Monday, April 18, 2011

Cross Stitch, Quilting, Knitting, Sewing, Craft, UFO Rotation = Procrastination

I am supposed to be studying for my Art History exam. Instead I'm blogging about something I did last week when I was supposed to be writing essays and my take home exams. Because that's what I do, anything except what I'm supposed to.

See my title. Designed to appeal to the masses. Some of you may ask "what the heck is that?" So for the uninformed let me explain.

Cross Stitch - a needleart that entails putting little x's on fabric to make a picture. You wouldn't think something so basic, so simple, would be so fascinating, but it's like painting with thread.

UFO - this has nothing to do with little green men, ET, being beamed up by Scottie, or a call for medication. It means Unfinished Object.

Rotation - a system for finishing UFO's.

So now we have that clear I have a confession to make. I have 15 of those cross stitch UFO's. What's more, some of them are older than some of my children, and my youngest is 11.

So after doing a google search I've designed a UFO that I think might work. And for those of you with your own stash of UFO's you can give this a try. No, this is not going to solve the world's problems, this is so I don't have to study.

1. Find all your UFO's and works in progress. This might mean looking under the bed, in closets, in your wheat barrels, in abandoned purses and under the kitchen sink.

2. Look them all over. Do you want to finish that cross stitch picture of an all black puppy for great aunt Mabel even though Great Aunt Mabel is gone now and your eyes go buggy with all those shades of black and you never were a dog person? Is that jacket with peacocks all over it and humongous shoulder pads still something you're going to want to wear when you do finish it? How many crocheted washcloths do you still need? Weed out the stuff you don't like anymore. Give it away, throw it away or take it apart and reuse the materials. It's okay. It's no longer worth your time. You are not a failure. Let it go. We all have projects we were initially excited about but grew to dread.

3. Make sure all your projects are in bags with the materials.

4. Make a list of all your projects. Try to organize your list according to what you want (or need) to finish first. If you have an extra big project you might want to put it near the bottom of your list. You'll see why in a minute. Try to vary your list so you don't have the same type of thing all in a row.

5. Here's where the rotation part comes in. The number one item on your list is your focus piece. Work 10 hours on your number one and then work 10 hours on your number 2 piece. Then go back and work another 10 hours on your number one piece, then work 10 hours on your number three piece. Do you see where I'm going on this? Work down your list in 10 hour increments alternating with your focus piece.

6. Eventually you will get the number 1 piece finished (because you are working on it more than on anything else). You might even get another piece on your list finished. That's great. When number one piece is finished then your number two piece is your focus piece and you continue through your rotation alternating with your new focus piece. If you happen to finish one of your other pieces you can then go back to your focus piece for 10 hours and then continue with your rotation.

7. Now here comes the fun part. Once you go through your rotation - you can start something new. What! I know, you're trying to get things finished, not start new things, but lets face it, the reason we have UFO's is because we're starters not finishers and if we can't look forward to starting something new we just might suddenly go crazy and start a whole whack of new things as a form of rebellion. Besides this is supposed to be enjoyable. I bet you have a huge stack of things you've been wanting to start. So, you get to start a new one - but only at the end of your rotation.

8. When you've rotated through everything and added a new project (if you wish), then start over again from the top.

You can see why I suggested that big projects be put at the end of your list. You need to have some finishes and you won't if you get bogged down at the beginning with a big piece. Eventually it will be your focus piece but you'll already have put in a lot of hours on it.

So that's what I did with precious time last week. And now I'm blogging about it when I could blog about all the answers for world peace, saving the planet, and answering the great unanswerable question "Why do people like Charlie Sheen get to make millions doing fun stuff and I (who has never yet served time in prison, an addiction facility, spent time with prostitute) don't?"


Cindy Beck, author said...

Great idea! Too bad you didn't blog about it before I gave away all my UFOs.

Love your last question. If you ever get an answer to it that makes sense and really works ... please share with me. :)