Tuesday, January 22, 2013

15 Minute Challenge - Scheduling Part 3

The 15 Minute Challenge is all about finding making time to be creative (sew, quilt, knit, etc).  Each week I try to find 15 minutes every day to spend time in the sewing room.  This year in addition to finding the time to sew, I want to be more creative with this time.  Not only finishing quilts, but learning new techniques and working on more creative projects.  For 2013, the journey is not just about making the time, it's also about doing more with it.  For January the focus is on developing a schedule for creativity.  

Last week, I managed to squeeze out a 15 minute "sewing" session in a full weekend by taking advantage of time which I thought was going to be needed to get ready for day two of a volleyball tournament.  But I got done early and was able to sneak off to get a finished flimsy measured so I could make the backing when I had more time.   How do you take advantage of that "free" time you didn't know you would have?  Here's a few thoughts:

Be prepared.  Angela of SoScrappy and Kate of Katie Mae Quilts are two masters of this strategy.  Before the holidays, Angela looked ahead and prepared take along hand stitching kits for all the time they'd be spending in the car over the holidays.  And Katie,  focused 15 minutes of her creative time in the late spring and early summer to kit up projects to take with her when visiting Her Guy over the summer before he deployed.  It's no small feat to be prepared to sew in a hotel room (or 2) for a month.  

Focus on making progress, not achieving goals.  What does that mean?  Know what little things you can do to move ahead.  Measure that flimsy you finished last week, cut a few strips so you can make the binding, or just sit down and sew up a few pieces (either blocks you have going or what's sitting on your machine as a leaders and enders projects).   This is one place where having a number of projects going on can be a good thing.  I have 2 active leaders and enders projects.   If I have a few found minutes, I can fire up the sewing machine and just stitch what ever is available.  Or if I stitched last time, I'll press and trim if I have a few minutes the next day.  

Not that you can't work towards goals with the above.  I made a conscious decision what needed to move ahead this month, so I'm working to get stuff cut and organized to be ready for any "found" time should it appear.     

However, some weeks none of your scheduling strategies are going to pan out.  Last Thursday was the school Science Fair and guess who had not gotten her poster ready yet?   Mom had to make a dash to Staples for printer cartridges, so printing out the pages for the display took a bit longer than planned, so no sewing the night before.  Monday night I had work stuff.  It's rare that I have work stuff to do in the evenings, but this week I have meetings both Monday and Tuesday nights.  Even so, 5 out of 7 is not a shabby week. 

So how did you do this week?  Do you have any tips for using that "found" time the surprises you some weeks?  Link up and share your success this week.  


Lynne said...

What a great post! As a retiree I can waste a vast amount of time being disorganised so I really appreciate these thoughtful and encouraging posts.

Deb@asimplelifequilts said...

I enjoyed this post a lot. Thinking ahead and staying focused can really make a difference. And, like you wrote, it is amazing what you can accomplish in 15 minutes! I'm able to do a lot of sewing right now... so my 15 minute task is purging. A drawer, a closet shelf, a stack of books. My donations box is filling up and I'm only keeping what I truly love or use.

Marti said...

Great post. I like the idea of making time to learn something new too.

Kate said...

Man, that Katie is smart! ;) I'm with Deb - plenty of sewing time, but there's always something that needs to be organized or purged. It's been fun spending 15 minutes with my scrap boxes and finding pieces for my RSC.

seabreezequilts said...

Sneaking this one in at work. Last year was my year of doing classes and learning new techniques, it will probably continue again this year if I can slot it in. It is amazing what getting an insight into others creative mindset will do for your own creativity.

lesleyworth said...

I'm hoping that all of the cutting I did over the weekend for my Starburst quilt will make it much easier to move through the week and get those precious 15 minutes in! I'm usually a "cut as I go" kinda gal, but there is something really comforting about having that piece already done.

Great post, making time for ME this year in my schedule has really improved my attitude!

Chris said...

I have started to sew for about 30 minutes when I get home from work. I usually have about an hour before I have other things going on and decided sitting on the couch drooling all over myself trying to recover from the day was not an effective strategy LOL

June D said...

I finally did something with a needle and fabric so linking to my post about that. Have to scroll down to the bottom to read about my little project!