1) Attain trance-like state by dint of extended deep-inhalation smoking on balcony.
2) Open packaging and lay out components, identifying them on instruction sheet.
3) Ensure all necessary tools are within reach. These will include screwdrivers in various sizes and a large container of prescription tranquillisers. (Valium is recommended but brandy can be substituted at a pinch.)
4) Close eyes, take several deep breaths, arrange features into beatific smile.
5) Begin working through instruction sheet one step at a time.
NB: This is vital. On no account should you permit your eye to wander ahead to the next stages. Live firmly in the present.
6) Resist desire to hammer in recalcitrant screws at rakish angles.
7) Ditto re reluctant edges.
8) Do not be afraid to repeat stage 1) as and when necessary.
9) Shriek at First Born, who doesn't understand zen approach and keeps saying he can see exactly what needs doing cos he's kinetic innit.
10) Warn both children that if they continue to interfere, you'll bugger off and they can put the bloody thing together themselves if they're so damn clever.
11) Bugger off and let them put the bloody thing together themselves since they're so damn clever.
12) Retreat to kitchen to cook tea.
13) Ignore howls of protest and insults hurled at your retreating back. You are a Zen master. These base emotions cannot touch you.
14) Resist urge to peep round doorway to see how they're doing.
15) Give in to urge.
16) Suppress disappointment at their progress.
17) Smile smugly when you hear a vital piece has been missed.
18) Wonder briefly if smug smiles are compatible with the zen approach.
19) Balance envy, admiration, disappointment and pride when viewing finished item.
20) Return to 1)