View Full Version : Hootie and the Night Owls

October 17th, 2013, 12:30 AM
I am a procrastinator. A big one, mostly because I look at the big picture of what needs to be done and become overwhelmed. If the kitchen is a mess I almost freeze up at the thought of cleaning it. The same goes for the garden full of weeds and the hamper full of laundry.

But this year I have had a breakthrough. I have become a believer in lists. They have changed my life. Really.

Say I wanted to sew a new quilt. The idea of a whole quilt was overwhelming to me. Even when I'm past the initial stages. The pattern and the fabric have been chosen. I am ready to start. But I don't. I freeze up and want to start but I don't know how.

In come my lists. Some people may put quilting somewhere in a list like this: mail letter; clean kitchen; sew; write to Pam. But because I freeze up, instead of writing "sew quilt blocks" I put: thread machine; clear off sewing table; choose music CD; iron fabric. See how I have to break it down when I feel overwhelmed? I don't have to tackle everything at once. I only have to go one baby step at a time.

How about you? Do you make a daily list? How does quilting fit into your plans? Is it as important as running an errand or thawing the chicken for supper? If it is, make sure it goes on your list. And if you're like me, take things one step at a time.

Can you just jump feet first into a project or do you have to take baby steps first?

October 17th, 2013, 12:39 AM
Hello Cyndi.....our very own Award Winning Quilter! :D Have your feet touched the ground yet?!

I do better if I make list..........I've never made a step by step quilting project list but maybe that would help me when I feel a little threatened by the project. I make list of things I need to do and I love the feeling of scratching something off the list. In fact.....and I know I'm not the only one...........sometimes I will write something on the list that I just completed just so I can scratch it off the list!! Silly....I know....but it makes me smile!

Of course there are plenty of times when I think of something to put on my to do list.........I head through the house to find my list........and forget what I was going to write down when I get there..........don't laugh...........I know some of you do that too! :D

October 17th, 2013, 12:45 AM
Cyndi, if I made a list that included clean off my sewing table that would make me freeze right now. I lift the pile that is on it to the bed and back every time I want to stitch something. Mainly because I have a quilt started and piled there and I am working on a floor quilt for a baby. It needs to get done asap so the other one is on hold. Please don't make me clean it up! LOL

October 17th, 2013, 12:47 AM
My biggest problem is finding the time to either make the list or get to the sewing room!

I have left myself notes on what I was doing if I have to stop working on a project. Sometimes what I think will be an overnight pause in the schedule turns into several weeks out of the sewing room. It takes up a lot of time trying to figure out what I have or have not done on some things.

I have also used a timed-schedule. This is often the washer or dryer cycle. I will do some chore for one cycle and then sew for another. That buzzer on the dryer is usually loud enough to be heard anywhere in the house. Other times I use the change of CDs or the oven timer if I have several batches of things running through (cookies, cupcakes, etc.) The oven timer is great for clearing off the counter where things tend to collect when we walk through the front door. I am always amazed at what can be done in 15 minutes.

October 17th, 2013, 12:57 AM
I used to be a procrastinator ( ok well maybe I'm still working on it:0 ). But I can empathize with you about getting overwhelmed. When that happens to me, I've learned to do what you do, break the process down. I'm usually the jump in first ask questions later kind of girl, but lately, I've had to talk myself into accomplishing task, step by step.

There have been times that I do make a list, but it is usually to remind me of what I have to do. I guess I've programmed myself to have tunnel vision and just perform the task, step by step. Maybe when I'm older and wiser I may have to write it down. Who knows.

October 17th, 2013, 01:09 AM
A list is good, but even better with a timer to go with it. I can only handle so much house work for 15-20 min at a time. I keep thinking what's more important, cleaning the kitchen or getting my swap box together. That's when I freeze. I sit down and watch NCIS lol

October 17th, 2013, 01:18 AM
Oh sure Lorie, blame Gibbs!

Although, I do have to admit to a few days lost to a good NCIS marathon............

October 17th, 2013, 01:23 AM
I will never leave the house without a list. If I don't write the errand down it doesn't get done. My car just automatically turns towards home no matter what.

