It's hard to imagine that we are well into 2009 already, and closing in on the end of the month. Has it really been almost two months since I posted something here? So much for being productive, eh?!
That's not to say that I have not been busy. I have been learning how to create videos to insert into blogs (stay tuned!); I have been designing new quilts (they'll show up soon!); and I have moved to a new house. So how do you design a new sewing room? I found that it helps to move a few boxes at a time -- if the movers had moved all of the boxes for me, it would have overwhelmed me. It was plenty of work to move the fabric over a few days... then the shelves with their myriad of tools, books, and notions... then the works-in-progress (doesn't that sound better than UFO?)... then the piles of quilts, desks, files, chests, and assorted machines. I found things I forgot I had made. I found tools I forgot I had purchased. I found fabric I haven't seen in ages. I found quilt tops that had been lost for years. I found a lot of things -- so many, in fact, that I wish I would start losing a few things! And that brings me to the message of this short blog entry: how do you get things done? Especially when there is chaos all around you?
For me, the answer is simple. I don't work well in clutter; it causes me to procrastinate; I prefer to look at piles instead of working around them, so cleaning up my work area is a must before I start a project. Having goals and staying focused is also key to getting things done. Every day I write up my "to do" list for the day. It helps me plan the day so that I don't end up running around in circles; I can dovetail some tasks, and I can focus on those that need to be done first. I usually make longer-term to-do lists so that I can look ahead and plan the week or the month, too - I review these on a weekly basis so that I'm continually aware of what I need to tackle and complete over the next few weeks or months. These longer-term lists also help keep me from saying "yes" to things that compete with existing project deadlines; overcommitting to projects or events can be very stressful.
Despite all the planning, there are times when life interferes and stress rises -- there are not always enough hours in the day. What do you do about that? Re-set your priorities and work on those things that have a short fuse. Occasionally, take a break and have a little fun - it will re-energize you. Get plenty of sleep; it keeps you fresh and creative. Eat well; it's healthy! And so is quilting. So... keep on sewing!
I'll write more soon - and share what I've been working on.