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Ever take a walk around your shop just to look at it? Not work, just look? You should.

Been dealing with a stomach bug of some sort for a couple days, so haven’t done much of anything at all productive. But, beginning to feel a bit better and bored with just sitting around waiting to get back to normal, I wandered down to the shop just to refresh myself with what I had going on.

I had no intention of doing anything but look around – I have a personal rule to never, ever work in the shop unless I’m at my best, since I know from experience the results would be unsatisfactory. Everything was right where I’d left it, of course, but I found that with the shop quiet and nothing going on, that I had a different perspective of my workspace.

That let me see things I don’t normally see while working. I realized, for example, that where I’d placed some of the lights cast shadows I hadn’t noticed before. With nothing else on my mind the flaw jumped right out, and it was easy to see that simply moving the lights here and there would not only fix the shadows, but I could even eliminate one fixture.

I also saw a spot where a bit of water was coming in. (It is a basement shop, after all.) The telltale bit of staining was small, and busy working I’d never noticed that before, either. Again, now that I’m aware of it I can fix it.

In all, I spotted several things I could move, change, reorganize or otherwise tweak that would make my shop more efficient and, more importantly, more enjoyable. But I wouldn’t have noticed any of these things if I’d gone down there to work.

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