Thursday, October 27, 2011

...To be continued

Why procrastination is a bad habit

In the deepest, darkest corner of my storage closet you will find a basket, my basket of shame; all the unfinished projects that have conquered me and have reluctantly been resigned to their home of solitude and out of my site. But out of site does not mean out of mind; for me, leaving a project unfinished is mental build up, something like when a machine gets gunked up from not being cleaned and starts to operate poorly, it even hampers my creativity. If you are having a hard time being creative it really helps to clear the air (or your head) to build confidence that you can and will finish what you start.

Something I try to think about when I get a build up of unfinished projects is, why did I not finish to begin with? Usually I find fear at the base of each problem, i.e. something doesn't seem to be going the way I hoped and I don't want to put any more time into a failure, in which case it is helpful to know when to throw out and start from scratch, I have actually thrown away a half completed project (only when there aren't expensive supplies involved). So, just know when to bail.

Also, I find myself stuck when I don't understand the next step, like before I figured out how to put in a zipper really well, I would try and find alternatives to zippers and usually this wasn't a success and there would be an unfinished skirt stashed in my fabric bin. Don't be afraid to learn a new trick, if something seems unreasonably difficult then chances are there's a trick you don't know, search online for how-to videos, get a new skill under your belt, you will be relieved.

Lastly, my reason for procrastination would be lost interest, there isn't much of a cure for this obstacle besides just powering through for the sake of not wasting materials and commit to truly analyzing whether the project is worth your time before starting.

For a recap this is what I suggest:

1. Go through stashed away projects
2. Sort into "keep and finish" or "throw out" piles
3. Salvage what you can from the "throw out" pile for future projects
4. Make a list of needed supplies to finish your projects
5. List skills needed to learn for completing these projects
6. Start finishing your projects one at a time!

Here are some useful tips that I run through my mind to prevent incomplete projects:

1. Will I use/wear this when it's finished? (or the person I'm making it for)
2. Do I have all the supplies needed?
3. Is it cost effective to buy all the needed supplies?
4. Do I understand and know how to accomplish all the steps through the process?
5. Do I have the time needed to complete this project?

Don't be limited by these questions and never learn something new, but use this as a guide for practicality and time management.

As always my hope is that you will exceed your own expectations on whatever you set your hands to do and never doubt that you are capable of doing great things!

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