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:
- 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%.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!