Tinkering with Kyle Scheele

Today we are happy to share an interview we did specifically for Escape Lab with Kyle Scheele, a fascinating dude who is an expert at tinkering. We discuss tips for making time to tinker, getting over the fear of failure, and how to avoid paralysis by analysis. Plus fake marathons and making things with cardboard!

As you watch the video, make sure your Adventure Journal is nearby to jot down some of the gems that Kyle shares!

[ Get the transcript. ]

Extra Stuff

• Explore: Snapshots from Our First Marathon, photos and thoughts from the greatest race that never was.
• Check Out: KyleMakesThings.com, a repository of some of Kyle’s projects. Not to be missed: his bike-riding centaur costume and Abraham Lincoln mask.
• Visit: KyleScheele.com, Kyle’s main speaking website, where you can learn more about what he does and get his book.
• Don’t Miss: Ridiculous, the full list of Kyle’s hilarious Kickstarter projects, including Beard My Baby.
• Finally: Wayne White, the artist Kyle talked about.

In the video, we talked about the concept of making time for the things that are most important to us. A simple truth, but it’s certainly easier said than done. Today, we want to tap into the collective wisdom of this group.

What’s your best tip for making more “me” time? Also, feel free to share your favorite takeaway from the interview with Kyle.


  1. Lynn Carter Lynn Carter says:

    I wish I had a magical tip for making “me time.” What it came down to for me was realizing that self-care was not a crutch to be ashamed of, but one to be grateful for and to enjoy. I simply cannot function properly without a certain amount of alone time, good conversation with friends, positive sensory experiences, and a massage at least three Wednesdays out of four.

    • Word. I like the way you think.

    • Kim Kotecki Kim Kotecki says:

      I love the shift you explained… from be ashamed (for me: guilt) to being grateful and enjoying. Very cool!

      • Lynn Carter Lynn Carter says:

        I made the shift one Lent, possibly my first one as a Catholic, when I was separated but not divorced, unemployed and without child support. I was trying to figure out what to give up, but realized that I couldn’t live without any of the usual suspects, since I was walking a tightrope just trying to cope. A friend helped me figure out that starving my soul was not what Lent was about. Lately, with Rosie struggling in the school system, it drives me bonkers that a couple teachers think she should find the ability in all her difficulty, to *earn* experiences that feed her soul, when she cant’t manage anything when she’s starving.

    • Jackie Ward Jackie Ward says:

      Lynn, you are truly an inspiration to all who receive your wisdom. You have truly inspired my gratitude muscles.

  2. Kimberly McCue Kimberly McCue says:

    This took a bit of thought. I’m really bad at making me time sometimes. I try to work around all the “need to”s or “should”s, but they get to be never-ending! It seems whenever I’m in a pinch, me time is always first in line to take the hit. I have a hard time justifying to myself that relaxing or having fun is even at least as important as all the stuff that “needs” to get done. So unfortunately I don’t have a current trick I use.
    But I did try to think of what I COULD do (dare I say, tinker), to make more me time this year. I was thinking you have to be pretty deliberate about it, almost like scheduling your own personal playdate. It may help to set specific times in advance so that it’s easier to expect the “should”s to work around that.
    As far as the interview goes, I like the idea of making things out of cardboard. That might be useful for making props for a costume – I’m going to be making one for this summer’s local anime/video game convention.
    I also checked out the fake marathon photos – those cracked me up. I love the snowcones for hydration!

    • It seems like the adage is true: if you don’t schedule it, it doesn’t get done. Not sure why we are so haphazard in scheduling in fun, but it usually gets the short end!

    • Kim Kotecki Kim Kotecki says:

      I LOVE your idea of “scheduling your own personal playdate.” This I can get behind!

  3. Darla Dernovsek Darla Dernovsek says:

    I am really good at making time for yoga, because I do it first thing at least five days a week. But at night, I’ve discovered that “me” things only get done if I make sure they are my “first” priority after the “musts” — not the “shoulds” — are done. Equally important, I’ve decided to translate some of my “shoulds” into “me” tasks. If I think, “Gosh, I should call Mom,” it feels like work. But if I put, “I get to call Mom!” on my list, it becomes “me time.” It may be a Jedi mind trick, but it works for me.

