Disclaimer… This blog may be a little longer than most, and it doesn’t have lots of imagery, but it is well thought out advice.  It has lots of helpful information and links.  So grab a cup of coffee and enjoy.


The first quarter of the year is nearly over.  Can you believe it?  In January, many of us made resolutions to get more projects completed.   We gained momentum during the January 2017 crop.  But now heading into March the momentum may be dying down.  You may be succumbing to the demands of everyday life.  You may have even become a little overwhelmed.

Below are some tips that I follow to help overcome the overwhelm.   Hopefully one or more of these will help you.

After you finish reading this, I would like to hear from you in the comments section below.  Are you overwhelmed?  What is your biggest obstacle to completing your projects?  How do you think you can overcome these obstacles?  Your comments can help other members of the Forever™pixels2Pages™ community get going.  Your comment may even get featured in Pages Magazine.

Top ten ways to overcome being overwhelmed:

  1. Focus on one project at a time. Our minds are all over the place.  We are trying to stay up to date on our Day2Day albums, we are working on our anniversary albums, we just went to two weddings and a baby shower, so we want to do those albums.  Somehow, in our heads, we are trying to figure out how to get all of these projects done. Unfortunately, spreading your focus over all of these projects at one time can result in none of these projects getting done.  Pick a project and stick to it. That allows you to focus on the journaling and photos and telling one complete story.  Working on all of these projects at once is kind of like having a conversation where you keep changing the topic.  It’s not really productive.   If you are working on a year-long project (such as Day2Day or a family yearbook), and have separate event projects (such as vacation albums and wedding albums), you really can’t set that year-long project aside. However, you can focus on an event project, complete it, then return to your year-long project and get up to date.  Once you are up to date on your year-long project, you can proceed to your next event project.  We all love to multi-task, but studies show that multi-tasking decreases productivity by up to 40%.
  2. Use Blueprints.  As a pixels2Pages member you receive 9 unique Blueprints (in two different sizes) every month. Blueprints allow you to complete pages in just a few minutes.  You can use p2P Blueprints over and over again.  Simply changing the content and photos on a Blueprint completely transforms it.  Therefore, you can use the same Blueprint more than once in your album, and it will still look like a fresh and new page. If you use all of your monthly blueprints every month, maybe use the mirror image feature available in Forever Artisan 5® to turn your single page Blueprints into a double page spread. In no time at all, you’ll have a completed album!
  3. Use Historian and the Power Layouts method to get your photos for that project organized. The hardest part of any project is selecting the photos that you need for your album and organizing them in the way they will effectively tell your story.  Be sure to check out our Power Layouts Video Tidbit, Kim Mannino’s Blog about Power Layouts, and the article on Power Layouts in the most recent issue of Pages Magazine.
  4. Don’t overthink it. You know who you are.  Your page is done, but you spend countless hours adding an embellishment and then removing it from your page; changing a paper and then reverting back.  I am so guilty of this, but am actively working at making a change for the better.  Remember, every page you create is a new chance to get it right.  Stop trying to make a great idea you have fit a page it is not meant for.  Think “how does this page make me feel?”  If you feel good about it, then the page is done.  Not every page has to have a lot of bells and whistles.  For the most part, my albums are fairly simple with highly decorative pages sprinkled throughout.  Together, the simple and decorative pages create an album with WOW impact.
  5. Stick to what you know. This may be an odd comment being that pixels2Pages is a training site.  We want you to be an active learner.  That requires you to actually take time to learn a new technique and then practice it on a page.  Being behind in projects AND short on time is a terrible combination.  You do not want to take on learning creative techniques that could be challenging to you. Complete your album with the creative skill you already have, and refer to your pixels2Pages membership for the technical skill you need to complete the project (our tips and videos are the perfect place to go).   Scrapbooking/memory preservation is supposed to be fun.  It is hard to have fun when you have a pile of projects vying for your time. Once you have made significant progress, you can relax just a bit to take in new creative inspiration.
  6. Ask for help and ask it in the right places. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, but most importantly, get help in the right places.  If you haven’t watched our Maximize Your Membership with pixels2Pages webinar, be sure to check it out.   We go into full detail on how you can find what you need on the pixels2Pages website as well as various pixels2Pages Facebook pages and Forever help.
  7. Set a deadline and stick to it. Make a date with yourself if you must and don’t stand yourself up.  Dedicate one hour a week to your “Project Progress.”  Add it to your calendar, set reminders and show up!  You will be amazed at how much progress you make when you are consistent.
  8. Pick a limited amount of kits that you plan to use for the project and stick to them. The digital content found in the Forever store is definitely eye candy.  When we purchase content, we purchase it because we really love it and/or we have a specific project in mind.  Sometimes, especially when you have built a significant content library, you become paralyzed by the choices.  The Forever Store designers are quite fabulous and they put lots of relevant content in their kits.  So, before you start filling your Blueprints with content, take a few moments and choose the kits you plan to use…and then stick to it.   Deciding on content before proceeding with your project takes away all mystery and keeps you from spending hours exploring content. Enjoy using your content; don’t become paralyzed by it.   Our Pixie Power Minute Content Selection and our Video Tidbit Add Selection are the perfect offerings  to help you pick your content and stick to it.
  9. Start where you are! That’s another blog.  I won’t reiterate it all here, but I think it is important.  We all need to start somewhere.  Find comfort in your ability and know that as time passes, you will enjoy watching your growth in Artisan as you flip through all of your completed projects. Click here to read that blog if you have not read it before.
  10. Remember your WHY! In 2010 I wrote a blog about my “why”.  Your “why” will be different.   However, identifying your “WHY” and keeping your “WHY” as your focus will fuel your “Project Progress.” Below you will find an excerpt from my blog “My Why!”