I do love lists but sort of got out of the habit of doing them. I am going to do that. In baby steps because I easily get overwhelmed with the amount of work their is to do. I am going to give it a try tomorrow and see how it goes. I used to love my lists and every time I slashed something or checked something off I felt a huge sense of accomplishment even for the littlest tasks.

October 17th, 2013, 01:29 AM
My whole life is one big list! If I didn't make lists, I'd spend too much time running back to the store for forgotten things which just wastes so much time, these little pieces of paper on which I wrote lists optho tend to sprout legs and Scoot away.

I keep one of those daytime journals on my dining table. It's right where I see it and has become crucial in keeping me organized. Setting the timer is one great idea, gonna steal that one. We have a chime clock in our house so sometimes I sit and say, ok, when the gong hits the next 15 min mark, I have to get going on such and such. A friend once said I need more structure in my life, and she's right. I'm too loosey goosey!

I have to take baby steps with every project as if not, rush ahead and make mistakes or at least maybe would have made a different decision. One thing that helps are "rewards" in that I say, ok. I'll do an hour of ironing, stop then quilt.. This motivates me to get thru a boring task. Lists are the way to go, but not on plain paper as they get lost, but on pretty paper even from the $store or using a journal. The journals make great gift ideas when someone just doesn't know what to get you...

October 17th, 2013, 01:39 AM

I am a big time procrastinator.... I keep putting things off, until I HAVE to do them!

Lists... Yes... I think they would help me... When I was in grad school, I learned....finally...to prioritize... I would ask myself.. "What has to be done right now... The rest would fall into place. It's a matter if putting things into perspective.

I Ned to start making those prioritizing lists again.... I get truly overwhelmed by what I need, or want to for, so end up doing nothing... I seek refuge in my iPad, Buddy... I can hide there for hours.

Lately, I've started quilting LATE.. That's when the urge to do it hits me... But, I don 't do my best work when I'm tired. So, I never get much done...

I don't work anymore, and stay home a lot, because of my husband's illness... I'm always afraid something will happen while I'm out... So, my days are unstructured... Now, I'm an unstructured sort of girl, but I need to try... Routine kills me, and bedsides, I always forget what I'm supposed to do, and when... I 'm a complete INFP , on the Meirs/Briggs Personality Sorter. That explains a lot.

My husband gets really aggravated Witt me, because I put things off... Of course the more he nags, me...and he 's good at that... the more I "forget " to of a thing....

Great topic....

October 17th, 2013, 01:42 AM
Cyndi, I am a fellow procrastinator and like you, I am a big one. I also share your problem of being easily overwhelmed. Unfortunately, as soon as I get overwhelmed, I shut down and nothing gets done. It is so frustrating and discouraging. My house is a mess right now and the laundry is piled sky high (both clean and dirty). I keep thinking that if only I had one day at home with no interruptions. Although that's probably not going to happen anytime soon. UGH!!

I am also a list maker. I have a spiral notebook and in it I write my to do list for the week. I also jot down any important info in it, the margins are full of notes, number, names, etc. I save all of my notebooks, they are a vast source of info. I have a separate notebook that I keep by my laptop, that way I can write down any useful info that I read on this site. I am going to use it to break down a quilting project into a to do list like you suggested Cyndi, it's a great idea.

Right now I am staying on track with the quilt I am working on because I am taking a class that meets on Monday mornings. Of course, you can usually find me doing my homework on Sunday evenings. Oh well, it gets done and I guess that's all that matters. I am determined to stay on track with my quilting after my class ends though. It is important to me and I am making it a priority. The messy house and laundry aren't going anywhere any time soon so it all can wait until after I quilt. Sounds like a plan to me!

October 17th, 2013, 01:53 AM
Like several others I use the timer......on the stove. When I would rather sew than do housework..........30 minutes of housework then 30 minutes of play time sewing or planning out a project. Most of the time it works pretty good.

October 17th, 2013, 01:56 AM
Oh sure Lorie, blame Gibbs!

