Have you ever wondered how to be a more productive and successful maker? Do you want to take your hobby to the next level? If these thoughts apply to you, or if you are just struggling with productivity, the following tips may help you out. These are just 5 of the many things that I have found to be helpful in my career as a crafter.
1. Stay Organized
Having a lot of projects going on can be a good thing, but having a complete and cluttered mess is counter-productive. Having a specific place for every project is a good idea, whether that means separate project bags, bins or totes, is all up to you.
2. Give Yourself a Deadline
If you want to remain successful and continuously be making new things, or if you do the craft-fair circuit, it is imperative that you give yourself a deadline. This doesn't always have to be a hard and fast date, but a general time-line is a good idea. Not only are most of our weeks full of other life events, making a single date deadline can be stressful and disheartening if you miss it. By having a "week-of" deadline, it gives you flexibility to do other things and in general be more relaxed. Having these deadlines gives you momentum, and when you finish something it feels good. You are less likely to finish things if there isn't a reason or deadline.
3. Write Everything Down
Any ideas you might have should go down on paper. This solidifies them in your mind, and gives you something to reference when you embark on your next project.
Project notes are super important, and can be extremely helpful later on down the road if you choose to make another item using the same template, pattern, design, etc. Also, if you are a blogger, this gives you tons of content to post if you want to share your process or patterns.
4. Have a Few Irons in the Fire.
This sounds counter-productive on the surface, but in my experience, I find that I am more productive when I have multiple projects going. I find that if I work too long on a singular project, I get burnt out quickly and end up resenting what I made. When I have a few projects, I am consistently doing something different, and crafting no longer feels like a chore. Sometimes when I feel particularly stuck on one thing, I can bounce to something else for awhile so as not to become too frustrated with that project. I also have figured a problem out by working on another project. The other side of the coin is to make sure you don't take on too many projects and become overwhelmed.
5. Be Flexible
Sometimes things work, sometimes they don't. The important thing is to take it with a grain of salt and move on. Knowing that projects don't always turn out the way you expected ends up allowing you to still feel good about what you have created. By placing harsh expectations on yourself it leads you to being disappointed when you don't meet them, however rare or common that is.
For more tips and tricks, Subscribe to my blog, and follow me on my social media sites!
My wife asked me the other day how I keep track of all of the projects that I am working on. This question was coming from the woman who has memorized dozens of arias. I told her that although it may seem like it's all in my head, I have everything written down in a sketchbook.
At any given time, I probably have at least 3-4 projects in progress (usually one per medium) and most if not all are written down in my sketchbook. Many of my ideas actually start out as sketches that I end up mulling over for awhile.
One such pattern is a companion accessory to the Tectonic Cowl. In have now started the process of taking my sketches to the hook. I have chosen my yarn, Dreamy by Anzula, my hook, and now it is swatching time!
Not every project gets a spot in my sketchbook though. Often times I just pick up my needles or hook and start working. If it's a simple hat or scarf, there is no need for any written documentation.
Also, not every pattern in my sketchbook becomes a physical item. Sometimes the idea morphs into something else, or I scrap the idea entirely.
If I could give any advice to new or aspiring designers, it would be to write down as many ideas of yours as possible! Take photos, jot down notes, sketch a little shape; do anything that gets your ideas out of your head and on to paper.
Keep an eye out for the finished pattern,iIt will be available in my Ravelry pattern store!
Share your sketchbook photos with me on my social media (links at the head of the website!) I'd love to see your way of documenting your process!