 People ask me “Why do you scrapbook?”; … “Why do you waste your time?”.  Well, [my family is] “WHY”.   Life is both a blessing and a struggle.  I remember both from my own childhood.  However, the older I get, the more vague my recollection is.  The older I get, the more memories get pushed aside for new ones.  I am no longer a child.  As a matter of fact, I have my own children now.  Three beautiful blessings.  I feel time slipping away as they throw away their pacifiers, draw their first picture, graduate from kindergarten, ride a two-wheeler and have their first crush.  I remember how when I was a child I thought time was moving so slowly, and now that I am grown…I don’t have enough of it!  I see my kids check the calendar several times a day, only to realize that it is still today!  I sit back in a daze as they rush life’s precious moments by and realize, that one day soon (not so soon if they had to tell it) they will want to remember exactly how they lost that tooth or got that scar…and that they will revel in all the wonders of it all sitting at their own kitchen table with their own children.  That is when they will take out the countless albums I will have made for them and feel all the love I have inside for them every day.  It is then that they will realize that time indeed is flying by and they will want to slow time down a bit.   I choose [to do this] because …[my memories] will survive the test of time… .  None of this is a waste!  Why? you ask.  They are my why!  They are my legacy!  They are my everything!

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24 Responses to Blog: Overcome the Overwhelm!!!

  1. Vicki says:

    Thank you Tameka for the wonderful blog. My style of scrapbooking is to do one yearly scrapbook. Every year I start out so well keeping up to date, but after a few months I fall behind and never finish my yearly book. So the next year I start with that years scrapbook and well you guessed it I have another unfinished scrapbook! My goal this year is to finish all of my partially completed books. So far I have finished two and I am keeping my 2017 book up to date so far! Yea! One way that is helping me do pages quickly is to use Predesigned pages. That way a lot of the work is already done for me, I just have to pop in the pictures and journal. p2P Blueprints are another time saver for me. I love them! I rarely make a page from scratch anymore. I have also found that putting all my content in categories and tagging items is so important. It makes finding what I need so much faster.

  2. Sandy says:

    If I knew then what I know now I would have started tagging kits in the beginning. But since I couldn’t do it when I was using SBC Studio I did not get into the habit. AND NOW I have so many kits I don’t really know how or where to start. I know everyone says a little at a time, but my other problem is all the “squirrels” that show up to play whenever I try to start tagging content. I will see a paper or some embellishments that remind me of a page I want to create and off I go, because that is more fun and has more meaning to me. I sure wish there was a magic button that I could push, or maybe just a little pixie dust…..

    • Tameka says:

      Lol… I have tens of thousands of elements that need tagging. One day… it will be done. Bulk tagging is the best. I only tag my favorite items with meaningful tags. Everything else I tag with “no” so that it doesn’t appear in my content not tagged category.

  3. Leslie says:

    Thank you for this fantastic blog Tameka! I get frustrated when I have content that I bought months ago for a project and then forget to use it when I do the project. I really like the idea of taking one day a month to tag and organize. The tagging overwhelms me, I usually like the categories option but the last little while even those are getting confusing. I have felt the need to overhaul my system but didn’t want to get diverted from my projects. Setting a deadline, carving out one night a month and the friday night idea all called to me. Thank you!!

