Hi friends! I have a confession to make. I am procrastinating. I am in the middle of a large freelance project. Actually, I am about 70% done. I am past all the good fun juicy creative parts and I am now slogging away at the minutiae. The editing, the writing, the fussing. In any long-term project we hit the plateau stage. Here are some examples:
- Getting ready for a craft fair, the products are made (that’s the fun juicy stuff) but then you need to price and package everything and figure out your displays (that’s the slog aka plateau) then you have the craft fair (that’s the payoff for all of your hard work.)
- Getting a project published in a magazine: You make something and it gets accepted to a magazine (yay!) you have to write and edit the article and wait for it to be published (slog) magazine arrives on newsstands (Payoff!)
- You are repainting your house: You pick colors (yay!) priming, taping, edging (slog) rolling on that juicy color (yay!) painting the trim, replacing outlet covers and hardware, cleaning up and putting supplies away (slog) awesome pretty new house (payoff!)
- Getting in shape….do you need me to explain this? sloggidy slog slog slog.
You are probably saying, “Great Lindsay, tell me something I don’t know, like how to get through it!” OK, then, here is my solution: quick wins! This blog post that I am writing isn’t just me procrastinating. I know taking a 30 minute break from my project will help me return refreshed to it and I will have completed something in the process. It’s a quick win. It’s like taking 15 minutes to paint a small watercolor on a greeting card or jogging around the blog. It changes your perspective and gives you the satisfaction of completing something. When I used to “work for the man” I would do my workout on my lunch break or run an errand so I would feel like I got something done, the quick win. Maybe you are decluttering your home and you feel like it is never going to be finished but hit that nightstand drawer, get that in ship-shape and you have completed something! The great thing about your “quick win” being art related is that it won’t get undone. I remember when my kids were small (I have 3 kids less than 2 years apart) I felt that nothing stayed done. My job of caring for them was the most important job I’d ever do but it was hard to feel good about myself when the cleaning, cooking and feeding was never done. Wash a load of laundry and there was another one waiting BUT if I made a scrapbook page it stayed done and could be enjoyed for years and years. It also gave me perspective if I was feeling irritable. Looking at the sweet photos of your precious children you forget about all the work and you appreciate the reward.
We all have long projects. We can either break them down into smaller tasks or plow ahead until we hit a wall and look for a quick win project to revive us. This is why I like to have several projects going at one time so I am constantly starting something new or enjoying the finishing payoff. It makes the middle feel like less of a slog.
What big projects are you in the middle of? Let me know in the comments below. I hope this helps you get unstuck with whatever you are in the middle of right now. Happy crafting!