Friday, January 1, 2016

Word of 2016: Finish

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My clarity goal worked so well last year, that I am continuing it again this year.  One of the things that need clarity for me is to define a finish line.  I know that the word "finish" may seem to be on every quilter's New Year's Resolution, and it might be one of those resolutions that tends to have to get rolled over from year to year, because it can never be really satisfied.

But I think that is exactly why I want it to be the word for me this year. I tend to work on a lot of long-term projects - all my clarity goals for last year, for example, and of course my quilts, but they keep going and going and going.  This year, I have decided to have a more definitive goals that define what "finish" means.  It is not so much about actually finishing a task; it's more about knowing what a "finished" task looks like.

When I say I am going to deep clean my house, for example, how do I know when I am finished?  If I clean a closet is that called finished?  When I put the stuff back that I have decided to keep, I may wind up leaving loose ends - decisions that might be made later, or stuff that has moved into a different room for further processing. Which means that I never actually get the satisfaction of really finishing something.  I've made progress - sometimes substantial progress, but it never really ends, does it? The closet still has stuff in it, and some of that stuff that remains will eventually need to be tossed at some point.  And while I am cleaning the closet, there is something else that isn't being done. The curtains aren't being washed this week.

One of the junk mail flyers I received is from a cleaning company.  They specifically list the things that they will do - with specific intervals for different chores.  That's what I want.  To have a schedule that is so clear, that the curtains aren't a problem, because they aren't on the list of things to do this week. The cleaners are finished because they can check off everything on the list and call it a day.  They am actually done cleaning what is due this week, and don't have to worry about the curtains until their time comes.

I need an exit strategy. How will I know when I am done? And then, I am going to take whatever I am working on all the way to the end so I can then check it off the list.

This applies to quilts too, of course.  The Quilty Circles are done when I am done making the circle for that day. I don't have to make all 365/366 today.  Last year, I allowed myself to just make progress and try to be satisfied with any progress. But there was still that feeling that the progress on so many quilts is not going anywhere since there aren't many finished quilts to show for all that progress.  If I can define what progress I want - for example, a finished block, then all the blocks finished, and then a finished quilt top, then a sandwiched quilt, then a quilted quilt, then a bound quilt - then I can rest satisfied knowing that I have finished with what I was expecting to do this week. I don't have to have a bound quilt because it wasn't on the list for this week.

Right now, I'm not really sure if this word is something that will really propel me throughout 2016. But since it is a part of clarity, I figure I can pick a different focus word that also falls under clarity, or just go back to clarity as I go along the year if it doesn't work out.  Giggle.  I guess the first order of business will be to decide what a finished "finish" goal looks like. 


Kate said...

I think the deep cleaning will be one of those things that is really a repeating process and not something that's just done. Our big question after the deep cleaning we did is how do we keep it from getting so bad before the next deep clean.

Good luck with your goals for 2016.

Exuberantcolor/Wanda S Hanson said...

I think most things have to be broken into parts for finishing. Finishing a top is one part of a quilt, doing the quilting and binding is another finish. The same goes for cleaning. Done for the day finishes compared to deep cleaning as a whole big thing.

Lisa J. said...

One of the issues I have is that sometimes I think I can complete a given task quicker than I can. Quilting a quilt (by sewing machine) might be on my list for one week, but maybe it takes two...or ...?

Allie-oops Designs said...

I used to have a strategy for cleaning the house - specific tasks for specific days, the whole house stayed clean, everything was rotated. I made a master list of all the chores I had to do, then broke them down into daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly. And I scheduled them. It worked for me - really well. Wish I still had it, lol! I did the same thing with meals, came up with about 40 meals we liked, broke them down into meat groups [chicken, beef, etc.], and made a master list for every 40 days and made my grocery lists from that. I HAD to be organized - I was homeschooling two rambunctious boys and hubby worked 12=14 hour afternoons. With my meal planner, I wasn't standing in front of the stove at 5pm, wondering what was for dinner.

I think that's why I like quilting so much - when you finish a quilt, it stays finished. You don't have to go back and do it again next week, lol. For housework, my daily chores were finished every day when I had checked them all off my list. They didn't stay finished, but I was finished with them.

BTW - closets were done quarterly. *G* The rest of the time, I didn't give them a second thought.

Kaja said...

Breaking things down into achievable chunks sounds like a good idea. Like Lisa I often find things take longer in reality than I think they will (binding, for example) but I am learning to factor this in. I think one of the reasons Quilty 365 is so successful is precisely because we know what we need to do each day - one circle and it's done. Good luck with getting your quilting (and the rest of life) running how you would like.

Vera said...

Finish is a great word! It might help you stay focused. Good luck!