  4. Debbie Smith says:

    Wonderful blog post Tameka! I am SO guilty of overthinking projects and trying to go through all of my content to find the perfect embellishment! One thing I would love to find is blueprints in 8 1/2″ x 11″ in portrait orientation. I do scrapbook pages for my grandsons (ages 4 & 7) and I print them on my local printer and just put them in a regular album. I do those layouts from scratch and it would be really nice to have some blueprints I could go to.

  5. ANN LARRABEE says:

    Thank you so much for the insight to help us make memories. I went to P2P Live Portland with the plan to complete a book I am now ready to upload and start a new book. I really like the idea of choosing a few kits to make a book and also use the tagging system to reduce time finding all those embellishments (we learned and worked on those at P2P, thank you Mary}
    Just a note that is this is worth it, my husband says he is so happy I make these memory books as his parents didn’t take many pictures and he doesn’t have photo books like I have of my family. IT IS WORTH the time and effort .

  6. Terry Vachowski says:

    Thanks so much, Tameka. 4 and 8. Last night about Midnight, I really hated what I had done and ended up having to fire up the laptop and completely change the content. I do better when I stick with plain but I never seem to learn that about myself. I’m also trying to stick with finishing my two 2016 books even though a vacation book is calling me. I’m finally learning that the journaling is the most important part for me, and to start with that. Thanks for this blog! I tend to save the challenges for when I’m doing actual pages already, which tends to slow me down, but I love learning when it is filling an actual need, not having to scrounge around in my brain for pictures to try the challenge on. Choosing kits ahead worked great for me on the last vacation book, I think I will do that again.

  7. Alice foster says:

    I have that paralyzed , overwhelmed feeling. I have not edited pictures, or sorted and tagged embellishments, fonts etc. So I end up scrolling through every kit and blueprint, wasting tons of time that I should be using to create the page. And by now, all that sorting and tagging seems to
    be a Herculean task. Perhaps I ca commit myself to tagging one kit per day until I have them all done, and then try to stay current.

    • Tameka says:

      Tag new kits first, then older kits 1 or two at a time. The job may never be done. BUT WHO CARES!!! You can’t take the fun out of your fun. Fun minus fun leaves nothing. Allow yourself to enjoy your hobby/works of heart. Once you give yourself permission to not have it all done, you will no longer feel overwhelmed and paralyzed. What a GREAT FEELING it is when we shed ourselves of undue, self imposed stress.

  8. Linda Riley says:

    Wonderful blog, Tameka! I’m going to tackle #7. I so often don’t scrapbook because I don’t have several hours to commit. I need to stay consistent and do the small tasks you suggest on a regular basis, even if for only 15 minutes. I do love the Blueprints!

  9. Laurie Crawford says:

    Great advice Tameka. For once I’m a little ahead of the game. I have bought the content for my project and the predesigned book ( usually I do blank) and I just put all the photos into Historian and am now only working on that prep album. I will fill in with Blue prints when I have a lot of pictures with not much to say.
    I loved your Why. Made me think about all the albums I lost but nothing I can do about that now. And now I have Forever so I don’t have to worry about fire anymore. I have only been a member of P2p for almost a year and wish I would have known sooner. Thankful for all you have taught me so far.
    I intend to go back and read all you highlighted too.
    No content tagged anywhere. Still learning. Thanks again. Laurie

  10. katrina says:

    Thank you Tameka for a great blog. I dislike feeling my “enjoyable” hobby is so overwhelming. You are so real and practical in the blogs you write. They are an encouragement to me.
    One of my biggest obstacles is overthinking a page designs. I like to use predesigned pages and tweak them particularly for vacation albums. I am currently focused on trying to complete one project (setting aside the other 5 projects I have been working on).
    What I’ve put into practice for this project is going through all the photos and moving the ones to go in the album into Historian with journal page dividers for each stop or activity on the trip. That saves me time from continually going back through pictures to pick the next group out.
    I have also learned, as another blog suggested, that I need to think of what I am going to write first. I had finished two pages to fit the order of tweaked predesigned pages then realized I needed to switch the order of my pictures to fit my journaling. I spent almost as much time redoing the pages as I had creating them in the first place!
    I am sticking with what I know which is Artisan 4, even though I have Artisan 5 – but I sure could have used that mirror feature when I changed those two pages around!
    I would like to get p2P blueprints categorized by number of photo holders, but the webinar last month was helpful – I learned I could do a search with the number.
    I plan to employ the idea shared in a blog of making a category of the kits I will use for a particular project. For example, my son rides horses and I am working on an album of his events so I plan to put all the “horsey”/rustic collections together to pull from.
    Other posts on organizing and tagging content have been helpful and it is good to see the different methods employed by each of you to determine what could work best for me.
    Also, although I have been a p2P member for a while, I did not frequent the website. I am now intentionally checking in each week and have picked up all the preceding great tips to help me work more efficiently on my projects! And I am watching the monthly webinars.
    I did question the time spent on scrapbooking and whether it was really worth it, but I do so enjoy looking back on our pictures in an album with labels, organization, and a little flair instead of scrolling through them on a computer screen.
    Thank you to all of you pixies with your suggestions and help! It is very much appreciated.

