One of the things that I firmly believe contributes to my lack of focus and feeling overwhelmed (and I’m sure applies to many of you) is the amount of choice that’s out there. Don’t get me wrong, I love having options and I love having the freedom to be able to make those choices. But, let’s face it, between Ravelry, Pinterest, blogs, Facebook, etc. etc. the possible “next project” can be daunting. And I’m ALWAYS changing my mind and getting distracted by the next shiny, “must do” project. That’s why I have a backlog of sewing patterns and a stash of yarn that I will probably never make it through. And I have some nice stuff, yo.
This influx of inspiration and stimulation is largely why I try to limit my social media consumption (I unsubscribed from Facebook about 2 years ago and I haven’t looked back…and I refuse to get sucked into Instagram even though it’s oh so tempting!!) and why I have no business starting any new hobbies…although I will admit to dabbling into a little bit of embroidery lately *she says with her head down scuffing her feet on the ground…oh the shame
In order to save myself from myself and the infinite number of choices of what to do next, one of my 2014 knitting goals is to complete the first 20 projects in my Ravelry queue. These are projects that I already have yarn and patterns for and which have been in my queue for quite awhile. I made sure as well that the projects represented a nice mix of smaller/quicker projects (mittens, hats, socks) and larger projects (sweaters, a blanket). I’m smart enough not to set myself up for certain failure by making myself knit 20 sweaters in a year (I should say that usually I’m smart enough. It’s not always the case). And, to avoid the temptation of rearranging my queue to fit in something shiny and new and for which I will have to buy yarn (I’m a cheater), I’m copying what I’ve seen others doing — paper surprise bags. I put one skein from each of the 20 projects in my queue into a paper lunch bag along with sticky of the pattern name and then sealed the bag. I wrote on the outside of the bag whether it was a small or large project and put them in a drawer. Now, when I finish a project, instead of spending hours sorting through my yarn or Ravelry and starting 20 different things, I can go to the drawer, pull out a mystery project and voila – that’s what I’m working on.
Forced focus. Will it work? We’ll see. But it was fun making all those paper surprise bags:)