Saturday, January 24, 2009

My, How Time Flies!

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.
Sue Garman