I downloaded a set of free plans last night to look through. ($7000 of materials to make an entire plane minus engine, cheaper if you scrounge your wood instead of buying the kit)
Point 4 in the intro to the instruction manual seemed worth sharing.
This section seemed like it was written directly to me and my experiences so far with both the canoe and my progress so far with the FS17.4. Avoid obstacles to progress.
One of the major roadblocks of any shop project is the objection by family members that domestic obligations and relations are neglected for the project. This is an internal matter and beyond the scope of this document, but is still a major item for consideration.
Other than the family situation, there are three major human causes of wasted time in construction projects.
The first is the eager friend who is anxious to be helpful but doesn't know anything about building airplanes or even handling tools. By the time you show him how, check his work, and usually do it over, you could have done it several times yourself in addition to the job you are working on. The exact and highly desirable opposite to this type, and unfortunately very rare, is the experienced person that can be handed a job and be forgotten for a while as he gets the job done with no fuss.
The second time killer, more often plural than singular, is the curious and friendly type who comes around from time to time to see how you're doing, and brings a friend along who has to have the whole project explained in detail from the beginning. No work can be done or qualified to help. A sub-category of this type is the one with whom a little knowledge is a dangerous thing and who is always trying to improve your design to death by suggesting all sorts of things -- from little refinements to major rearrangements -- that will be made with your time, money, and materials. One unforeseen by-product of both categories is the added expense to the overall job resulting from the amount of your groceries, beer, coffee, etc. that they consume while sitting around keeping you from working.
The third major theft of your working time is yourself. As the plane begins to go together, it is entirely too easy to gaze dreamily at it by the hour admiring your own handiwork and engaging in all sorts of flights of fantasy while sitting in the cockpit of an unfinished fuselage perched on a couple of sawhorses. Even if you don't feel particularly ambitious when you go out to the shop, or time is short, try to make some tangible progress. Don't goof off for the whole work period by kidding yourself with the thought that you will really bear down tomorrow, or next week. Overdoing the improvements can often be a problem, although in some cases it stems from improved skills as the job progresses. There may be a big difference between the first rib build and the last so that it may be desirable to scrap the first few and do them over. Your own standards and cost considerations will be your only guide here.
The only thing I would add for myself is that for me the journey is as fun as the destination, so while this is critical if you are pushing for a finished boat or plane, it is less important if you are just enjoying the time building something and sharing that experience with friends or your children.