  4. I was at a professional development conference in Miami last weekend and one of the speakers was talking about the importance of self-care. He said, “The number one thing your business needs from you is to be fit, healthy, and balanced.”

    Makes a lot of sense, because if you’re jacked up in any of those areas, you’re kind of a liability.

    Of course, you could substitute “your business” with “your family” and it still applies.

    • Jackie Ward Jackie Ward says:

      Jason I truly mirror the inspirational words & do believe that success begins with me & being in balance is an amazing feeling. I just need to place in on high priority because I deserve it as well as others who share in my world.

  5. Debbie Green Debbie Green says:

    I recently talked about my jewelry hobby. There have been times when I have gone months without touching a bead even though the desire is there. What I have done in this past few months is actually schedule time in my day, or every other day for “me time”. This is one of the things that I had put in my letter to myself….make more time…just do it.

    • Kimberly McCue Kimberly McCue says:

      That feels sad, thinking of not having time for a treasured hobby for so long. I’ve had that happen far too often, too. Good motivation for wanting to set more time aside for these things!

    • Kim Kotecki Kim Kotecki says:

      So happy to hear that you are making this “me time” happen! I’d love to see what kinds of jewelry you make!!!

  6. Melissa LeFever Melissa LeFever says:

    1. I totally remember seeing that finger thing in the media. I thought it was great!
    2. Me time has evolved during the first year of motherhood from taking time to shower, to sneaking in a nap ( I hear that they rule), to building in money into the budget for convenience meals and takeout to give us time to sit and talk at dinner.
    3. I previously had a night that I asked my husband to join me in not using technology for one night a week when we were home together- it gave us more time to relax and regroup without having all this extra input. I think I may start that again now that I think of it :)

    • Kim Kotecki Kim Kotecki says:

      Tech sabbaticals on a weekly basis – LOVE it! I also love your intentionality of budgeting money for takeout with the goal of having more quality dinnertime. When the kiddos are little, somedays a 10 min. shower feels like a spa day. Good for you, for making adjustments, as your day-to-day evolves.

    • Jackie Ward Jackie Ward says:

      Melissa . . . I feel your energy through your words of inspiration. You get it and I am thrilled to be the receiver. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Sara Gast Sara Gast says:

    For me, when I first heard Jason say (at a presentation back in 2010, I think) that we all were going to die with stuff on our ‘to do’ lists, that really hit home. As someone who has lived by her lists and calendar and schedule for over 15+ years, I felt I knew what was important in life (to dust or not to dust?), but always thought of Scarlett O’Hara, “Tomorrow is another day” and figured I would have plenty of time for me later. Watching a sister go through stage 3 breast cancer also helped me wake up and take more “me” time…and not feel guilty. I like helping people, but heard long ago that if I didn’t care for myself first, I am no good to anyone. So I get what I need to done, and don’t feel bad if my house isn’t immaculate or if my inbox isn’t cleaned out by the end of the day….I know I work hard and give it 100%…I will do what I want to do, spend my time with my daughter or self or friends as I want, and don’t have to justify anything to anyone. My takeaway from Kyle is you can’t predict what will be a success and what will flop; you just gotta keep putting stuff out there. To me, I take that as no matter what, make a contribution to society, to the world around you, in any positive way you can.

  8. Kim Kotecki Kim Kotecki says:

    Amen, friend – you don’t have to justify anything to anyone. No one walks in YOUR shoes except for you! :)

  9. Kim Kotecki Kim Kotecki says:

    My personality type finds it necessary to “earn” rest. It’s a pain in the butt to look at life this way. It’s exhausting. Honestly, that’s why this mission of living life without Adultitis is so very important to me on so many levels. I fight it daily and you all are a great inspiration to me! Thanks for your insights!

  10. Avatar Dave Timmerman says:

    Kyle was a neat guy. I haven’t taken my tree down yet either. My Christmas tree is so pretty this year and it fills an odd corner in my living room. Christmas needs to be more then just one day a year.

