Saturday, 1 October 2011

Crafting Geekdom

You may kick and scream and shout and grow very angry at the fact that I’m about to mention Christmas on this blog but I think we’re allowed now. We're getting towards the end of September and I’m sure anyone crafty knows that if you have a full time job, Christmas crafting really needs to have begun by now.
Well at least if you craft at my pace it does. (Plus you have to allow for lost time due to hangovers.)
I’ve had ideas swimming about in my head for some time about things I would like to make for people at Christmas but I realised a while ago that I needed to get these ideas down and on paper, otherwise I would find myself in the middle of December with absolutely zilch done.
Enter.....the Gantt Chart.

Ok. It’s not really a Gantt Chart. I just messed about on Excel to make something that vaguely looks like a Gantt Chart.
For those not in the know and who can’t be bothered to click on that nice little link I embedded for you, a Gantt Chart is the ultimate in organisational geekdom. It’s a bar chart that can track progress on a particular project or projects –the chart can show at which point you’d expect everything to be done by and how long each bit would take.
This is basically a visual tool which I can look at and go “OH MY GOD I SHOULD HAVE STARTED THAT BY NOW!” And stop me from faffing around doing something irrelevant and nonsensical. (Like reading. Seriously. Reading has taken a big hit now that I’m getting my creativity on.)
I know that some of you are shaking your heads in amusement at my ridiculous ways but I know that there will be a few like-minded freaks who are getting very excited right now.
This is like organisation on steroids.

And you might call me crazy and you might think I’m a little tapped in the head and you might say “What’s wrong with just having a list like a normal person?” and I would concede on all of those points but for me the visual works. Maybe instead of it meaning I’m super anal it means that I’m just ever so slightly retarded and need it all spelled out for me.
Either way. It’s working. The chart has meant that I am committed to getting things done in a certain time and actually the first three things on the list have been completed. And not just completed, but completed ahead of schedule. Now that's a good feeling.

It means I can get a grip on just how many Christmas cards I’m making. Obviously I made a resolution to make at least 1 a month but I feel that now I can step it up a notch, so I’m aiming for one every couple of weeks. I’ve added gift tags to the list as well, they only take an hour or so to make up, it’s easy peasy to squeeze one of those out per week and have a nice little stockpile to dive into when it comes to wrapping presents day.
It should also hopefully mean that I can plug away nicely at the blanket I’m planning to crochet for my Dad and his wife for Christmas. When the other little tasks are done I can crochet away on that until the point on my chart where the next project should be started. Or I can start a project earlier than I planned to and get it out of the way.

The possibilities are endless.
Except that they’re not really because December 25th is definitely going to come in just over 3 month’s time and everything needs to be finished by then.
And see? Even the album that I’m supposed to be making for France, which I started with such gusto is still on there. It needs to be finished by the 31st December if I’m to have not failed at my Not Really Resolutions this year. It will most likely be completed in the week between Christmas and New Year when all this silly Christmas crafting nonsense is completed.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go and consult my Gantt Chart and find out what it is I'm supposed to be doing next...


  1. I'm one of the people saying "this is FANTASTIC!!!!I need to make one myself!
    What a great idea

  2. Oh my god - I saw the Gantt chart mentioned in the materials I was preparing for a course at work last week but I had no idea it was this exciting! The problem is, everything always takes about ten times longer than I estimate, even if I overestimate by 10x :S And there's the danger, like with revision timetables, that I'd spend so much time colouring in my chart and making it pretty that I'd actually get even LESS done... Might stick with my headless chicken approach for now (got a bit of a post in the pipeline about that actually...)!

  3. PS Just saw your comment on Alex's PJ post. Next do long length PJ bottoms and they really are long length - bit pricey but worth it for warm ankles! :) x

  4. Ooh I like this - it's like a to-do list on crack. Bit too techy for me personally though. I think I'd probably spend until the middle of November working out how to design it in the first place.

  5. That is impressive! Good as if it is on the computer you can't lose it (which is what usually happens to my lists!!)

  6. Nice...thank you! What is it now...83 or 82 days?? Holy's coming quick now.


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