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  • Sidebar book cover thumbnail pictures are affiliate links to Amazon, and the storefront links to Blackwell's and The Book Depository are also affiliated; should you purchase a book directly through those links, I will receive a small commission. Older posts may also contain affiliate links to one of those bookshops. I am not paid to produce content and all opinions are my own.

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Callmemadam

Amazing! I loved that, thank you.
What a wonderful project All of Bach is.

Dark Puss

Your friendly cat is, as always, here to offer his opinions :-)

Before saying something about "focus" I think it is also important to understand what your motivations are for wanting to "finish" something actually are. Is it an essential part of the enjoyment or is it a concernt that somehow it is (in some sense) wrong not to see something through? I can think of a number of things in both my professional and home life that I have not seen through to the end and often that has had nothing to do with external pressures (end of funding for example) but just a realisation that actually it was not worth it (or no longer fun). One can feel strangely guilty even if these incomplete projects were entirely personal and not a shared activity. Anyway I ask you to ponder on what your motivations are for worrying or what it is that leads to your frustration.

Secondly, the most direct route is to have a relaistic but essentially fixed, timescale. For something you know how to do (sock knitting for example) I would assume that you have a pretty good idea how long it is likely to take. So you can then take two approaches, one is time elapsed on project and the other is an absolute date. No whether this level of monitoring will remove much of the pleasure (I assume your question relates to pastimes rather than completing your tax return) is very debateable! An other approach is to only undertake one task at a time and not to deviate until it is finished; this may also remove quite a lot of the pleasure and is potentially inefficient (waiting for glue to dry or extra yarn to arrive should allow another unconnected task to be undertaken).

Thus I think you have essentially two choices, no competing tasks (i.e. pursue your various interests serially) or relax and stop worrying that things are only asymptotically converging to the final outcome (if that is even obvious).

Does this help at all - somehow I doubt it but understanding your motives and motivation may be helpful. I expect you will get miuch more practical advice from your other readers.

P xx

Cornflower

It is indeed!

Cornflower

Wise words. Thank you, DP.

Dixie Lee

Making lists of projects and checking them often is essential to my getting things done. Now with Bullet Journaling, where one makes monthly lists and has to 'migrate' unfinished stuff from month to month, it gives one extra incentive to make the final push.

Cornflower

That sounds like a very good tip. Many thanks, Dixie Lee.

Anne B-A

Thank you DP for your considered and helpful response. I find myself instantly drawn to the 'relax' proposition - and so you can see that motivation is indeed a factor! I am quickly bored and distracted and want to move onto something else, particularly when it comes to crafting projects. I have a considerably better success rate when it comes to completing books started - almost 100%. And I read a lot, so thats an interesting comparison upon which to reflect.

One crafting project at a time is problematic for me as I find I need different projects for different environments. For example, something 'brain dead' is required for my monthly crafting group so that I can keep up with the fast paced conversation! Something more challenging is required for solitary work and something different again for taking on holiday etc. I recently undertook a project audit as I had so many on the go. I now have a list of projects on my wall and this has helped me prioritise and stay on task. I set myself a goal to complete one a month. I did well till end of March and then things slipped, inevitably. However, the list is still up and I forced myself to pay it attention again and have since completed a big quilting project. Much satisfaction. Must remember that!

Motivation and determination are I think key factors. I direct you and other readers to Tim Urban's TED talk on procrastination. I am a big fan of Tim and his blog Wait But Why. His TED talk has much resonance for me, particularly his identification of 'the dark playground'. It also helpfully described the planet my 18 year old son is currently orbiting with great success. Thats the plant entitled 'easy and fun'. Hope you enjoy it!

Anne

Cornflower

That's such an interesting talk! Many thanks, Anne, I hadn't come across Tim Urban before, but I'll now go and visit his blog and think more about what he says on TED.
https://www.ted.com/talks/tim_urban_inside_the_mind_of_a_master_procrastinator#t-831745

Dark Puss

I am very pleased you find it helpful! DP

Toffeeapple

That was an amazing thing, thank you so much.

Jeanne

That Bach is amazing!

Regarding journey vs. arrival, I know someone who keeps track almost to the minute of the time she spends on a needlework project. She is amazingly organized and gets a great deal of things *finished* (and beautifully) so that it seems to me like magic, that she has literally more hours in the week than I do. But for myself, I just don't enjoy the thing as much if I know it took me 47 minutes to knit twelve rows.

(Like Anne in a previous comment, I also find that I like to have multiple projects going so that if I am waiting in the doctor's office, say, or just feel like knitting I can work on a sock, but if I want to do needlepoint, I have one of those ready to work on as well!)

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Please note

  • Sidebar book cover thumbnail pictures are affiliate links to Amazon, and the storefront links to Blackwell's and The Book Depository are also affiliated; should you purchase a book directly through those links, I will receive a small commission. Older posts may also contain affiliate links to one of those bookshops. I am not paid to produce content and all opinions are my own.

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