Saturday, January 31, 2015

Increasing my productivity

I've been wanting to increase my quilting productivity, so I set a goal of quilting 30 hours this month.  So far so good!  I just finished a fun quilting session that brought my monthly total to 30.33 on the final day in January.

Here's what I have to show for it:  some significant progress on Tree # 7.

Here are some strategies that have been helpful for me in increasing my quilting time:
1.  I start by setting the kitchen timer, usually for an hour.  This way I stay focused and productive until the timer goes off, so I don't wander off and check Facebook. When the timer goes off, I either take a break or set it again.
2. I sometimes listen to audiobooks or music to stay motivated.
3. I record the total time I quilt each day on my calendar.
4.  I made a quick graph of this info:
Here's what I noticed from the graph:
There's so much variability, with a peak of 4 hours of quilting (that was on a snow day when I didn't have to work).  But there were 14 days with no quilting at all!  For February, I'm setting a goal of 33 hours.  I'll try to combat those 0 hour days by setting my alarm early and quilting before work.

I'm also experimenting with ways to make my quilting more efficient, so I get more done in the time available. That's a topic for another day.
What are your best tips for increasing quilting productivity?


  1. Finally, another post! You've made great progress. I just love to see these trees grow. (Yes, I know that is bad.) I can see the difference in your background this time. There is no line as you go from the light to the dark. To keep myself productive, I'm still trying to use the 15 minutes a day, but now I try for 30 minutes. I just love the chart! I think I am going to start marking my calendar when I sew or knit. It looks like you are more inclined to quilt on the weekends and skip days during the week. Makes sense. It can be hard to find the energy to sew after working all day. As you look back at those dates, what stopped you from quilting? Other activities? Meetings? Energy level? I always have to balance sewing with reading--especially if I get into a good book.

    1. You are exactly right that I tend to quilt more on weekend. I think the biggest barrier to quilting during the week is being tired and unmotivated after work. I did teach a quilting class to a group of friends one weekend, so I spent a good chunk of one Sunday on that, and a number of hours early that week to prepare.

  2. I tend to flitter from one thing to another too. Love the idea of setting the timer. February is a shorter month so good luck increasing your productivity to 33 hours...but then again, there might be more snow days in February so it could all work out!!

    1. You're right- I have to squeeze 33 hours into 28 days! Here's hoping for some wintry mix!

  3. Oooh, a graph! That makes this my favorite of all your blog posts. If you need any regression analysis of the data, you know who to ask. You lost one weekend of possible quilting time to travel in January. Without that distraction in February, it might be easier to get in the 33 hours. Also, when you get home from work you could set the timer for the length of time you want to relax in an unstructured way, knowing that when that timer goes off you'll commit to quilting.