When I managed my yarn store, I often heard, “I don’t have time to craft.” Substitute crocheting, quilting, knitting, weaving, needlework, sewing, or any beloved craft for the word “craft” in this article.
We live in chaotic times. All of our lives are seemingly busy. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way, no matter how active you are. I believe we each must find time for the things we love. We all have 24 hours in our day. How we manage those 24 hours gives us peace and the time to craft.
So, how do you find time to craft? With a little organization, prioritization, and discovering your best time of day, you can become calm, collected, productive, and feel that you have time to craft. Make your favorite craft a habit.
My Top 10 Ways to Find Time to Craft
1. Find your best time of the day.
Get Up Early Enough
It’s tempting to hit the snooze button and catch a few more minutes of sleep. But, unfortunately, it’s even harder to set the alarm early enough that you have plenty of time for everything you want and need to get done. I get it. If you’re not a morning person, moving up the alarm by 30 minutes to carve out a little extra time can be challenging. Trust me, though, after the first few mornings, it’s not nearly as complicated as you think, and you’ll quickly get acclimated.
Getting up early and avoiding the snooze button at all costs is the key to an unrushed morning. Here’s the problem with cutting time too short or hitting the snooze button a few times. It gets you behind from the very start. You have to rush to make it out the door in time, and any little problem or speed bump along the way turns into a huge problem.
Not finding the car keys is suddenly a major crisis because it could cause you to be late for work and the kids tardy at school. Remember, your morning sets the tone for the rest of your day. If you start chasing down on time and things, that’s likely how you’ll spend the rest of your time.
Getting up early enough, on the other hand, puts you ahead of the game. You’re in control. You can take care of everything that needs doing calmly and still have time for the essential things. In short, getting up early enough sets you up for an amazing, productive, and creative day.
If you are a night owl, you may prefer to create after everyone else has gone to bed. But, then, adopt these suggestions to a nighttime routine for your time to craft.
Work out the time of day that will work best for you!
2. Determine What You Should Be Doing is Crucial
Think about what you should and shouldn’t be doing in those first few hours of the day. That’s an important idea to ponder. We get stuck in a rut or a routine and do things because that’s what we’ve always done. But, unfortunately, we do it without thinking about whether or not it’s the best use of our time.
It’s Not About Cramming More Things Into Less Time
Making over your morning isn’t about figuring out how to cram more tasks into fewer hours. Instead, reading books and articles on productivity and time management is often the main message and gist. But unfortunately, while it can help in the short term, it isn’t a good long-term strategy for meaningful change. Very soon, you’ll hit the limit of how much faster and more efficient you can get.
Shift your thinking, and don’t try to add to what you do in the morning. For example, if you want 15 minutes for bible study, meditation, crafting, or exercise, don’t just think about getting up 15 minutes earlier or shaving 15 minutes off your morning routine by showering faster, getting dressed in record time, and rushing through breakfast. In other words, don’t add to your lengthy list of things that need finishing. You’ll only feel more rushed and stressed if you do.
It’s About Making Smart Choices About Using Your Time
Instead, what you should be thinking about is the best use of your time in the morning. Compare your perfect morning with your current morning routine. What aren’t you doing on your ideal morning? If you can start by cutting things out, finding time to do what’s important to you becomes much more manageable.
There are two great ways to find things you can stop doing. The first is to look for busy work. Busy work is something you do out of habit that doesn’t necessarily need doing every day. Maybe it’s checking your email first thing in the morning or playing around on Facebook for half an hour while you drink your coffee. If that’s how you spend your time, that’s perfectly fine, but if you’re doing it out of habit, it may be time to rethink it. Instead, take all these distractions away and concentrate on your favorite thing.
The second way to quickly earn back time is to see if you’re doing things for others that they can do themselves. Kids are the perfect example. We start fixing their breakfast, making their lunch, cleaning up after them, picking out their clothes, and ensuring their backpack is packed and ready to do. When they are younger, we have to do these things, but we continue to do them all too often long after they’re capable of doing things independently. The same goes for items we do for our spouses.
Maybe there was a time when you had less to do in the morning, and it made sense to take on the majority of morning chores. Did things change, and if so, is it time to lighten your load and get help from your partner? A few small changes may be all it takes to make time for what’s important to you in your busy morning.
3. Schedule Your Time to Craft
Once you know when you want to craft, schedule it. Make crafting part of your day. Please write it on your calendar and To-Do List, whether you plan time in the morning, lunch, or later in the evening. Do your best to keep your crafting appointment. I suggest at least 30 minutes in your day for crafting.
To help you with this task, I recommend reading “How Do I Create and Stick to a Daily Schedule.”
4. Set a Timer During Your Time to Craft
We all know that time slips away. So as you sit down to do your crafting, set a timer so you can move on to your other projects.
5. Have a Dedicated Space for Crafting
Your crafting space can range from a dedicated room, a cozy chair with your supplies in a basket, a converted closet, or an area of your kitchen.
You don’t have to put your project away with a dedicated space for your crafting. It is easy to see and is waiting for you to grab when you have a few minutes to spare. If it is hidden, it is out of sight and out of mind.
It would be best if you had a spot to work and have all your supplies together. I am sure that all knitters have heard the phrase, “If I sit, I knit.” Substitute your favorite craft for “knit.” It probably won’t rhyme, but it is a good memory trick.
Maybe a crafting cart might be the answer for your crafting space.
6. Plan Your Project Ahead
If you are crafting daily, plan a little task for each day. Break your projects down. Just as you prepare for the time to craft, you should organize your project by breaking it down and assigning time for each step needed to finish.
Examples of multitasking are:
- Crochet or knitting while preparing meals and waiting for water to boil or the oven to come up to temperature.
- Keep a simple project in your car when you get stopped at the railroad tracks or are waiting for your child at sports practice.
- You are waiting in your doctor or other professional’s office.
- You are listening to music, audiobooks, podcasts, or watching TV or YouTube.
- Some knitters even knit while reading a book.
During your time to craft multitasking, you should “keep it simple.” I usually knit dishcloths. It is not the time to work on that lace project: no pattern reading, calculations, or complicated stitch patterns.
8. Find a Crafting Buddy
Join a craft group. Crafting with others is great motivation to finish your projects.
You will meet new friends, learn new skills, and make time for your craft.
There are also craft-a-longs. If you are a knitter, join a knit-a-long. I like these groups. After all, I will make time to craft because I want to keep up with the group.
9. Don’t Over Stash Materials for Your Craft
Over stashing materials is a big one. Too many new project materials constitute a significant distraction and, for me, a major downer. Because of idea mind overload, I look at all the pretties and accomplish nothing. Instead of buying ahead, use this as a carrot to help you finish your current project. If you complete your project, you can reward yourself with materials for a new project.
10. Your Crafting is Important
Crafting is not wasteful time. It is suitable for you, makes you happy, and you are creating something beneficial. Our projects usually fall into two categories: functional or beautiful. Often they are both: beautiful placemats for your table or a lovely cardigan to keep someone warm.
Remember the importance of your crafting, and you will make more time for it.
Let’s Have Some Fun!
Post pictures of your crafting/sitting space below this post on Facebook, or leave a comment below describing your area.
Find posts on various crafts here: Crafts.