When most people think of retirement, they worry about how they will fill their time. When I retired five years ago, I didn’t have that worry. I had so many crafts and hobbies that I wondered how to fit it all in! My dad always had a saying, “Work expands to fill the time allotted.” If you have two weeks to get it done, it will take two weeks. If you have six weeks for the same task, you will use all six weeks.
Now I have been following Knitting Sarah on her blog for a while and I wondered, “How does she get it all done?” I mean, she has two children that she homeschools, she knits like a machine, spins yarn, takes copious field trips to beautiful parks, prairies, and natural settings with her kids, she reviews books and yarns, leads KAL groups on Ravelry, not to mention the general household chores. I figured she must be super organized or have found a way to clone herself.
I’ve been known to be an organized person but I was having trouble getting things accomplished. I have several knitting, spinning, weaving books that I wanted to read, in depth, not just flip through and look at the pictures. I have several Craftsy classes just waiting to be started, and several more on my wish list. I have projects in various states of being finished. Not to mention trying to squeeze in a little pleasure reading and the required housekeeping chores.
So I took a page from Sarah’s blog. In one post, she described getting her kids ready for home school and she had a picture of her school lesson plan calendar. It was a simple calendar with large chunks of time and basic subjects or activities listed. It was my “Ah-ha” moment. I’ve been in the education system from kindergarten at age 5 to retirement at age 52 and I decided to “home school” myself!
I created a calendar with my day divided into chunks, printed it out and bound it into a booklet. I started thinking about what I wanted to accomplish first and when during the day would be the best time to do it.
So, how did my plan work? Well,
- I got five UFOs (un-finished objects in the knitting world) finished and listed in my Etsy shop.
- I finished a Craftsy class that I started about a year ago. I never could set aside time for the class because I kept thinking of watching it in its entirety at once. By breaking it down into daily segments, I finished in one week.
- I thoroughly read a book on Tunisian crochet, not just flipping through and looking at the pictures, and even made sample swatches of the stitch patterns.
- I combed through three years’ worth of knitting magazines and managed to tear out and scan articles for future reference and save patterns that interested me.
Throw in a few appointments, errands, book club, and pleasure reading and my week was complete.
Somehow, if I scheduled it on the calendar, it got done. Maybe not on the exact day I scheduled it and maybe some tasks took longer than I anticipated, but I checked it off by the end of the week.