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Do You Have a Plan to Get from Start to Finish?

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Do You Have a Plan to Get from Start to Finish?

It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.
Eleanor Roosevelt

Have you ever known exactly what you wanted to make, what you wanted it to look like, and when you wanted it to be done – but somehow, and you really don’t know why, it didn’t happen that way? Instead of finishing that project, a new shinier project came along and stole your attention and this one ended up unfinished in a drawer somewhere? Maybe you even have multiple unfinished projects in that drawer? Believe me, you’re not the only one, I’m the queen of unfinished! But recently I’ve worked really hard to teach myself how to finish, and, low and behold, I’m actually getting my projects to the finish line.

What am I doing? Probably nothing you haven’t already heard or know about, it’s just that doing it is not always easy.

I first start with a plan to finish. Believe it or not, telling yourself and your ‘always looking for something new to do brain’ that you plan to finish this project helps you get there. Whenever I decide to start a project, I actually allocate time to do it and I never purchase the items unless I have the time to do it. Not that I know exactly how many hours it will take, but I usually have an idea. I tell myself what days I’m going to work on it and why I have time on those days, e.g., my hubby will be at work that night and I’ll be home alone, or we plan to have pizza on Thursday and I won’t have to cook dinner.

I work a fulltime job and time is always short, so allocating time for my project keeps me moving forward. When I come home after a long day at work, if I hadn’t planned to work on my project, I know for certain that I would fall on the couch and enjoy one of my favorite TV shows. And believe me, nothing ever gets done sitting in front of a TV. However, if my plan was to work on my project that night, I don’t even turn on the TV unless it’s the music channel (I always listen to music when I sew or create). Once I get started working, I always seem re-energized.

The other thing I do and probably the thing that keeps me on track best is, I stay away from the fabric store. I just get starry eyed when I go to a fabric store, it’s the craziest thing. I swoon over all those beautiful fabrics and the wonderful things that could be made from them. My brain doesn’t function rationally while in the store, it doesn’t understand that the fabric will still be there the next time I visit. I try telling myself that even if the fabric I like isn’t there next time, something better will be there in its place. That only works about 20% of the time. It’s better to just stay away and reward myself with a trip when my current project is complete.

I know situations change and sometimes, even though you planned to work on your project, something will come up and you can’t…that’s life. Rarely will a plan laid out in detail be followed though without any adjustments. Changes can and will be made along the way, but planning “the way” is how you get to finish. Without any plan at all, you become a victim of your circumstances (e.g. being tired and just wanting to watch TV) and at that moment, it’s hard to tell what will move you closer to your goal and what will take you farther away.

I think most of us know what we need to do to complete a project. Making a plan and finding YOUR way to execute it will help you complete more projects.

How do YOU get projects to completion? Do you have any ‘little tricks’ that might help the rest of us? Leave a comment.

Until next time ~


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