Hello! Today I’m writing about something I’ve been wanting to write about for some time. This is a requested topic every time I’ve asked for suggestions to post…and so I hope you’ll enjoy some of my thoughts on time management for quilters.
Of course some of my thoughts are about time management in general, but
10 Time Management Tips
1. First, take a few minutes to do just a bit of planning every day.
Choose whatever time works for you. I like to plan in the evening for the next day because by that time the plans for the following day are pretty much settled. You don’t need to spend a lot of time on this as you’ll see in step two!
2. Choose three things that are the highest priority.
Some organizers advocate only having three things on the list for the day. Sometimes that’s not possible, but I do like to keep a manageable number of projects that I feel are top priority for the day. If I know I’m going to have extra time in the sewing room, I‘ll make a list of three household tasks and three tasks for the sewing room. Sometimes items on my list are as simple as cutting out one block depending on how busy the day is going to be.
3. Meal plan regularly.
I really feel like meal planning is one of the biggest keys to organization and time management. I like to plan for two weeks at a time. I make a list of 5-6 meals for each week with a list of ideas for lunches. Then I shop for those two weeks at once. What usually happens is that the menu plan and shopping items end up lasting a little longer than the two-week period since we tend to eat out once or twice a week. Having menu ideas written down with the ingredients in the fridge and pantry has always been a real time-saver for me.
4. Have a household cleaning plan.
I do the same chores on the same days every week (on Mondays I clean bathrooms, and on Tuesdays I dust…etc.). Recently I’ve been following along with Clean Mama who posts every day on Instagram what the chore is for the day. It’s a good reminder, and if you can keep to the schedule the chores don’t take as long. I do extra chores on Fridays or Saturdays as time allows. Right now, I’m trying to also do a 30-day de-clutter challenge to get ready for the holidays.
5. Keep lists of quilting projects.
I feel like lists are another key to staying on top of things in the sewing room. First…keep your sewing project lists in the sewing room. I’m not sure why it took me so long to start doing this, but it sure has been easier to use these lists since I’ve started keeping them close to my work-space.
Here are the three lists I keep:
- Current projects
- Long-term works in progress
- Bucket list projects that I want to do (this is constantly changing)
6. Have realistic time frames in mind for projects.
This is another thing I’ve really picked up on over the last year or so. I used to have time frames in my mind that were in reality much shorter than the time it really takes to complete different quilting tasks (cutting out a project, adding borders to a finished quilt center, binding, etc.). Since I’ve started being more realistic about the time it takes to do things, I’ve found that my scheduling is working out a lot better.
7. Schedule time to clean and organize in the sewing room.
Just as I do certain household cleaning tasks on the same day each week, I also try to keep a regular schedule in my sewing room. Of course, it’s not always possible, but I feel that having a plan in place does help me stay on top of things.
On Saturdays I trim scraps from the week, and I try to trim leftovers from projects as soon as a project is finished.
8. Keep surfaces clean.
I guess this is something that I probably learned first from cleaning expert Peter Walsh…flat surfaces are meant to be clear. Now, there are days and weeks that go by when I’m really busy that this doesn’t just get done regularly, but in general I try to clean off my ironing board, sewing table, and cutting table each evening or at the very least each week.
Not only does this seem to make a difference in a practical sense, but I also think that it mentally makes it easier to be more productive.
9. Leave something ready to sew every time you finish for the day.
I’ve been doing this for a couple of years now, and it really helps. On days when I might only have ten minutes to sneak into the sewing room, I can usually accomplish some chain piecing, pressing, and cutting…and leave something ready to sew for the next time.
10. Be flexible and have fun.
Of course, some sewing has deadlines: a project is due for a magazine, you are making a Halloween costume for a child, or your daughter has a birthday. But a lot of sewing is for fun…because we love it! Try to keep it fun and relaxing by being flexible with your expectations and self-imposed deadlines.
I hope some of these ideas will help you…and that you can truly enjoy this wonderful hobby and past time. Please leave any of your tips in the comment section below so we can learn from each other.
Thanks so much for stopping by!