Why taking a break from your goals (and just knitting!) can be the most productive choice to make

Feb 15, 2016 | Knitting Life |

Confession: I haven’t been knitting a lot recently. I was so busy with my pattern revisions, writing social media posts to tell people about my walrus design, and trying to figure out what my next design should be that I kind of lost sight of the joy of quiet creating. When I thought about my personal knitting projects, they seemed like a waste of precious and limited time (I know, knitting blasphemy! but it’s the truth) “You have too much Yarn Birdy business stuff to do,” the voice in my head was scolding, “No time for slowing down, otherwise, you’ll never achieve your goals before your baby arrives in May!” This voice never went away, because every second, there was always more to do. When running a small business in the stollen time around raising a young family, and working another part-time job, there will ALWAYS be more to do.

And then, Saturday happened. I woke up feeling off. I wasn’t sick, just really exhausted from pregnancy, from working, and from carrying my toddler. My body was pretty much screaming at me to lie down. I had to listen. So yesterday, I cleared off my schedule, sent my toddler off with my husband, closed the bedroom door, and spent the day knitting on my bed. Just for me. Projects that have nothing to do with business, or designing, or long term goals.

It felt really good to be connecting to the calm meditation of knitting again. 

And to my surprise, this wonderful, refreshing rest day ended up being the most productive day I’ve had in a week! While knitting peacefully, I got through the audio book –Berlin Diary- that I’d been slogging away at for ages (and enjoyed it!) and I started another audio book –May we be Forgiven, which is engaging so far. I finished the second sock that had been LANGUISHING on my needles for half a year, and immediately slipped the pair on my feet. I have now officially knit a pair of socks, and my knitting bucket list is one item shorter! (Not that I think I’ll be knitting another pair too soon… while I’m glad for the experience, and they feel heavenly on my feet, socks are, umm, a little tedious, in my opinion.) Finally, I started and have nearly finished the Fuzzy Mitten knit dragon, which pattern I’d bought a year ago but never even taken the time to look at. SO FUN! Knit dragons = way cooler than knit socks. As always, when knitting toys by designers I admire, I learned a ton of useful ideas for toy shaping that I can implement in my own designs down the road. 

This whole past week, I was trying with all my strength not to loose sight of the goals I’d set for designing and for growing this little Yarn Birdy business. That was a noble things to strive for, but the truth is, I don’t have much to show for the week of “hard work”. A couple more followers on instagram, and a sketch or two for my potential next design. In trying to force myself to be actively “productive” at all possible times, I ended up tired and my productivity stalled. All the days of being too busy working on my business stuff to spend any time just enjoying the joys of knitting combined were less productive than this one, luxurious rest dayNot to mention, they were far less enjoyable. Enjoying books, resting, and learning new knitting skills in a fun, no pressure way were the best possible steps I could take to move myself and my business further toward my goals. 

We live in a busy, goal-oriented society. Maybe you’ve told yourself you don’t have time to just enjoy knitting right now because you have too much to do for work and for your family. If you feel this way, I think you may find that taking time to just enjoy knitting is exactly what you need. 

Do you ever loose sight of the joy because you’re too busy working toward your goals? When was the last time you just knit, 100% for enjoyment?