5 Time-Saving Tips for Making Window Treatments

Sewing curtains is much like cleaning house.  We don’t necessarily do it because we love the process – but because we love the result – a clean house!  Are you that way, too?

For years, I stitched together window treatments for others.  I squeezed time for sewing between young mom responsibilities.  I crawled out of bed extra early for a couple of stolen sewing hours in the morning and carved away little snippets of sewing time throughout the day.  I made the most of those little blocks of time.  And I mean little!

People often tell me how they wish they could sew, but they don’t have time.  Let’s rid ourselves of that defeatist attitude.  Let’s get creative with our schedules, shall we?

5 Time-Saving Tips

My Top 5 Tips for Making Time for Sewing Window Treatments

Tip #1:

Schedule blocks of time.  Yes, put it on the calendar!  Block out time chunks in the largest blocks you can manage.  (Even small ones are better than nothing, if that’s all you have.)  You won’t know how much you can accomplish in half an hour until you schedule it and work through it.  Try it.  You will be amazed at how much you accomplish in thirty minutes!

Tip #2:

Turn your phone settings to DO NOT DISTURB (DND).  In your phone settings, set a time frame to not be disturbed!  That’s right.  No notifications to distract you.  And, you can still get calls from family and friends who are on your favorites list.  So, if a family member has an emergency, they have access to you during DND.  I love this feature and have a recurring DND for sleep hours every night!  I use it during the daytime for focused work time, too.  Notifications distract, and who needs that?

How to set your phone or DND (Do Not Disturb):

i-Phone:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Click on Do Not Disturb.
  3. Press the “From and To” to enter your start and stop time.
  4. Click the Scheduled Tab to “On”.
  5. Press “Allow Calls From” and choose Everyone, No one, or Favorites.
  6. Turn on the “Repeated Calls” tab if you wish to hear a second call from the same person within three minutes (which might be an emergency).
  7. Under “Silence”, check Always or Only while iPhone is locked.

Android:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Click on Sounds and Notifications.
  3. Scroll down to Do Not Disturb and click the title to go to the screen with the different settings.  Turn “Set Schedule” to “ON”.
  4. You can set the start time and end time you desire for your phone to be on Do Not Disturb mode.
  5. You can also allow exceptions for receiving calls from your favorite contacts only by clicking “Allow Exceptions”,  Click “ON”.  Click “Calls and/or messages from”, and a short menu pops up.  Select the “Favorite contacts only” option to allow calls from friends and family in your favorites list to get through when they call (needed for getting emergency calls).  You can also choose to receive other notifications such as text messages by clicking the “Allow exceptions” tab.
  6. Be sure your the tab is turned to “ON” to activate Do Not Disturb mode before leaving the settings screen.

Tip #3:

Be diligent about limiting time on social media.  Set social media time slots in your schedule and stick to them.  Limit time on Facebook and other media time-gobblers.  Get control of your social life!

Tip #4:

Do project mapping.  Map projects in advance in an orderly, step-by-step, sequential manner.

Tip #5:

Begin your project with the end in mind.  Focus on what you’ll enjoy when you finish – how you’ll enjoy your finished project.  It will boost you through the steps to completion and motivate you!

Blessings~

I’m sharing this post at Metamorphosis Monday.

Tips to Tackle Tasks in a Timely Way

People often ask me how I get it all  done.  That question stuns me because I never feel it’s all done.  I definitely don’t get as much accomplished as I used to, before my Fall season of life.

Are you efficiency-challenged?  Are you task-oriented but seem to twirl your way from one incomplete project to another?

These are some things I do (or did during my curtain business years) to make the most efficient use of my time – nothing new or earth shattering.  But, we sometimes need reminders of age-old techniques for efficiency.

Tip One

Lump projects together or combine similar steps.  For example, when you have painting projects, gather everything to be painted a like color and paint them at the same time.

Here is a collection of items I painted earlier this summer all at the same time – some things for immediate posts and some for later.

Projects Painted White

Tip Two

Tackle “thinking-required” tasks when your brain is fresh and physically taxing projects when you have the most energy.

What time of day are you at your peek mentally?  When is your physical energy peek?

Since I’m a morning person, I do things that require the most brain power during early hours.  Late mornings and afternoons are spent on things requiring more physical energy, like doing the projects in my blog posts.  After dinner (when my brain is approaching complete shut-down), I edit pictures or catch up on emails.

I don’t have a completely strict schedule, of course.  For example, physical outdoor work during the heat of summer must be done in the mornings rather than afternoons.

Tip Three

Keep a task list, and keep it updated.  Sometimes it’s necessary to make more than one list, separating by project type.

Tip Four

Work in “location zones”.  You may remember I’ve been known to paint furniture in our kitchen – and usually several things at once.  Because I spent many hours cooking for our family, the kitchen was my painting zone.  (My family probably wanted to strangle me for that!)

Inside Painted

With the recent Project Studio completion, my new painting zone is there.  (Is that HH I hear cheering?)

3 Windows - Natural Lighting

Tip Five

If a large project seems overwhelming, break it down into manageable steps.  Think of each step as an individual project.

Stitching Miter Seam

Chip away one step at a time in the time allotments you can devote to it – 30 minutes here, 15 minutes there.  You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment each time you complete a step, which serves as motivation to get on with the next step soon.  You’ll finish the whole project sooner than expected.  (The littles  total a lot, y’all.)

Tip Six

Limit interruptions and manage distractions.  Turn off your phone, silence it, turn off text and email notifications, or any other way you can manage the distractions of electronics.

Notify family members you are heading into “project zone” and to allow you that uninterrupted time if possible.

(Ahem…grocery-store voice) 

Mommy (or Grandmommy) needs to work for a while.  Come and be with me, but bring some puzzles or games to play so you won’t get bored while I work.  When I’m done, we’ll have some “me and you together time”.

(Kiss and smile.)

How do you make the most efficient use of your time?  Please share your tips in the comments section.   I’d love that!

Blessings~

Signature

Add 4 Years Back to Your Life

Are you attached to your phone?

Do you sit at meals with your face in your phone, ignoring your family or friends?  (HH, no tattling here – wink.)  Do you check your phone while others are speaking to you?

Technology was designed to make our lives more efficient – to save us time.  In spite of our cell phones, have you noticed how busy everyone is?

I wonder if we’re busier than ever before.

Through texting, aren’t we in contact with others constantly?  But, are we really engaged?

We were created to be relational.  God created us to be in relationship with Him first and foremost.  He also desires us to be in relationship with others so we can get involved in their lives…share life with them…share His love with them.  Do we do much of that anymore?

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.  Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the day approaching.  (Hebrews 10:24-25)

So, who are we relational with  in our world of electronics?  Do we see friends in person, or do we text them mostly?

Do we spend time with God and His word when we wake up in the morning, or do we turn on our phones and check our texts and emails?

Just some things to ponder…things I’m guilty of sometimes, too.  It’s time, I think, for a little honest evaluation of ourselves.

1 Peter 5:14

Maybe, if I put down my phone, I would notice someone else – their need, their emotions, their life!  (And get back part of the four years spent looking down at my phone.)

Let’s make a promise.  Today, when we are in the presence of another human being, let’s not look at the phone.  Intentionally.  Make the best choice.  Look the person in the eyes.  Let’s open our ears, listen, and…

focus on the us.

Let’s begin each day right…with God.  We must resist the temptation to check our phones first, which gets us off track immediately.  Read God’s word.  Let’s open our minds to Him, hear what He has to say to us, have conversation with him through prayer, and…

focus on the we.

Praise Him, too, on this Spectacular Sunday!

Praying His blessings for each of you~

Signature