how to prevent “overwhelm” on a project with a deadline
Did you ever say you’d do something and then wonder what in the world you were thinking and how the heck you were going to get it done?! I did that recently. For some reason, I offered to make two baby quilts for our church’s youth camp auction coming up at the end of March. I offered on February 17th which gave me approximately 29 days to get both quilts done.
Given the short amount of time before the quilts were due, there was no way I could just start working and assume I’d get them done. To be sure I could fulfill my commitment, it was necessary to make a plan.
My first step was to figure out exactly how many days I had to work with – it turned out to be a measly 29 days. Then I checked the calendar to see if there were any days I wouldn’t be able to work on it. The schedule looked clear, thank goodness.
Then I broke down the steps and estimated the time each step would take:
- Wash fabric
- Iron fabric
- 2 – Cut squares for both quilts
- 2 – Sew squares together
- 1 – Sandwich both quilts
- 40 – Quilt 40 squares (each quilt has 20 squares)
- 2 – Binding on both quilts
Unfortunately my total added up to 47. I only had 29. So I changed the daily quilting goal to 2 squares instead of one. That reduced my total days required to 27. Two days to spare. That’s a little close for comfort but it’ll work.
Then I made a chart for my planner so I could track my progress and be sure I was on schedule. The highlighted squares show what I’ve done. The diagonal line means that day is over.
If you’ve committed to something and then wondered how, or if, you could get it done, making a plan and chart like this will help ensure that you can indeed accomplish your goal. I do this for most big projects that have a deadline. I don’t like to leave my progress to chance and hope for the best. Hoping for the best doesn’t usually end up well for me.
So the next time you have a project with a deadline, give this method a try. It’ll help you reach your goal and give you peace of mind during the process.