I just started sitting down to do my next task: a repair, not a project, but something I've been putting off for awhile and I wanted to clear it from my workbench.
And I've been considering how I actually *do* projects from a tuning standpoint.
So my first task was to put some things away to make room on the workbench. Then set up the DUT ("Device Under Test") and my scope and some documentation to consult while debugging and the scope was in the middle, the docs were on the right, and the DUT was on the left.
Is this optimal?
Given that I'm about to start, and moving things into place, it occurred to me to ask: what is the best layout?
Best guess is to have the scope on the left, because I'm left handed and would be holding the probe in my left hand. If I assume that I don't want the probe wires or my arm to cross over something, that means putting the scope on the left. I could also have the scope in the middle and the DUT on the right, but then my right arm would have little use.
So the scope is on the left, the DUT is front and center (probably better than on the right, since I would have to switch my vision left/right to do anything), and docs on the right. A PCB ruler and weight (on the right) to hold a document down and select a section for easy review - I can glance over and see a specific point in the document without having to scan down the page.
The point of all this navel-gazing is that I now have a rule that I can use for future projects that will incrementally make doing things easier. I can always say "scope on the left, project in the middle, and docs on the right" without having to think about it. "Iron on the left, project in the middle, and parts on the right" is also probably a good rule (for me).
Since it's a rule, it reduces the cognitive load (a tiny bit) and reduces the norepinephrine needed to start a project.
Baby steps. Do a lot of them, and you can go a fair distance towards your goals.