It is often at the point when you have the back and a sleeve of a sweater done that you do not wish to work anymore upon it. You get the itch to cast on something else. You know that you shouldn't, so instead, all of your projects languish on your needles for weeks, even months with nary a thought in their direction.
The solution? Get creative with your work. Let's say that you are working on the garter stitch scarf from hell, and would really like to work on some socks instead.
First, knitting is a pleasure hobby. Go ahead and cast on those socks, but also lay down the terms of agreement in order to get your scarf of doom done.
Rule #1: Work twice as much on the scarf as you do on the socks. Set an egg timer, so if you have 15 minutes to knit, work 10 minutes on that scarf, "I will work until the egg timer goes off, then I will switch to my other project" and then work 5 on the socks.
Rule #2: Carve out time every night for working on the scarf. You can easily set aside 10 to 20 minutes every night before bed to work on the scarf that needs to be done for little Tommy's birthday.
Rule #3: If you can, grab some audio books from your local library, put them on your mp3 player of choice, and knit for a few chapters. At this time, that garter stitch scarf is an easy project that doesn't really require concentration, and you can be entertained while you work.
Rule #4: Set up a reward program. Let's say that there is some uber soft squooshy Jade Sapphire cashmere that you want to make mitts out of, but wouldn't normally buy it for yourself. Turn your garter stitch scarf into a pay as you go project. Let's say you pay yourself $2 into a jar for every 4 inches you get done on that scarf. By the time you reach the 4 feet that you need for a passable scarf, you will have $12 towards that cashmere loveliness.
Rule #5: Promise yourself that you will recognize that any progress on that scarf is good progress, and that you will work every day on it, even if it is only for a few minutes.
All you need to do is recognize that your time is valuable and that you need a reward system to get those looming projects done. Since garter stitch is relatively mindless, you can do it anywhere. If you happen to be working on a sweater with charts that are the size of Texas, you can always use the time before bed to work on it.
And reward yourself for your work. New yarn is always a motivation to get other stuff in the stash done. :)