Tuesday, January 8, 2013

15 Minute Challenge - Scheduling Part 1

The 15 Minute Challenge started out as an experiment in motivation.  My life includes a demanding full time job, laundry, other various household chores, a loving spouse and a very active teenage daughter.  The "have to do" is continually threatening to take all the time and just as important, a lot of the energy on my plate.  Sometimes there just does not seem to be much left over for the "want to do" quilting. 

For 2013, I wanted to explore how to be more creative and make better use of what sewing time I do have.  In the search to find some magic bullet to help me do that, I came across an article over at Mashable, "A 12 Step Guide to Fostering Creativity", that seemed to be a good place to start.  So each month, I'm taking a step from the article and exploring it more fully, looking for ways to incorporate it into my quilting.  Step 1 is "set a schedule".  The article points out it's not about just scheduling your creative time, it's about scheduling the other stuff that can distract you during the time you've set aside to do your crafting, designing, sewing. 

I'm a lousy scheduler, I know this because I've tried this approach at work.  There's always a meeting that seems to get scheduled over the time I set aside to work on project X, a phone call that requires immediate action that gets me going on something else rather than writing that technical report.  Same thing at home.   Plans were to get some laundry going Sunday evening after we got home from the volleyball tournament and I would sew a bit while that was going.  But we didn't get home until after 9 PM (compared to the 6 PM we thought we'd get home).  I'm sure you have similar things going on in your life.   Thankfully, I'd taken a few minutes before we left that morning to get Evening Star laid out and measured so I knew how big to make the back.  That turned out to be my 15 minutes of time spent on quilting for Sunday. 

There is no sure fire way to avoid some of those type of unplanned scheduling issues.  One way to side step some of that is to take advantage of time that was scheduled for something else that turned out not to need all the time you set aside.  Sunday morning, I'd finished getting ready and had everything packed for our day at the tournament. So I was able to sneak off for a few minutes get Evening Star measured and even managed to get it hung so I could photograph it.  That was about 20 minutes all together. 

So one trick to making step one work for you, is to take advantage of time that suddenly becomes "free" because you got done with a "to do" thing sooner than you thought.  Next week I'll talk more about how you can make the most out of that "recovered" time. 

I have been scheduling a time to sew during the work week, which usually has a more predictable schedule than the weekends.  At about 8:30 PM , I've been shutting down whatever I'm doing and walking up to the sewing room.  Add that in with my "recovered" time from the weekend and I manged to find 15 minutes every day out of the last seven to spend on a quilt project.

The last time I managed to sew for 7 days was last August.  The rest of January is going to be packed with another volleyball tournament and a business trip.  Managing 7 days a week is certainly going to be a challenge the rest of the month.

What's your biggest challenge in scheduling time to work on your stitching or yarn crafting?  How did you do this week in finding your 15 minutes a day to play with fabric or yarn?  Link up and share.  

1. Lesley
2. Kate
3. Amanda
4. Thea
5. Leah @ L3designs

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lesleyworth said...

Congrats on making 7 of 7! I was able to get in 6 of 7 days.

My biggest challenge is balancing mine and hubby's work schedule with the kiddo's, and making time for all of the above.

lesleyworth said...
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Chris said...

When my kids were little I would actually put quilt time on my calendar so I could have a little 'me' time.

Lynne said...

My biggest obstacle is my mental attitude -- sometimes it's easier to pick up my knitting and be stitching straight away than to go to my sewing room and do the preparation necessary s for making a quilt!

Kate said...

At this very moment, it's physical! My legs hurt too much to walk to the sewing room. ;) Okay, that excuse should only last for a week. Most of the time it's mental - I'd rather sew something fun than work on the UFO or organization (my usual 15 minutes.)

Marti said...

Those are good points in the linked article. #3, having a dedicated space is the thing that has kept me from doing much in the last year. When my dd moved back home over year ago, I packed up all my quilt stuff and stuffed it under beds. I tried to convince myself that it was still accessible and I could sew on the table, but it really hasn't worked out.

Congrats to you on 7 days of sewing. That's quite an accomplishment with a full life.

thea said...

Great week! There are two obstacles, no make that three: 1) procrastination/laziness - I'd rather do nothing; 2) my sewing space is away from everything else and so very cramped; and 3) oh, i've forgotten already what #3 was -- perhaps it's my memory??

seabreezequilts said...

I usually manage to sew most days but there are still days where I am to tired or can't be bothered. I probably need a schedule for house work lol. Great week by the way.

Deb@asimplelifequilts said...

I really admire people who manage to work in quilting time almost all the time. I have always loved making things but have also had stretches of life (years!) where I was too busy to make the time whether it was young children, kids in sports, my work schedule or was just flat out tired! The good news is that life will change and so will the demands on your time.

Shay said...

Im great at scheduling at work but very easily distracted at home. I love the idea of scheduling time to be creative and not allowing other demands to get in the way. Im going to try it. The computer is a big time sucker for me and I could be doing other creative things. Im also getting really lazy and sitting on the lounge a lot of an evening so if I had a hand sewing project I could use that time to get things done too. Maybe this winter would be the time to hand quilt something? Ive been talking about doing that for a while.

You rocked this week Kate. Well done !

Denise :) said...

I've not been great about getting in 15 minutes every day. I'm working on it! Great job on getting your time in daily! :)