Written by Laura Chaney, daughter
Are you ready to get sewing? The time to sit down and get to work is almost upon us!
Now it’s time to decide which UFO to work on first. As with anything in sewing or quilting, there’s no right or wrong way to do this but just finding what works for YOU. Here are a few ideas to help you pick which project to start on first.
Dave Ramsey is a prominent expert and author for financial responsibility and debt reduction. With credit card debt he suggests that you start by throwing all your extra money (beyond minimum payments) towards the smallest debt. Once you get that first one paid off you not only get to do a little victory dance, but you can then start putting all of that money towards the next debt in line. This technique helps to keep you motivated even when it feels like there isn’t an end in site.
Try applying this technique to your UFOs. Review your list of projects and determine which one you are the closest to finishing. Work on that one project until you get it completed! Once it’s done, celebrate your victory with a happy dance and immediately decide which one is next in line with the least amount to finish.
Maybe one of your UFOs has some additional emotional baggage attached to it. A quilt you wanted to finish for a colleagues baby shower, and now the baby is a toddler. Or the wedding gift for the couple that is about to celebrate their 5th anniversary. Sometimes these projects take a huge toll on you emotionally, filling you with guilt and regret that you didn’t manage to complete it in time for the big event.
Pick the one project that is causing you the most inner turmoil and make that your number one UFO priority, even if there’s still quite a bit to finish on it. Keep pushing through until it’s in the hands of its intended recipient. Remember, it’s about the love and joy that you infuse with each stitch you take that the recipient will value, not whether you finished a quilt by a specific date.
The Top Down method is inspired by David Allen’s famous system of productivity called “Getting Things Done.” With the Getting Things Done (GTD) system, one of the steps is to gather all of your loose ends into one pile and to address them one a time, starting with the item on top and working down through the pile.
You’re not allowed to skip items, or defer them until later. What you pick up next is what you must do next. I’ve found this to be a useful mindset for lots of things outside of my inbox, and it’s perfect for an unemotional system to moving through your pile of UFOs.
UFO Buster Challenge Homework Assignment
Choose your first UFO to work on! Use one of these three ideas to figure out what project you want to start with, figure it out a different way. The important thing is to make the choice as to what you’re going to work on first.
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