Although, I do have to admit to a few days lost to a good NCIS marathon............

Yeah that's so easy to do. When I was on the mainland with my aunt I told her ..you can find Law and Order on any time of the day. Sure enough it's always on. Got to love marathons :)

I'm almost done with Walking Dead so I can watch the new season. I have become a huge potato!

October 17th, 2013, 01:56 AM
Serious procrastinator here. I make lists - and in fact made on for this weekend of projects I want to finish and am working on the first one. I often make lists for the store and then forget to take them with me. I did make a shopping list for this morning and halfway through the first store, realized I had dropped it somewhere. Oh well. So much for that.

I have started several times to make lists of the quilts I want to make, hoping that will inspire me to keep working. With my somewhat OCD nature, though, I get bogged down in trying to make them chronological. I have even tried loose leaf sheets that I can arrange, but somehow, it just doesn't seem to work for me. When I try to put all the ideas swirling through my brain down on paper, I get brain block. I really wish I was a better list maker, I think that most successful people are.

Jean Sewing Machine
October 17th, 2013, 02:00 AM
Did you ever read "Frog and Toad" stories by Arnold Lobel to your kids? He has a good one about lists. The character (I think it is Toad) makes a list then it blows away, then he just sits down beause there is no item on the list that says " Go find the list"! So, lists don't really work for me because I usally lose the list before I can use it!



October 17th, 2013, 02:27 AM
I need to try the list thing, because there is a serious sewing funk going on at my house! My sewing room got torn apart so we could install the DVR for our security cameras in my closet, and while I have order MOSTLY restored in there, I still have a pile of stuff on my cutting table and just open the door, look at the mess, sigh, and close the door again. I need me a list!

I do lists for shopping, so it shouldn't be that hard..... Right? :icon_scared:

Cathy F
October 17th, 2013, 03:09 AM
Some days I feel procrastination is my middle name. This year I closed my cake business and I'm relieved not to have to meet deadlines in getting cakes done. I would make myself a list of what components I'd
have to get done everyday in order to meet the deadlines.
I still am a list maker when I get on overload or I'd forget what had to be done. I make grocery lists, lists for packing when going away, and lists for daily household tasks to tackle. But just because I make a list it doesn't necessarily mean it gets done! (Procrastination again!)

Sew Perfect
October 17th, 2013, 03:42 AM
Cyndi, I should write out a list, but I don't because I am one who has to keep things in order or I will get so overwhelmed that I don't know where to begin...I freeze up as well. I have a quilt I've picked up again. I seem to be doing that lately; that's how I was able to finish my sister's quilt, a very intimidating quilt I might add. This other quilt I am working on is for my DS, Daniel. When I first began sewing, he asked me to make him a quilt and even picked out a pattern. Of course, he had to choose one that wasn't easy, had lots of points, and of course, I had to figure out how to make it larger than the pattern specified. I didn't begin sewing on his quilt until I was experienced. In fact, I only began making it this year. I put it down for a couple of months because it is so tedious and, yes, intimidating. I look at the blocks and become so overwhelmed, but I have had to "dive" right in. Today, I spend time making repairs on a few human errors I made and actually made three more blocks. So far, I am happy with it, but am still so scared of this dumb quilt. Should I have had a list for this? Yes!

As for cleaning house, I typically have certain days that I do certain chores. A list does help me because I don't like cleaning, doing laundry, or dishes. Speaking of laundry, I learned a long time ago that I needed to do the laundry almost everyday because piles were very overwhelming to me.

Lisa, talk about getting in the car and driving...I will plan out errands to run, but once I hit one errand, I seem to forget the others. My car will also point to the direction of home.

October 17th, 2013, 04:33 AM
I NEED my lists! I make lists all the time but I put them in the notes section of my iPhone so that I cannot use the excuse that I lost it. I usually sit down on Sunday night with my cup of tea and make my list for the week of things that I need or would like to accomplish. I start on Monday and start by priority and do what I can, or feel like and then stop. I ALWAYS have sewing on my list so I have something to look forward to. I think of it as my reward for all the things I may have crossed off my list. I don't mind housework but I have to be in the mood to really accomplish a lot. I have a daily routine of mopping my floors, going through all the rooms and doing a quick pick up and making sure my kitchen is always clean. Then I try to do something from my list. This is the only way I can keep some sort of sanity, not get overwhelmed and everything gets done.

