The Cult Of Done

Let’s start with some confession and self-deprecation: I’m bad at completing things I start.

With that out of the way, what I want to talk about is how to get more things done. This is going to be a chat, not a how-to tutorial. It’s a long post – bear with me.. or click away now.

I usually worry too much, look too closely at details and stop short of getting to the end. Overthink?

On one of the occasions in which I reflected on the possible causes, I came across a cool “manifesto” : The Cult of Done Manifesto. I paste it here below.


In time these words have motived me to “get on with it” instead of wandering endlessly around the edges. Sometimes less-than-perfect-done is better than not-done, not-finished, half-done. Ok, the mantra doesn’t always work, but it helps. It’s a nudge.

“Accept that everything is a draft. It helps to get it done. There is no editing stage.”

“Laugh at perfection. It’s boring and keeps you from being done.”

“Failure counts as done. So do mistakes. Destruction is a variant of done.”

“Banish procrastination. Done is the engine of more.”

Today it was a rather dull and annoying day, drizzly and cold weather, average work day with various little annoyance episodes.

I stood up and started looking at some things around. I wanted some of them to change. I had just read Kate Davies’ blogpost on on-screen knits, then checked related links, saw some great knitting patterns, one such made me think of some UFO of mine. I fetched it and also took a look at the bunch of unfinished projects closely located.

I don’t do New-Year’s resolutions. I find them demotivating and plainly depressing. It feels like I’m setting myself up for failure by listing stuff. I have countless lists.

But today I’m annoyed enough to make a statement: get your unfinished projects done or get rid of them. You can hold me accountable. Feel free, no grudge.

I need a clean slate. No more thinking about them. Other things will follow. Perhaps some books will go. Or something. Finish, be done with it, move on, let it go.

Today I present the first project that I will complete.

It’s a vest that has long languished in various corners. I knitted it, making up the pattern as I went. Average pure wool, simple pattern, nothing impressive. I quite like its V neck.

It languished because I couldn’t decide whether to knit sleeves or make it a vest. Jumpers are usually more useful in my wardrobe. But what sleeves to knit? how to make up the pattern? Roadblock. Overthink.

These days of working-from-home have changed my viewpoint – extra layers are a nice thing to have and reduce the fuel consumption, preserving the environment and one’s pocket. So a vest is nice to have. I don’t need to make the sleeves. Forget about them.

Today’s the day a decision is made. Get that bloody thing done!

Ravelry kindly reminds me that I started it back in.. 2014. It’s the Holiday Vest because it was started while on holiday visiting family. Project notes here. I pledge to finish it.

First thing: try it on. It fits well over my own-vintage tartan shirt. Win #1.

The fit is good if a bit comfy, but goes well with said warm shirt. And sitting at home. Win #2

When done, it will be out of my mind, in my wardrobe rotation and in Ravelry Finished Projects. Win #3

So 3 wins with little work. Only ribbed sleeve borders are needed.

If you have an idea and publish it on the internet, that counts as a ghost of done.

Don’t forget to hold me accountable.

16 thoughts on “The Cult Of Done

  1. Washe Koda says:

    I can’t all the excitement 🙂

  2. kathyreeves says:

    Pick up those stitches and finish that lovely thing!!!😉

  3. Julia says:

    Congratulations!! I’ll remind you. 🙂 (love from someone who doesn’t “plan” too much of a new year either)

    • itwasjudith says:

      Good morning! Thank you for kindly agree to nudge me in case… 😉 Nice to find a fellow “unplanner”, hehehe. Hope you’re all safe ❤

      • Julia says:

        we’re fine so far!! Numbers are rising and the economy is “very uncomfortable” in sending people into homeoffice (because, you know, you can’t micromanage your employees- er, sorry, I mean, it’s NOT POSSIBLE!), so our chancellor has called another meeting for the coming week. It’s fun! 😉 but we are fine so far, except that it now starts getting on my nerves.

      • itwasjudith says:

        I find it ridiculous that companies still feel uncomfortable for it… seriously? Micromanagement is really awful, I deeply resent it

      • Julia says:

        Yes, me, too!! And since everything else is closed now, chances are VERY HIGH that people get infected while at work and using public transportation. Gaaah ….

  4. I don’t do NY resolutions either. Pointless and depressing. One of my other foibles is that I only have one project going at a time. One. Yeah. I’ve tried having more than one on the go and get all panicky, so I do one thing at a time. When that thing is soaking, or blocking, that’s when I start preparing for the next thing. Which is already on my list, of course, just waiting to be started. I also find that when I bought yarn and a pattern, said yarn and said pattern do not always end up being what they were intended for. But that’s ok. Flexibility.

  5. I love this post! I often struggle with done for several reasons. Usually when something goes wrong I will set it aside and try to figure out how to make it work. I have 2 on the table now and hoping to get back to them next week. One of them I thought was ready and found that the person trying to help me created another problem. I will get there eventually but I have to be very fresh in mind and vision. I think done is better than perfect. I have the phrase ‘good enough’ that I use when I finish an imperfect project. You are right, I gave away so much to take the pressure off. It does help.

    • itwasjudith says:

      I agree, not everything has to be perfect, and probably often “good enough” is also in order… and most importantly we can spend our time and energies on something else.
      My vest is far from perfect, but it’s a good layering piece and has already been worn yesterday 🙂
      Last night I started looking at borders for the Nurmilintu / Little Bird Lullaby shawl, although I’m reconsidering whether to use the original edge but don’t block it pointy, after seeing a few projects doing that.
      Thanks for visiting and your words.
      Keep safe ❤

  6. ro848 says:

    Recently I gave myself permission to “get rid of them.” I frogged two projects That I had spent considerable knitting time on. I didn’t like them! It took me a while to give myself permission to undo all that work, but what a relief!

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