August 6, 2013

Making Lists

Time management is not my forte.  A few years ago my boss encouraged me (with no real option on my part) to attend a session being offered at the hospital on time management, run by a consultant that I knew well and who knew what a mess my office always was.  The one thing I took from that class that I still try to use today is list making.  If there are just too many things to do and no way to remember them all, I make a list of the top 3-5 "to do" projects, mark them off as they are completed, and only have on my desk what I needed to tackle one project at a time.  It really worked.  Of course the monstrous pile that had been on my desk was simply moved behind me, but I met more deadlines with less pressure employing this technique.  If only it worked for art projects.

One blog that I stumble upon now and again is that of a painter and has been preparing for an art festival where her work will be available for purchase.  I think in a recent post she remarked that she had complete over 30 paintings in a month, at one point producing nine paintings in two days.  Huh?  Why am I so slow?  I labor over choices so much that I spend more time thinking than doing.

Today I just had to get started on a quilt if there is even the slimmest chance of getting it done in time for the auction.  Of course, I also have the teen son asking me, "When can I get my hair cut?  When can I get an eye exam?  I'm almost out of contacts!" while I also have a cat that needs to get her knotty-furred self summer shaven (for which I need a tranquilizer dart just to get her in a cat carrier).  So I just stopped everything, made quick copies of the pages with the fabric requirements for two quilts (because I still hadn't made up my mind when I would make) and headed off to the local fabric store.

Yuck.  The fabric store is now trying to compete with Michael's craft shop, so there was very little fabric to choose from.  I stood in line to purchase one whopping item, a new quilt square for cutting, then took off for the over-priced local quilt shop.  It was hard to find what I needed - 11 tone-on-tone drab fabrics.  Doesn't that sound like a lovely finished project?  It took forever and I think I got most of what I need to at least get started.  Then of course there's the one fabric that totally distracted me and I just had to buy a pinch.  All I could think of was that Sesame Street song, "One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn't belong...."  Guess which one doesn't belong?

After I bought most of the fabric I needed, I still had to run to the grocery store, pick up the dry cleaning and pick up the family room before I can justify sitting at a cutting table.  I think I need to schedule time for creativity much like I schedule visits to the eye doctor and the vet, or I'll never get anything done. 

Item No.1:  Get off the computer!