On Managing Projects (and the rest of life)
Can I let you in on a secret?? Harry Potter is ruining my sewing. I’m currently reading the final book for the first time. Since the most recent movie was released I got it in my head that I wanted to read all the books before summer when the last HP movie comes out.
Don’t ask me why. I’ve never been interested in HP before and I had never read the books before now either but once I started there was no stopping.
I’ve mentioned this before but I feel compelled to finish whatever project I’ve started immediately lest I put it on the back burner and never pick it back up again for 5 months (cough*thiscynthiarowleydress*cough). This urge to complete projects has extended to reading these freakin’ books until my eyes bleed because heaven forbid I put the book down for five minutes to do basic daily things like eat or shower or sleep! Ugh!
You can imagine that Harry Potter has kept me from the sewing table and kept me from completing much desired projects. The only reason I made my jeans was because I had just finished reading book 6 and had yet to start book 7.
So this leads me to a question I’ve been thinking about since it was posed on another crafty/sewing blog, Always a Project – how do you manage all of your projects – be them sewing or otherwise – while still getting everything else in life done?
I think it is important to work with your personality quirks not against them – like my need to “finish.”
- I try to limit the number of projects I’m working on at a time. This doesn’t always work, though. When you have so many ideas in your head it is hard not to want to do everything, but I try to resist! That way I don’t start 12 projects at once and have that must-finish-now mentality take over which would only lead to disaster and my head exploding.
- I like to schedule projects to give me set deadlines. For instance I have a baby quilt that I must finish before the end of June. I’m about a quarter finished with it but rather than picking it up now I decided to push back my start date to the beginning of June so I’ll have a few designated weeks just for that quilt. Before then I’m going to knock out a couple other projects. For June I’m going to focus mostly on the quilt until it is finished and if I finish early I can start on another project as a reward.
- Feeling productive is another one of my neurotic quirks along with “finishing” so I try to always have something to do in my downtime that isn’t necessarily sewing. That way when those times hit when I feel frustrated or just plain tired of sewing and need a break I can still feel like I’m not wasting my time. Maybe I’ll read a book for my book club, blog or do some laundry. I get antsy when I feel like I have nothing productive to do. Maybe I just can’t relax. Seriously, going to a beach resort where all you do is sit around in the sand all day is not my idea of a good vacation.
- Making lists helps me control all of the ideas floating around in my mind about projects to sew and makes it easier to see what needs to be done sooner than later. It also helps me to remember projects that I’ve put aside and need to start working on again.
So how do you keep track of and manage your projects? Are you like me and have more projects than you could possibly work on?
Have you ever neglected other important things in life to finish a project (Showed up late to a party because you just had to finish that hem? Forgot to take the laundry out of the washer because you got distracted with decorative top stitching? Or worse, forgotten to feed your cat because you’d been sewing all night? Yes, I admit to all these things. Sorry, Peanut.) Have any tips for me? I really wonder how other people manage it all.
I’m looking forward to your input! In the mean time I’m off to read The Deathly Hallows…