Monday, April 25, 2011

Sewing Productivity Project, Days 7 and 8: Conclusion

I'll quickly summarize my sewing for the past two days: I didn't do any. I had my long drives to and from Pittsburgh and spent much of the visit enjoying wonderful food and hospitality or practicing violin. (The violin part was the entire point of the visit.) I had church and family in there too. So, no sewing, even though I did pack some cutting stuff I could do if I had the time. (I didn't.)

So, instead of answering Tilly's questions for these past two days, I figure I'll just jump into the overall analysis for the week.

- How many hours per day/week do you sew? So grand total of sewing hours for the week was 4.58 hours. That's approximately 34 minutes a day for eight days. Only it was only for three days that I actually did any sewing related stuff.

- What are you spending/wasting the rest of your free time on? Well, my friends, here's my visual breakdown of all of it:

Okay, so I cheated. That includes work. So here's the "free time" chart:

So basically, I'm either driving, or I'm with family. I'm glad to see that the computer hasn't taken over my entire life, though I sometimes feel it does. The driving part is a tad skewed, what with a weekend road trip, but I do not think it falls to far from the general mark. I usually drive a few places an hour away from home every weekend, and I worked one less day last week. So driving is pretty big for me no matter what. It should be changing a little bit soon, I hope (more on that later).

The sad part here, is that the sewing slice is the smallest, and isn't even big enough to contain the percentage (4.58%). I hope to change that soon too, as the driving part is cut down. Get some better balance in there. 

- When you do sew, how do you feel before, during and afterwards? I have found myself feeling frantic for many of my projects, whether sewing or violin or family events. It may just be the nature of this beast. But what I have found is that when I am sewing, part of me is feeling consternated and confused while the other part of me is feeling a bit of flow. I'm trying to find a way to pace myself to get more of the flow and less of the angst. I just have so much to learn, and I have less patience with myself than I'd like to admit. Afterwards, I always feel good that I did work and that I got through whatever problems that I had faced (usually with fitting or pattern alterations).

- What are you learning about sewing productivity from this process, if anything? What tips can you share?
I have learned that sewing, though awesome, is a symptom of a greater issue I must face. I want to be an overachiever. I say want to be, because I don't always pull off any accomplishments because I'm trying to do too many of them at a time. I love the concept of creating and I love to nurture possibility, but it sometimes means I burn myself out early and get all whiny. 

If I were to focus mainly on sewing productivity I've learned that I should not make this an obligation for myself. I should not rush through things, but let projects develop as they should: thoughtfully and pleasurably.  It helps to have a range of projects available, to suit the mood I'm in. I can't get fitting done when I'm tired, but I can get cutting done. Or a simple mending/revamp of a sweater. Some projects can be done while doing other things, like watching shows with my Buddy. 

- What factors are you aware of that impact upon when you make time to sew?
Other events, mainly. These other goals that I've set for myself, feel compelled to pursue, even when it's not practical. I am glad that I participated in this project for more than just my sewing. This has been a hard year, but it's no less hectic than usual. I am more stressed though. And understanding some of the motivations behind my goal-heavy scheduling has been helpful. I am preparing to address my goals differently in a very short amount of time. I'll update folks more as I get a clearer sense of things, but I am hoping to really slow down on all of my projects and assess the drive behind them. And start enjoying the processes for all of them even more.

Oh the times, they are a-changin'. And I'm going to bed.

Thanks Tilly for the great learning opportunity! (Click on the button on the sidebar to see her posts and the links to other participant's conclusions.)


  1. This is good insight! You have a lot of time driving, that must be hard as I am sure you would rather do something else. The sewing will come. For a while I felt like I was fighting with it and then one day the process started feeling a little better to me, don't get me wrong there are days. I hope find more time to sew. Good Luck!

  2. I know exactly how you feel - I try to cram so many activities and tasks into
    my life that I often end up frustrated and stressed. I'm trying to let go of some tasks and learn to see everything that I do as fun, as it's so easy for things to seem like a chore when you've told yourself you want to do them. Next time you sew, make something easy and fun and don't set yourself a deadline - it might make you motivated again!