    • Tameka says:

      Katrina…. I encourage you to make the leap to Artisan 5. There is a slight learning curve, but there are so many time saving features in Artisan 5 that you will be increasingly more productive with it.

      • Linda Riley says:

        Tameka, thanks for that boost about Artisan 5. Like Katrina, I’ve stuck with Artisan 4, although I have Artisan 5, because it’s what I know, and I’m always behind and want to get pages done. I’m attending a retreat in a few weeks, and it is my goal to dig into Artisan 5!

  11. debbie says:

    One of my biggest problems is that I take too many photos each day. I try to get them loaded into Historian several times each week, but I often run short of time to purge the less than good ones.
    I always use BP even when I need to change the number of photo holders and find myself scrapping from the one or two kits as everything is already color coordinated. I have accepted that each page may not be my most perfect page, but it is DONE.
    Great set of suggestions…I may need to print these out and set by my computer. Thanks

  12. gayneal says:

    ARRRGH!!!! #’s 4 and 8… Thank you for reminding me to reel it in!

  13. Lynne Merritt says:

    Thanks for sharing! I could not scrapbook without using the p2p blueprints. They are my “go to” when I need a jumping off point! Thanks so much for doing these each month.

    I am an overthinker too and I’m really trying to focus on just getting pages completed. I have been doing a calendar each year for the last 5-6 years, and that helps me feel like I am making progress. Each calendar that is completed is 12 more pages than I had the previous year. 🙂

    Thanks for all that you guys do!

  14. Heather says:

    Such sage advice and so practical!!! Makes good sense in ANY area of life where we feel overwhelmed.

  15. Lisa Ingleton says:

    What a wondeful, helpful blog, Tameka! I’ve just returned from Hawaii with over 10k of photos from 4 people. Although it’s a bit overwhelming, I’ll start at the beginning and work my way through.

  16. Jan says:

    Great blog, Meka, and really good advice!

  17. Linda DeLaughter says:

    Yes, I too become overwhelmed with choosing the right content and/or blueprint to use on my pages. Sometimes, I feel that creating the page from scratch is best, but it looks that way when it is finished. LOL! If I can stop buying new kits, which then requires tagging and categorizing, etc., then I can get caught up with my albums!

    • Tameka says:

      Haha Linda. I don’t think it is the process of buying new kits that is the problem, it is the lack of a work flow. I add new kits all the time, but I only organize my kits at the end of the month. Begin to plan a workflow that will increase your productivity. My workflow includes:

      1. Upload and organize photos in Historian/Forever: The time I spend on this fluctuates depending on how many photo taking opportunities I had for the month. I have to block out time for this, just like I block out time for everything else. Main thing is when you commit time doing one thing, don’t multitask and do a million other things. Focus on completing the task at hand.
      2. Work on projects: I work on my projects as part of my job, but I also have my Friday night dates with myself where I work on my projects and they don’t have to be work related.
      3. Organize content: When I organize content, it is usually at the end of the month. On day only. I will say, I will tag “X” number of embellishments/papers (I won’t tell you how many, because it might scare ya!), or I will spend 15 minutes putting items into categories. When you decide what you are going to do, commit to it and only do that one thing for the 15 minutes or hour even.

      Don’t try to do all these things at once. Each item is important and requires their own time, no matter how much or how little time you have to offer. You will be amazed at how much you will get done with 15-20 Focused minutes per month. It is like losing weight. You don’t notice the benefits right away, but after a few weeks/month you see great progress.

      Also, you know I love creating a page from scratch, mainly because I usually have an idea in my head, or I am intrigued by the mystery of ti all. However, when I need to get a project done…. BLUEPRINTS, BLUEPRINTS, BLUEPRINTS to the rescue. Everything doesn’t have to start out on a blank canvas. I may never complete a project that way.

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