Managing your Works in Progress

One of the side effects of crochet is that we love it!And one of the reasons we love it is because there are just sooooo many projects that grab our attention that we want to make.

The downside of this is that sometimes we get hooked on the thrill of starting a new project and end up with too many WIPs (works in progress). This can then take away some of the joy of crochet because we miss out on the joy of finishing a project! The only way to bring that thrill we love back is to start another one.

Soon we end up in a spiral of having too many projects on the go and feel like nothing is getting finished.

I’m sure that most people that crochet have found themselves in this position at one time or another. It becomes demotivating because we start to feel like we can never finish anything. We don’t know which project to continue on next and so we give up or we start another one “promising” to finish this one!

I found myself in that position around 18 months ago. I had at least 12 projects on the go. Some I wasn’t enjoying. Some I loved but just wasn’t in the mood to work on it. Some were just too big and felt like they were taking forever to get through!

And that’s why I came up with a game plan to get through them, and it’s still how I manage my projects today. I generally only have 4 or 5 active projects at a time. That can vary a little bit now as I also have the Hooked on Crochet Club to design for, but for the most part, 4 is the most I have active at one time.

If you’re wanting to get through your WIPs and keep it under control, then this is what I recommend.

Step 1 – get an accurate number of how many WIPs you have!

Take an honest inventory of the projects that you have on the go. Look at them all, bring them all out in the open if you have to! And have a good look at them. What is the number? Be honest and count them all.

Step 2- determine how they make you feel.

Take another look at them and this time gauge how they are making you feel. Break them in to piles if you have to. If you look at it and it does not bring any joy or happiness then put to one side. If it does make you happy, then put it in another pile. Not sure? Make a third pile!

Step 3 – ask yourself why are you making them?

This applies more to the piles of projects that don’t make you happy. If you’re not making it for any special reason then consider if you need to make it at all. It may be better to frog it and use the yarn for something else.

Step 4 – determine what is stopping you from working on them?

Are you not working on it because you don’t like how it’s turning out? Is it more difficult than you thought? Maybe you forgot it was there! Or maybe another project became a priority.

Step 5 – come up with a plan to work through them (prioritise them)

This is where all of the previous steps come in to play. If there are any that are not bringing you joy and you don’t need to make them, then frog them! Use the yarn for something that you will enjoy. Are there any for a gift or customer that you have a deadline for? Move them to the start of the list. Are there any that you’re not enjoying but you have to finish? Make them near the top of the list too, and put them before the ones you’re enjoying more. Remember to consider the size of the project too. Ones that will take longer but have a deadline should go before the quicker ones with no deadline.

Step 6- set yourself mini goals to get them done

Setting yourself mini goals to work through the priority list will help you work faster and keep motivated. The goals you set will be dependent on you and what is holding you back. Are you not finding the time you need? Then set a goal to work on one project for 30 minutes each day or to complete at least 1 row or round each day. Do you always find you work on your favourite and keep leaving one you’re not enjoying as much but need to get done? Then commit to spending 15 minutes on the one you’re enjoying least before working on a favourite. Or dedicate one particular crochet session to the least favourite one each day. Have a big project that just seems to overwhelming? Break it down into smaller but more regular sessions and you will get it done! And find a way to make yourself accountable to them!

Step 7 – celebrate your progress!

There is no point setting a goal of you don’t celebrate your progress and milestones along the way! Post an update on social media (great for accountability too!). Treat yourself to something (more yarn perhaps?!). But make sure you celebrate!

Step 8 – don’t start anymore until you have a manageable number active

This one is important as we don’t want to end up back where we started. Decide how many projects are manageable for you at one time. Get your WIPs down to one less than that number before you start a new one (a reason to celebrate!).

Step 9- keep a list of ones you want to make

It is always tempting to start a new project. Instead of starting though, make a list instead. When you finish one WIP you can then refer to the list to decide which one you really should/want/need to start from your wishlist. You’ll be surprised at how many you “must make” that you decide not to when you’ve had more time to reflect and choose.

Step 10- crochet!

Nothing gets projects done quicker than actually working on them. I find that I work more efficiently through them if I focus on one main project during the week and then mix it up with other projects or designing on the weekend. I find that I spend less time “fluffing about” when I don’t have to sit and decide which one I’ll work on next. And schedule in the time you need. If crochet is important to you, then prioritise the time!

I have been using this method for at least 18 months now and I am completing a lot of projects because of it. Remembering too that I work full time and run a business and household, so my time is limited. But it doesnt stop me from crocheting daily!

Here are just some of what I have completed in the last 6 months!

If you need someone to keep you accountable, then be sure to tag me and tell me your plan and goals!

If you want extra help or ideas to get through your WIPs you can also join my facebook group for help and ideas.

I look forward to seeing you work through your WIPs!

Seona x

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