Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Making Plans

While I am still recovering from the injury to my ankle not much is getting done around here in the crafting department. I am WAY behind on my Mystery Quilt as Clue#3 came out on Friday and I haven't finished the 2nd Clue.  I am knitting on the Beekeepers quilt...those little hexipuffs are fast to make but even on that progress seems slow.  I hate sitting here on the sofa day after day. I thought things were going good until I over did it on Saturday and set myself back.  Ugh!

Anyway, I saw this posted on someone's blog (and now I can't remember who's) but and I thought it was something close to what I do without even thinking about what I am doing.

1. Put your plans on paper (or screen).  I am a huge plan maker, I write everything down on paper. My husband is always asking why I don't use the computer and its just not the same for me as using paper and pen.  While I don't always stick to the plan I do look at it and make adjustments. I don't feel I have to check things off I just need to have a place where my thoughts are organized.

2.  Break big tasks into smaller tasks to remove excuses for not starting.  I like projects with lots of little parts so that its easy to break into "chunks". Like my dish cloth challenge...52 seems like a lot until I break it down into 1 a week. That is so doable. 

3.  Decide how you want to start.  I always start with gathering my supplies, then I make my plan on how to eat the elephant.

4.  Establish checkpoints in your progress.  Again I go back to my written plan...did I do one dish cloth this week? 4 this month? Am I caught up on my mystery clues? And so on adjusting as needed.

5.  Know the difference between "I can't" and "I don't want to."  This is a BIG one for me. I am horrible at finishing things. I think its because I am so excited to get on to the next project that I want to tell myself "I Can't" finish this, its to much.

6.  Remind yourself of the benefits of completing the job. Who doesn't  love finishing projects and the satisfaction of being done with something. However sometimes its overshadowed by me then missing the project that I enjoyed working on. Silly but true. Long projects become part of you and I miss them when they are done. Another reason why I enjoy projects that take FOREVER.

7.  Do a small part of it right now.  Do something EVERYDAY. Even if you say you don't have time. Knit one row, stitch one block, just make forward motion.

8.  Be optimistic.  This is huge. I get overwhelmed sometimes but then I just review my plans and make adjustments and all is right in the world again. You can do anything with time and forward motion.

9.  Establish an action environment. I am fortunate to have room in my home for a whole quilt studio however I find a basket of knitting sitting beside me is just as productive an environment. Find what works for you. Be organized if your time and space is limited. 

10.  Avoid places where distractions occur.  This is a hard one for many of us. I have a hard time working in silence. I need background noise. Maybe its because I spent so much of my day alone with myself that I need the sounds of others. I knit while watching TV. I enjoy books on tap when I am quilting. But I can't sew or use Lola if someone else is in the room. Find what does and doesn't work for you.

11.  Know your energy patterns and take advantage of your peak times. I enjoy my studio in the morning. After lunch I am of no use to anyone. Knitting I reserve for the evenings....unless I am laid up with a bum ankle.

12.  Use the stimulation of good news to do extra work.  I am able to get more accomplished when I am happy or excited. This however is also the time that my brain says I can add on more project on to my list.

13.  Recognize when indecision is causing inertia.  This catches me a lot. Its when I need to get a quilt on to Lola but I have no idea how I want the quilting to go. Right now I have a huge project on Lola that I have barely begun because I don't have a clear vision of what I want to quilt. Sometimes I just need to sit and stare at the top and listen to what it wants. I just haven't taken the time to sit and get the thoughts going.

14.  Use visible reminders. I refer to my plans all the time. Once a week I review as things come up and life happens, babies are born and people you love pass away (or you fall and twist your ankle).

15.  Give yourself room to make mistakes.  I make mistakes ALL THE TIME. I give myself permission to not be perfect. Its okay with me if my points don't make perfect on my quilts or my stitches are not even in my knitting. I can choose to dwell on the mistake, fix it, or say that it artistic licence.

16.  Don't set goals you don't expect to reach.  Why my plans may be far reaching I do try to make my goals, be it the weekly or the monthly ones attainable. Its no good to be stressed out about reaching your goals. Again I say, life happens when you make plans.

17.  Enlist a partner. I am very fortunate to make a wonderful husband who will sit and listen to my plans and he encourages me along the way and aks how things are going. Find your partner and share.

18.  Keep reading to increase your skill.  I am HUGE on continuing education. I have been a quilter for 20 plus years and I am still learning new and exciting things. I read books on the subject and watch videos. Try Craftsy.com if you want to take an online class, they have something for almost everyone.

Its not pretty but its my plan. Each week I need to knit one dish cloth, one Barn Raising square and 8 hexi puffs. Totally manageable.

No comments:

Post a Comment