Six tips for greater productivity!

6 tips.jpg

Some of you have asked me “How do you do it? How do you get so much done?”

I don’t suppose that these are rocket science, but here goes.

  1. Be careful how much time you spend getting inspired.

    Computer time can totally eat up your sewing time. Yes, that means Facebook and You Tube and Instagram and blogs and such. There is a fine line between gathering ideas and inertia. Decide on a time limit and stick to it. You don’t have to answer every “What border do you like?” or “I need a baby quilt idea”. You have only 24 hours in a day. Use them wisely.

  2. Keep distractions to a minimum.

    You Tube videos that are only 12 minutes while I’m trying to sew are a pain! I do like longer ones when watching while sewing. I say that because I have to keep getting up and finding another one every 12 minutes. It takes a couple of minutes to find it and then set up Chromecast so I can see it. I find that listening to audiobooks is actually more productive - but not always what I want to do. For this reason, baseball games are idea!! they last about 3 hours and I get to hear the commentators the whole time. I don’t need to actually “look up” until their voices get loud and excited - mostly I can just listen and follow the game. If you can not message people while you are working you will get more done (if you have a choice, that is!) - leave your smart phone in another room and make that person actually call you!

  3. If you find your interest waning in a project, switch to a different one.

    I like to have several going at once for that very reason. I find that if I spend a couple of hours on one project, I get less efficient and less interested and less focused. By switching it around, I keep my interest high and keep working at a high level.

    Along with that, learn to use your periods of high energy to sew and your normally tired time to do other things - picking up in your sewing room, filling bobbins, reading Facebook, blog posts like this one, etc.

  4. If you follow one “quilting guru”, add a couple more to your list.

    It is good to be influenced by more than a single person. The inspiration you get from seeing a different person and a different style than what you’ve always done is amazing. OTOH, if you start feeling paralyzed by either indecision or feelings of inferiority then it’s time to turn off the outside stimuli and go to your machine and sew. Sew something. Remember - you are being shown the best that person has to offer. They don’t show you the stuff you struggle with - not because they don’t have those issues - but because they aren’t really considered camera worthy.

  5. Have more than one sewing machine.

    If one breaks down or gives you problems, you can switch to the other one. For maximum efficiency, having a machine that can sew fast also helps. Along with that, have multiple bobbins. I use mainly white or off white for piecing and fill multiple bobbins when I’m tired and want to do something but am not feeling like quilting or piecing - usually at the end of the day. That way I don’t have to waste valuable “productive” time filling bobbins.

  6. Have a plan

    I have a sticky note on my computer screen that helps keep me on target. I sometimes forget what I’m doing so when I feeling unsure of what to work on next, I check out my sticky note and see which one I “feel like” working on. If I don’t want to do any of those and want to start another one, I add it to my sticky note. I keep working on the ones on the list until they are at least made into a top and taken off the list. I like to cross them off when finished before removing them entirely. Here’s my current sticky note list. It’s just a list of ideas, so maybe not totally comprehensible to anyone else. My shorthand is for me.


A while ago my sis was here in Poland and she wrote up after she went back to Florida some things she observed that helped me get more done than the average quilter (she thinks). It’s mostly about charity quilting, but you might find it interesting. It’s called “Becky’s Shortcuts”. She’s a really good writer and you’ll enjoy reading if you haven’t already!

Be sure to check out what my sis has for you in the store!

Becky Petersen5 Comments