Tuesday, January 5, 2010

2010 Goals/Time Management

I've had this post rolling around in my head for a couple of days now (lots of time to think while shredding, you know).  I posted my 2010 needlework goals on Sunday and they are quite ambitious.  In order to have any shot of completing them, I need a better game plan than I've had in the past.  So, I've been putting a lot of thought into what I feel are the barriers to my productivity and how to make the best use of my time.  Time management has been something I've been focusing on in general over the past couple of years in order to eliminate time spent on unnecessary or unimportant tasks in order to have more time to spend on things I enjoy. 

I've determined that my main time waster is mindless web surfing, which is completely in my control to change.  So, I'm going to make it my top priority to get that under control this year.  It's mainly a problem when I'm working and I'm not interested in what I'm working on.  Since I do all of my work on the computer, it's easy to just open a webpage and start surfing.  Of course that drags the work out longer, which cuts into my free time.  I am self-employed and only have myself to get the work done, so the longer it takes me to do it, the less fun time I have.  Again, largely in my control, so it's up to me to solve this problem.  Maybe posting it here for the world to see will help me.

The other things I've been thinking about are changes I can make to other barriers to my productivity.  One of my biggest barriers to my quilting is the fact that I don't have a dedicated studio so everything except the sewing machine has to be pulled out and put away after each session (i.e. the kitchen island is my cutting station, the floor or bed serves as the design wall when needed, and there is no good place to permanently set up a pressing station).  Because of my current set-up, it is not efficient for me to try and quilt for short periods of time.  In addition, I am a morning person and have no brain matter left after about 8 p.m. so trying to get complicated things done in the evening is a lost cause for me.  After 8 1/2 years of quilting, many more than that of cross-stitching, and even more than that of crocheting, I am now fully aware of what times of day I have the mental competancy to work on each of these hobbies and how much set-up time, or not, is necessary to do so.  I can crochet when I'm dead tired or have a migraine, but I need full wattage in order to stitch accurately and for most quilting tasks.

So, given the above, I have come up with the following plan to make the most effective use of my needlework time.
  • I repurposed a large Rubbermaid container with a lid to use as a project box.  I can keep all of my current stitching and quilting projects in the box for easy access to pull one out when I have some time.  I already have my current crochet projects in a carry bag that I can grab whenever I need it.

  • Any morning time I have available before work will be spent on my stitching projects.
  • Any evening time I have available will be spent on crochet projects or blogging.  Much I'd love to start each day blogging and commenting on other people's blogs, that is most certainly something I can do when I'm tired at the end of the day and I shouldn't be spending my peak energy time on those tasks.
  • Longer periods of available time will be dedicated to quilting.  Admitting that I will probably never be a quilter that can get quilting things done in the evenings after work, like so many of you do, was a big step for me.  I was very frustrated by this for quite some time until I realized that I just need to develop a system that works best for me.  If that means no quilting during the weekday evenings, but marathon sessions on the weekends, then that's how it will be.
Boy, just putting my thoughts on this down in writing is pretty motivating in and of itself.  I've always been the type that gets things done once they are written down, so let's hope that means that I will get a lot accomplished in 2010!

1 comment:

jillquilts said...

It's good to know what works for you and what doesn't. For the longest time, I let someone beat me up about coming home from work and not sewing. Once I got that person out of my life, quilting became enjoyable again and I no longer beat myself up over not sewing each and every day. It's been great!! :)