soon as you can” they might just as well say “don’t do this” unless it’s something I REALLY want to do.

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View Jeff's profile


1011 posts in 3516 days

#6 posted 05-10-2007 06:53 AM

Paul, Great Minds Think Alike. I hear ya and understand like most who have replied so far. Having been forced into a ‘management’ position at work a little over a year ago, I now have a new-found respect for the Activators of the world. Like Karson basically stated, just DIG IN and GO MAN GO! Good luck!

(This ‘sage’ advice is from someone one who hasn’t even gotten his table off the drawing board…) Stupid house-selling tasks anyway. :-(

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 3722 days

#7 posted 05-10-2007 11:44 AM

Give it a try Paul, You still have time to squeeze in a little table building between sermons. (;-)

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 3583 days

#8 posted 05-10-2007 12:31 PM

at one of my jobs they were hiring someone for a position and myself and a co-worker were up for the position. My boss said, I don’t know what to do: You the thinker or her, the do-er.
(I got the position).

For me, always thinking, I have to act right away and get it off my plate because I just have so many other things in my head. That’s why my table was done right at the start. Think it, do it, move on. I think I’d burst if I didn’t get it done right away. (either that or it would just be forgotten about because so many other “things” had to be thought about…

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

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