October 17th, 2013, 05:09 AM
Not a big procrastinator but I do make lists to keep things moving. Main lists are written on business sized envelopes of discarded mail, one list is for food and errands which I try to do on the same trip, never buy or do everything on the list so they get transfer to next week's list. Other one for things coming up during the month, i.e. Fri-10/24 Girls over for lunch, Sun-10/27 Tim runs marathon, and I keep them in a low flat box on my kitchen table. All these things are on the kitchen calendar as well as the date book in my purse but I often forget to look at the them.

Where would I be without my Christmas Lists? Names and suggested gifts, socializing where and when, card list and ending after the Holidays with a list of what we gave everyone and sometimes what we received.

Memory isn't what it used to be so now I write birthdays, appointments, dinners, etc. on our kitchen calendar and keep the calendars a few years. If I want to know what we did for Thanksgiving dinner last year I look at last year's calendar.

Lists are helpful but you can't run your life on a list = so relax and do whatever you can today because all those chores will still be waiting to be done tomorrow.

Iris Girl
October 17th, 2013, 05:24 AM
I am a firm believer in lists. I have shopping lists, Lists for winterizing the house, lists for what sewing projects to do, lists of packages coming in the mail, lists to remember milk on the way home. Can't rely on my memory to remember everything so this works best.

Granny Judy
October 17th, 2013, 06:13 AM
I used to be a list maker... but my life was much busier then. Can you tell I'm retired and a widow??

Now I jump right in the middle and fumble my way thru to the end. Yup,, same with life and quilting. I just get this idea and go for it.. My Motto is: If it doesn't get done today, there is tomorrow...

I start off my day with getting the household chores out of the way,, then reward myself with sewing or playing with rubber stamps. Or I'll bake.. or just play on the beast (computer).

October 17th, 2013, 09:02 AM
I am not a procrastinator but I am an orgnaizer. I make a list to keep myself organized. For me making the list validates that it needs to be done and so I can see the big picture as a whole. It's funny how different everyone is, my husband does not like making a list because when he see's the whole picture it seems to overwhelming. He likes to only know maybe the next two steps in the sequnce not the entire picture. Since I have the need to be organized I need to know the whole picture as to keeping it organized and not to miss a step :)

October 17th, 2013, 10:05 AM
I am not a procrastinator but I am an orgnaizer. I make a list to keep myself organized. For me making the list validates that it needs to be done and so I can see the big picture as a whole. It's funny how different everyone is, my husband does not like making a list because when he see's the whole picture it seems to overwhelming. He likes to only know maybe the next two steps in the sequnce not the entire picture. Since I have the need to be organized I need to know the whole picture as to keeping it organized and not to miss a step :)

Frannie, Thanks for saying lists help you 'see the whole picture' because that's what they do for me. On the other hand my DH is like yours and doesn't want to know all the steps or understand where I'm coming from when we are discussing something that needs to be done. That will be helpful next time I want him to do something - keep it one step at a time and he'll most likely do it without me reminding him.

October 17th, 2013, 10:15 AM
I love that Frog and Toad story, Jean! That is a classic.

October 17th, 2013, 05:59 PM
argh lost my internet just as I was trying to post last night! Debbie Procrastinator is me, if I don't make a decision it will happen one way or the other lol I used to love making lists, but now just looking at how long they are overwhelms me. Grocery lists I still make, DH keeps one on things to do, repairs needed, etc.. I can't make any long ones, no clue where I'll be in 1 month pain wise so its best just to take a day at a time, and see how things feel as I get up.

Amazing it reads that more men like the smaller steps vs whole planned - That maybe a great way to keep them on track and good to remember :-)

Hope everyone had a great night! Got the internet issue fixed about 1 am and heard the sheets calling