Planning seems to be in the air here at Jill Wolcott Knits. Tara Swiger suggests we plan every month, but I have not been really good at it. This April I have not only generally planned April, but I have made a plan for the next three months (quarter 2). On Wednesday evening as I left my studio I turned around, went back to my desk and tidied up, wrote my Thursday schedule, and also my Friday schedule. When I noticed last night I had failed to do one thing on my schedule, I transferred it to today’s schedule. What the heck is up here?
Planning in General
In the past I have skipped everything but the most-short-term planning, and basically carried everything around in my head and sorted through that in a haphazard way. It is not planning. It is triage.
Some planning fog that has enveloped me for years (there was a time I was a good planner) has recently lifted. I have been killing my daily to-do lists, and somehow I don’t feel the sense of imposition I usually experience. I have so many things I want to do, and planning in a larger way is essential to making them happen.
Somehow I have always been able to move projects ahead. But without focused energy, and so much to do, I often end up flailing around at crucial points, not knowing where to put my efforts, or just not being able to point myself in the right direction.
I began planning my knitting a year or so ago. I just needed to have direction and be getting things done efficiently. It was such a huge help. When I say planning, I mean that I make a plan and schedule, and then use that as guidance and I am not very strict about enforcement. But the cool thing is that by doing the planning, I have direction, focus, and steps to follow.
I’m loving these little Time Maps I found when I was clearing out my credenza. I create a schedule with what I need to get done. It doesn’t actually matter if I do it in the order set out (unless I have other things that will interfere); what it does is let me know how my time needs to be used to get things done.
I think the big fog lifting really happened after I undertook the CreativeBug drawing challenge in February. First I had to commit to do it (and I did it publicly by posting photos to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr), I had a specific time limitation (daily!), and my own schedule that I had to fit it into. Something had to go; I never want to let anything go, so it was pretty hard. I think what I gave up was a combination of procrastinating, wasting time, and having too many things going on at once.
I have sorted through all my project files and either archived them, moved them forward, or gotten rid of them. I worked on collating information and finding better ways to do things. I cleared out my email Inbox, unsubscribed from all the crap that I had been automatically signed up for, and did tiny things every day to make larger changes.
This is a process that is ongoing, but my rate of task completion has skyrocketed, it is possible to see what I need to do at any time, and it has given me the 45 minutes I need every day to do my drawing.
Rejiggering the Necessary
We decided to only go to the large farmer’s market and other shopping every other week. This frees up most of two Saturday mornings a month, and gives us something to look forward to–no errands, sleeping in, and unscheduled time. I still need to get a few things, so I walk to the neighborhood shopping area on Saturday and we go to the neighborhood farmer’s market on Sundays. I still do my two Pilates sessions, I run two or three days a week, and I get my blogs up and my newsletter written. I teach on Wednesdays. This morning I ordered non-perishible items to be delivered tomorrow.
Test Knitting Ahead!
I’m going to rerelease–with some tweaks–this pattern. I’ve had one person volunteer to be a test knitter and I’d like a couple of others. Test knitting means:
- You provide the yarn,
- You are not paid,
- You get to keep what you knit,
- You post photos of your project to Ravelry, and
- You give me feedback on using the pattern no later than June 1.
The pattern is tech edited separately, so there is no responsibility other than being timely and sharing. I will make the pattern available on April 22, and would like feedback no later than June 1. Leave a comment here if you are interested. No obligation at this point.