Sunday, December 13, 2015

Deep (needle)Work

Wow! It has been a really long time since I blogged. What is going on? Well, I could say...

"I've been busy."
"I'm in the process of buying my first ever house."
"It's the holidays."
"I have a teenager."
"I work three jobs."

But, you know what? These are all excuses. In the mist of all of this, I managed to get a promotion so I will only have two jobs. Plus, I have managed to find time to run every day for over a month. I have gone to concerts, movies, restaurants... I need to make time for embroidery. I need to schedule time. I need to be more productive. If I embroidery, I want to share it, like below. Has it really been 3 weeks since I've finished something? Uh, oh.

& I just read a blog post that got me thinking. The blog, Barking Up the Wrong Tree, is essentially a business blog, but most of the nuggets Eric Barker provides can translate into, well life. The particular post I read, "How to Manage Your Time: 5 Secrets Backed by Research", is based on a soon to be published book by Cal Newport called Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World.

So, how do I use this insight to help me focus on my embroidery?
  • Don’t schedule distractions. Schedule deep work: I must schedule embroidery time! Time to design. Time to physically stitch. Time to complete the project.

  • Keep a scoreboard for deep work: I do this with running. I am currently running at least one mile per day, until the end of the year. I' keep ticking off the days & the miles (day 32, 61.2 miles). For embroidery, if I just start logging my hours, I could develop a better idea of my process.

  • Stop saying “yes” if you want to get things done: I just did this yesterday, before reading Eric's post. A friend emailed me about an upcoming craft fair, & wondered if I could do pieces related to the venue. I appreciate that she thought of me, & I considered saying "Yes." But, I did not. I would spend countless hours making things to sell, when I could be designing & embroidery my art. I said "No." 

  • Have a “Deep Work Ritual”: Hmmm. I will have to discover what this is. It may be running. I can't find the article right now, but I was just reading about how a quick run can help keep you focused at work. & another article talked about an increase in motor skills due to running which might help me prick my finger less. Ha!

  • Ask your boss how much time they want you spending on deep vs shallow work: Since I am the boss in this case- I would say 75%. I don't get a lot of embroidery related email, but I do have some basic business/bill stuff to attend to.
So, there you have it! My plan to be more productive embroidery-wise! With any luck it will spill over into other aspects of my life...

Happy Stitching!