Stuck on a Project? 12 Hacks to Get Motivated

We all have them: those WIPs (works in progress), taking up precious space. We’ve purchased extra project bags and come up with creative storage solutions. But if you’re not ready to completely abandon that WIP, what’s holding you back from finishing it?

Zadie Sweater In Progress

Try a couple of these motivators to get you through that WIP so you can (finally!) move on to a new project.

1. Limit your WIPs.

Don’t allow your mountain of unfinished projects to get any bigger. Tell yourself you can’t start a new project until you finish at least one WIP.

2. Gift it.

Giving something as a gift often comes with a deadline. A birthday or holiday, for example, might be just the motivation you need to finish up a project for your friend. Even if that wasn’t your original intention for the project, the gift-ee doesn’t need to know.

3. Trade with a friend.

Here’s a fun idea: What if you finished your friend’s WIP and your friend finished yours? Your friend can try to achieve the same results or put their own twist on it! Plus you’ll have a cool project that you both worked on together.

4. Join a craft-along.

Group projects — like knit-alongs, quilt-alongs, 30-day challenges and more — have loose deadlines that might just motivate you. I like knit-alongs because they break down projects step by step, making bigger projects seem a little less overwhelming.

5. Look at other knitters’ photos.

If you’re feeling uninspired, go online and look at finished photos of the project you’re working on. Seeing the end result might spark some of the original inspiration you had when you started.

magic eight 8 method cutting

6. Set aside special WIP time.

Build a half-hour or more into your schedule each week to work on your WIP. It’s not much time, but when you add it up, you’ll eventually be able to call it done.

7. Multi-task while you craft.

If you find that you spend tons of time watching movies and TV or listening to audiobooks or podcasts, grab your supplies and do two things you love at the same time. I don’t recommend this for projects that are really intense (like knitting lace or painting a realistic portrait), but it works well when you’re making something repetitive or doing a tedious task.

8. Get an accountability partner.

Do you have a friend who’s struggling with WIPs, too? Set up an accountability partnership where you fill each other in on progress. The partner doesn’t need to live nearby, either. You can send progress photos to encourage each other!

Drawing realistic in colored pencil

9. Put it away for a while.

Every now and then we have a WIP that we just can’t look at anymore. Put that WIP away for a while and come back to it when you feel more refreshed.

10. Find a portable project.

Are any of your WIPs small or in the beginning stages? Stick that project in your bag so it’s handy when you go to the doctor’s office, a baseball game, or any other place where you might be able to sneak in some crafting time.

11. Make something small.

Sometimes those little projects — coasters, coin purses, etc. — can be a nice break from more complex projects. It also gives you a bit of instant gratification that might just push you to finish up something larger.

12. Post photos online.

I love seeing progress photos on social media, and I often post them myself. They’re excellent motivation to finish something, especially when a friend sees the photo and asks a few weeks later: “Did you finish that sweater yet?” Putting our work out there can also encourage us as friends and family members cheer us on and admire our creative pursuits.

What motivates you to keep crafting? Share in the comments!

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