I am one of those list-making goal-setters. I really love crossing things off a list, too. So satisfying, right? And when it’s a long list with a bunch of stuff crossed off, don’t tell me that doesn’t feel great. It makes me want to accomplish even more, just to cross ’em off. And I have a few lists running: housework, marketing, production, all of them have goals, and I am determined to reach them. The question is not what I have to do, but will I do it? I’m not great with deadlines – This blog entry should have been published yesterday – and so I have been experimenting with setting more realistic goals.
Especially production goals. Whenever I get the inspiration to start a big project, I try to map it out. I used to wing it, so as not to put too much pressure on the creation part so that it loses energy in the execution part and either doesn’t get made, or enough made, or enough energy in the marketing phase, so that no one ever knows what I’ve made, and I have to move on to the next project. Unfinished projects and unmet goals make me grumpy, because I keep reminding myself to make time to finish the project, but I also have to focus forward, and all of that is a waste of energy I could be using on the next set of jools I want to make.
So right now, I’m still making anklet sets. I’ve read that that’s one of the hot items to wear this summer, and they’re still popular with me, so I set my production goals to make a bunch for the month of May. I’m still working on that project – a three phase anklet project – and it’s the middle of June. I’m in the last phase, but I’m still working on pieces from the first phase too, so if I’m honest with myself, maybe I’ll be done with anklets by July, and then I’ll promote them all summer long. I don’t want those production regrets, so I want to get those anklets finished so I can move on to the next big project. That’s what I keep telling myself when my creativity is ready to move on, because that always happens way before I’m finished with whatever project I’m working on.
I know I can’t be the only one who is ready to start something new in the middle of a big project. Sometimes I think it’s the worst self-sabotage, especially if I’m wrestling with a piece or idea. Sometimes I just get a pen and paper out and write it down. Why inspiration strikes when your hands are already busy/you’re in the bathroom/shower/stuck in traffic is a mystery, but I’ve gotten some great ideas that way, too, and writing it down makes your creativity less pester-y if you are in the middle of something else, I find, although still a distraction.
Early on in my jewel-making adventures, I decided I would always try to finish what I was working on, despite those distractions. Nothing worse than a big bag full of half-finished work. It just makes me feel guilty. Of course there’s also a big bag of things that didn’t work, and yet one more bag full of weird design ideas called “What The Heck Was I Thinking?” that no one should ever see. I just recycle those beads when I have the time, but half-finished implies I’ll be back, but I know I won’t. Same for projects, I guess, and so this anklet exercise was practice for goal-setting, and what I’ve learned is to either build more time into a big project, or make the projects smaller – either might help me meet the high goals I set for myself.
I don’t know. Making a bunch of anklets seemed like a great idea back in February (I told you, I’m a planner), but my fingers are itching for NEXT! and I keep reminding myself to take a deep breath, don’t let myself be distracted, and finish up phases 1 and 3, no matter what. All of it is an experiment in time/creativity management, and I know that one day, when I finally get my goal-setting and list-making exactly where I want them, I’ll probably be ready to start a new hobby entirely. But for now, it’s still BEADS BEADS BEADS and I have a bunch of anklets to share for the summer and more to come!
These are new in my Etsy shop, where the shipping is still free when you buy The Juice:
So, if anyone’s looking for me, I’ll be making more summer pretties! Let me know if I can make one for you – you can reach me in my Etsy shop or on my Juicybeads Jewelry website. Let’s make you some Juice for your feets!
PS. Happy June, Jool Lovers!