  11. Katie Heruth Katie Heruth says:

    If you can get into work an hour early and leave an hour early that makes a big difference for me. I can get things done that I want to do with that extra hour at the end of my work day and if it means walk the dog or bum around that it what I chose to do with my time! I make as much me time as possible. Why not!!!

  12. Terry Leonhardt Terry Leonhardt says:

    I loved Kyle’s interview (that, plus checking out all of the links counted as my me time today).
    Allowing myself to be diverted by interesting things, places, people, music, books, etc. is my tip for “making” me time. Allowing a little detour can lead to amazing discoveries.

  13. Mary Eickemeyer Mary Eickemeyer says:

    Having already burned through 2 or 3 hot glue guns in my life, I was intrigued that Kyle is sure that “you can do anything with cardboard and hot glue.” I typically have used hot glue for projects involving foam core and fabric. We have so much cardboard at our house that we recycle a whole load of it every week so I will have to think further on this.

  14. Becky Reisinger Becky Reisinger says:

    Make time vs. find time….I am going to put a few sticky notes that say MAKE TIME in places where I always wish “gee, I wish I could find time do…”

    I am most proud that I always make time to read a bedtime story to my 5-year old son. If bedtime is running late, if I am tired, if I have a million other things to do before I can go to bed…I always read that story even if it is really short.

    • Kim Kotecki Kim Kotecki says:

      What a VERY cool commitment. I am personally inspired by your dedication to this special time. Bedtime is not always the easiest part of the day.

  15. Angela Dunlap Angela Dunlap says:

    In August 2007, I discovered that the world didn’t fall apart if I allowed myself to make decisions based on what I wanted to do rather than what I thought others wanted me to do. My sister, mother, father and stepmother all joined me in Minneapolis for a graduation ceremony. I earned a master of science degree and wanted to celebrate with cap and gown and all the perks that go along with it. The whole weekend was about me, and I gave myself permission to NOT think about what everyone else wanted to do. A person can go crazy trying to please a sister, a mother, a father and a stepmother all at one time. They are all great and they get along great so I didn’t have to worry about WWIII or anything, but prior to this, I did worry about making everyone happy. Now, I take time for me in the morning by meditating, exercising and writing in my morning journal before I do anything else. I then have the inner peace and energy to meet others’ needs. I can’t wait until later in the day because then I won’t make time for it.

    • Kim Kotecki Kim Kotecki says:

      What a great gift to yourself, to stop worrying about making everyone happy. This is NOT the easiest lesson to learn… I fight it often. Good for you!

  16. Avatar Sally Van Rens says:

    I really enjoyed the interview. I had to laugh when he said that his Christmas tree is still up, because ours is as well. It just is not ranked high on our priority list with cub scouts, wrestling, basketball, a college course and three jobs. It seems like we are always on the go. with that comes the lack of me time. I try to make my lunch break all about me and I read, play on my phone, take a nap, go for a walk… In the past I have found myself held up in the bathroom, reading a book, or taking the long way home to listen to music that I love. Even if I have to put it on the family calendar I make time for me, and in return I allow my husband the same luxury. It keeps us sane and I think is great for our relationship and for our family.

    • Melissa LeFever Melissa LeFever says:

      I like the thought of me time as a luxury! I sometimes see my husband sitting in the car a few extra minutes before coming in the house and I know he is finishing up a good part of a book he has been listening to on his commute. I catch myself doing the same thing with music I love on my commutes- little luxuries we afford ourselves do add up and I agree that allowing each other to have some me time keeps us sane.

    • Sally, just look at it this way: if you keep your tree up a little bit longer, it’ll be ready to go for next Christmas! :)

  17. Jason Love Jason Love says:

    My biggest tip is to experiment with time. I was doing me time in the morning but find that I am more productive if I take me time at night. It helps me get ready for bed and the house is quiet then.

    I am going to take him up on his offer to contact him. My biggest takeaway is the importance of experiment with ideas and not worry too much about if it will fail or not.

    • My best “me” time is late at night, too. It’s always at odds with the people who swear by early mornings, but I tend to just swear at them…

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