3rd September 2021

They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but we recently decided to read an article based solely on its title and it turns out that after taking a deeper look, the content was exactly what we were expecting.

Titled ‘How to Prioritize Your Project Ideas’, the second sentence of the article made us feel right at home.

‘It seems like every day I get distracted by a new shiny idea that feels like the best idea I’ve ever had.’

Instantly our minds ran through all our projects with needle and thread – those we currently have on the go, those that are already lined up waiting to be started and those that are on our wish list of things we just have to do. It was then we realised we could probably do with a little advice on how to prioritize our project ideas!

Written by Ryan Mather, a game and interaction designer, the article unpacked Ryan’s method for prioritizing the long list of creative side projects he’s accumulated over time. Not only has the system helped Ryan to prioritize his ideas, it has also transformed the progress he makes with each of his projects.

Firstly, Ryan advises that all our project ideas need to be written down in one place. To do this, he suggests getting comfortable, surrounding ourselves with whatever we need to be inspired and listing every project idea we can think of.

Next, he advocates thinking about what brings us happiness and fulfillment by considering such things as our role models and what we’d consider as time well spent. The opposite of these questions can also help focus our attention.

Then, it’s time to see if we’re able to make any connections between these values and the projects listed in step one.

Lastly, Ryan suggests we set up a menu of days that helps to depict how our values will show up in our daily life.

For example, if we were to determine that learning a new technique, stitching for others or finishing what we started are what bring us the most happiness and fulfillment, we’d order our projects according to these values and then work out where they’ll fit in our time with and needle and thread.

Not only did we love the focus Ryan’s suggestions would bring to anyone’s seemingly never-ending list of projects with needle and thread, but it also offered a way of incorporating them into daily life that would suit those of us who like to skip from one project to another in quick succession right through to those who prefer to work on projects uninterrupted from the first stitch right through to the last.

It was simply a matter of choosing a value, matching it to a project and then working out how we’d like to see it show up on our schedules – whether that be a different project for each day of the week, four projects a month or a project of the month for each of the 12 months of the year. From there we saw that not only could we prioritize our ideas in a whole new light, but the progress of projects was all but guaranteed. 

Who could ask for more?! Well, there are those few extra hours to stitch each day we’ve been trying to find…

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