Let’s Make Crafting Time Work For Us!

Every day, we are making judgement calls about what is truly worth focusing on. Those judgement calls lead to trade-offs between the time and attention we place on work, health, relationships, and our personal pursuits. If you struggle to find the time to make all the things as a multicraftual maker, it is time to stop and ask yourself why am I doing this? Is how and when I craft working for me? Do I make time for crafting?

Crafting for Self-Care

Most of us aren’t knitting sweaters or weaving scarves for work. We are crafting as self-care. The act of making is meant to restore and rejuvenate us. We are meant to have fun. And joining communities of people with shared passions, like local guilds or online schools, helps us form meaningful relationships outside of work and family.

The thing with self-care is that it is easy to dismiss or put off until later. If you want to make time for crafting a fundamental part of your self-care, then it really should be treated as non-negotiable.

Think of your time as a budget. In a budget, you allocate money in advance to the things that are most important to make sure they are covered. Food and rent are non-negotiable in our financial budgets. If crafting is a non-negotiable part of your self-care, then it is a non-negotiable part of your ideal week.

Make Time for Crafting (Not Working)

One of the tricks to restorative leisure is to make sure we don’t treat it like our other work. Sir Winston Churchill, who enjoyed oil painting, wrote about the importance of resting and strengthening the tired parts of the mind by using it differently.

What does that mean in practice?

If you spend most of your time in a high-paced, achievement-driven work environment, full of interruptions and distractions, then you might get the most benefit from crafting time that is quiet, process-driven, and free from interruptions. Self-care crafting for you sounds a lot like finding flow. You may find that crafting in patches of time throughout the day means that you make more things, but that it doesn’t provide you with the rest and rejuvenation your desire.

Preparing and spinning fleece takes time. Finding flow as we make yarn is easier when we recognise it as self-care.
Preparing and spinning fleece takes time. Finding flow as we make yarn is easier when we recognise it as self-care.

On the flip side, if your day-to-day life is without formal structure or external expectations, then you might find that setting yourself some clear, project-driven goals and celebrating your achievements is just what the doctor ordered!

Making time for crafting with knitting. Shown is the cuff of something in pink yarn on double pointed needles.
Participating in make-alongs is a fun way to set project-based goals. SweetGeorgia’s recent ‘Round the Colour Wheel Make-Along was a hoot!

Good Rest = A More Productive You

Productivity isn’t really about finding or saving time, nor is it really about getting more things done—it is about getting our personal priorities sorted so we can choose to get the right things done. Michael Hyatt, in his book Free to Focus, breaks it down into three steps:

  1. Stop
  2. Cut
  3. Act

Today, I’m encouraging you to stop and think about why you craft and whether you are getting what you want or need by how you spend your crafting time at the moment. Is it working for you? Are some times or ways of working better for you than others? Has it changed?

Over the last few years, my life has gone from achievement-driven to quiet retirement and then back again to achievement-driven. The whys and hows of my crafting time have changed to accommodate. And sometimes, per Hyatt’s step 2, I cut things out that are no longer a priority (because quitting is totally a legitimate method to manage projects!)

SweetGeorgia Is Here To Help!

Felicia Lo and Robyn Gibbons have both talked about how they make time to craft (here and here, respectively), and members are sharing their experiences in the forums and during Taking Back Friday livestreams. Just like a budget process, you can see people testing, reviewing, and reflecting on how they are spending their time, and what they will do to refine their own schedules.

If you are looking at setting project-driven goals and celebrating your achievements, Make Nine is a popular way to make a crafting plan—check out Tabetha Hedrick’s class Plan Your Make Nine if you’d like to dive deeper!

If you are struggling to set aside dedicated time for your self-care crafting, perhaps the new SweetGeorgia Studio Sessions will help! Join Felicia as her accountability partner during livestreams over on the SweetGeorgia YouTube channel; or, if you’re a member of the School, check out the event calendar to join in for a more traditional co-crafting session.

Finally, if you are interested in learning more about the challenges we face as multicraftual makers and strategies for looking at our time, money, space, energy, and focus, check out Felicia’s class The Multicraftual Maker. And don’t forget to join the conversation in the forums; let’s learn from each other’s experiences.

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