Last weekend I stumbled over an unfinished project, a white mug I wanted to paint for 6 months. Then another, a minialbum I haven’t finished yet for 8 month. And another… I started to see them everywhere, those little UFOs (un-finished objects). Thankfully we had just bought a big box, so I began to collect every UFO in it. The box filled up so very fast – in only ten minutes it was full to the brim and I still hadn’t dug deeper into the craft boxes, where some projects were still hidden.
Those mugs and plates and bags and wooden boxes and minialbums and… and… and… you know these crafty projects you see in the shop and know you want to do these too. All those little craft projects I buy on the go, because I simply fall for them and think, they would look lovely in our home.
You buy the tools and material, bring them home, maybe leave them on your workplace for a few days, but then other projects are back in focus and the new project is left alone on the shelf or in a box with the other 100 lonely projects. And that’s it. From time to time you come across them and think: ‚Oh yes, I wanted to do this sometime. But not now, maybe…“ And then it’s back in the box forgotten till you open it the next time. You know, what I mean, right? It’s time to bring these UFOs back to daylight, out in the open and finally finish them. Here’s what I did to organize my UFOs:
Collect them in a big box or on the floor. Get every little project out in the open, so you can see it and have an overview about everything.
Write a list or take a photo of every project like I did. And I mean every single one. Not just write down ‚paint mugs‘ but instead make it a point to document every single mug like ‚paint mug no.1‘. This way the points on the list are not too overwhelming, the steps are much smaller and can get checked off much faster. Therefore you will see the process more clearly and stay motivated to finish one UFO after another.
Some projects will be just one step, like folding an origami bow. But others will consist of two or more steps to finish, like choosing a quote for a mug, sketch it onto the mug, paint it and then burn it in the oven. Or if you want to paint some wooden boxes with stain, you need to grind them first, before you can paint them. The action steps will make it easier to see, which steps you can summarize for different projects and therefore will be faster to do together. And if you style the action steps like a checklist, you can cross those steps off of several single projects at once and see your process, even when you don’t finish one project right away.
Choose one project and simply finish it. Maybe you choose one project first, that’s fast to finish. Therefore you feel empowered and motivated to do more and don’t get stuck at the first project, because it will be so hard to get done.
I took the time to take a photo of every UFO and made a collage to have all together. I was bumbed, when I counted all – there are 50 UFOs! Not to mention all the photos that wait to be put in minialbums and Project Life pages. It’s time to do something about this situation. Therefore I will print this photo collage of all UFOs and hang them next to my desk, so I will see everyday what I can work on and don’t forget about them. Another benefit is the consciousness, that I shouldn’t buy any new material and tools since I already have enough things at home to keep my hands and my creative mind busy. The plan is to cross every photo off the collage, when I finish it – like a to do list with pictures.
How many UFOs do you have? How do you tackle them?