Sunday, March 13, 2016

Focusing My Camera

As I pulled out my laptop to do today's post, I thought, I have so much to share....where to start.    But I decided to share my mental house cleaning and the resetting of the appeture of my focus.    I have enough self-awareness to know that when I am scattering across more projects than should be legal, it is always because I have a task I don't want to do.    My avoidance of this task is actually more time consuming than the actual work would be.    My nemesis is work on the website for the non-profit I assist with.  When my group morphed into a new organization by merging with another not for profit community group I agreed to stay on to do the financials, budget and website for one year.....that was three years ago.   I am so over all of it and I think recognize I resent corrections like ...."your calendar of events shows March 20th, not March 20, 2016....."   I mean really.  I keep the calendar current rolling off days as they past.   I doubt there were be confusion of whether it is a 2016 or 2017 event.    I have identified the dragon, next up, I will slay it! But enough.....

Many of you commented how do I get so much done......well from where I sit, I don't see it that way.   I see too many irons in the fire and a Jack of All Trades and Master of None and a myriad of WIP's of all nature.

I decided to pass along a couple of tips that help me and may help you.   First up, I am most productive when I use a timer.   Yes, a timer,   I have one from Pampered Chef that I can clip to my shirt collar and I am off.   The thing with me is that once I go down that rabbit hole of working on a project, I could be lost for a day.   And then the things I need to do like grocery shop, gas up the car, or laundry don't get done and contribute to the following week being not so nice.    On productive weekends, I usually think of the things I need to accomplish over my first or third cup of coffee and then I decide the best way to get it all done.   It is always a time and motion study.   Clean kitchen and bath while the clothes wash, then stitch while the clothes dry, or I may walk on the treadmill while they dry.  Of course I parse out the time for good things too like reading, stitching, etc.   If I do not manage my time like this,  I think I could live like the cat woman who was a hoarder of stuff and is discovered covered with orts and cat hair in her recliner.    I know it sounds a bit too managed and not spontaneous but for me, it makes me so much more productive which equates to much more happy.   Also, I don't get bogged down stuck in a nasty task all day but I manage to make headway on it.  If I set aside an hour to cut fabric or sew or even clean a closet or the fridge, I feel like that hour is more productive because I know I have a limited time.   Make sense?   Working long hours all week, it helps me make the most of my weekends.  With warmer weather and the desire to be out in the yards to 24 hours a day, I need to 'budget' my time.  Like I said, not necessarily a method for everyone but it definitely makes me more productive which means makes me happier.

Hand and hand with my timer method,  I am a list maker.   What a feeling of accomplishment when I can put a check by a completed job.  I have more than once jotted a list early Saturday morning, plugging in my estimates of time to complete only to realize I have listed about 18 hours of tasks to complete.....time to regroup and prioritize or better employ that time and motion study method.

My third tip I learned from teacher at a quilting class I took.   She told us that when we finish our sewing for the day, to set up the next step.  By doing this, I can jump right in before work for 15 minutes of sewing or cutting.   For me, those 15 minute bursts at the sewing machine really add up and move me closer to completing a quilt top.

So real quick, my stitching progress this week......I completed the block of bargello.

I did some more over one stitching.   I stitched the top motif incorrectly and decided to make the bottom one match and then center and modify the last motif.   Much better than frogging the over one stitches.

 Completed this block as well.   Beads are still needed for the flower centers.

This week, I hope to complete the partially stitched pineapple on the right and fill in another empty block.  I did not make my goal of completed this my by March guild meeting but I am getting there.   Maybe my April Guild can hope.  I am heading to Salty Yarns in April for my semi annual retreat and I want to get whatever beads and charms I need when I am there.

Stay tuned for future posts about a tour of Westtown Quaker School (sister school of Ackworth), trip to Chester County Historical Society, meeting Betsy Morgan, shower progress, and hopefully a decision on signing up for Pioneer Sampler Girl Project with Betsy Morgan in OCMD.

Here are photos from Betsy's site - Will Hands.  I fell for this project when I first saw it on the Swan Sampler Guild page last year......It is going to come down to regret....will I regret it someday that I didn't sign up for this weekend class?     I am thinking yes.... I even talked to Betsy yesterday about how much pre-stitching is needed and it is not lot.   I will keep you updated.

I am curious, what are your secrets for getting it all done?


Robin in Virginia said...

First, I think you should take the Betsy Morgan class unless you have a conflict with the date.

Hmmm...I am a list maker (chores, errands, stitching, etc.). Many of my friends say I am too structured or rigid with my list making (oh, and I use a timer as well), but it works for me and allows me to find 'joy in my journey'.

Very nice progress on your WIP.

Stasi said...

Robin, Betsy is a great teacher. I'll look forward to seeing you again at her class in June.

As for secrets of getting it all done...wish I knew them. I'll stay tuned to see what others write!

moosecraft said...

I'm a list maker... I used to do daily lists, but now I do weekly lists. That way, if I have the energy after work to do something, I can get a little extra accomplished. I used to list just on weekends.... but, then got tired of working all week, only to have to run around on the weekend (like a maniac) getting the weekend list done. All work = grumpy. lol! I've also learned it's best to just jump in and run with it... having too many things in progress weighs me down to the point of I just can't get up to do any of it.
Your stitching progress looks beautiful! Love that little section with the birds!

EvalinaMaria said...

Oh I'm drooling over that project...
As for the secrets for getting things done - I'm pretty much like you: I have a list of most important things to do for every day, I use a timer (on my iPad) and I do a weekly plan sheet.
Evalina, This and that...
and Random Act of Stitching Kindness

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

The timer is a great idea. I have two school age children so my day revolves around their timetable. If I'm not at work on a certain day I'll try get computer and chores done in the morning leaving the after lunch period for complicated stitching which requires concentration and not being interrupted every ten minutes for snacks and juice!

Great progress on your sampler piece. I love all the individual motifs.

diamondc said...

Hi Robin: I am like you I do make a list and stick to it, this way I know how much stitching and beading time I have at the end of the day, I too multi task.
Love your projects so pretty.
I will be taking a Betsy Morgan Class the first week-end in April Stitchville USA is having their Spring Retreat, I have not missed one in 6 years.
I would like to take the Betsy Morgan Class you are taking that project looks beautiful.