2013 will be my 3rd year of doing Project Life. I started in 2011, and I have to be honest and tell you I am not done with that year (gulp). I have all the pictures in 2 binders, but I have only journaled up to July. In 2012, I made a promise to myself that I was going to keep up. However, I knew New Year resolutions often sound good January 1 but then suddenly lose steam by March, and then life gets crazy (vacation, sickness, new job, new baby, new house, etc., happen ) and suddenly we are 1 week, or 2 weeks or 4 weeks behind and well, we give up.
Yup, been there done that.
So how did I keep up with my Project Life in 2012? (So glad you asked!)
I made a Project Life Habit. What is that? (Wow, you ask really good questions!)
First let me qualify by saying….I am as busy as you are. Why do women do this? We compare each other’s schedules and try to figure out who is the most busy. One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone tells me they didn’t do something because they were SO BUSY.
Guess what? We are ALL Busy.
(Side note… I actually had someone write a very nasty email about me because when she told me that she was TOO BUSY to do something I responded. “We are ALL busy”. I guess she thought her busy-ness was more important than mine. We are all busy. My busy my is not more or less important than your busy. It is not a contest.)
So busy… yes, yes, yes.. busy. We are all busy. Me – full time job (that can include travel) three kids, wife, side photography biz, volunteer work, friends, family…. you get the picture and I am certain you are just as busy. I am just saying that I don’t buy the “busy” excuse.
But you can be busy – super busy. You can be Wonder Woman + Super-Mom + Working Woman and still keep caught up on your Project Life. You can. I know you can, because I did. And I am the queen of starting projects and not finishing them (just ask my husband).
So how do us ultra busy people do this? Here is what I do:
- I print my pictures weekly. I have a certain day of the week (Mondays) that I send my prints to Walgreens and pick them up the same day. This happens every week. The people at Walgreens know my name. They probably talk about me. “Here comes that crazy lady that is always taking pictures of her feet and her lunch”. Yup – that is me!
- I set time aside in my schedule to work on my Project Life. Now it might not be the same time every day. Because my schedule can vary from day to day and week to week. But on Monday after I get my pictures I look at my calendar and set aside little blocks of time that I am going to spend putting my Project Life together. And I stick with those times. My goal is to have my Project Life layout completed by the next Monday so that I can take pictures of my layouts and post on my blog on Tuesday. So I have 1 week from Monday (picture pick-up) to the next Monday to finish one week. That means I work a week behind in my Project Life. And that is OK! And I still consider that caught up. A week behind – isn’t a big thing!
- I don’t usually finish my weekly Project Life layout in one sitting. Sometimes I only have 15 minutes here or there to work on it. But add 15 minutes up over a course of 7 days, and that is a lot of time! I work on my Project Life early in the morning before the kids wake-up. I work on my Project Life over my lunch break. I work on my Project Life while the kids are watching a little TV before bed. I work on my Project Life after the kids go to bed. I find time. There might days I don’t touch my Project Life. I might not touch it all week and then work on it Friday or Saturday night while my husband and I watch a movie. Each week is different. But each week I find little pockets of time. They are there! Just look for them! You might have to work on it while you watch your favorite reality TV show – but that is OK!
- I break my Project Life process into little steps:
- Insert pictures. This is when I layout all my pictures from the week and group them together by day or activity. I then select my page protectors. And then, like a puzzle, I start to put the pictures in the pockets until everything fits. I do try to think ahead if I need extra journaling space or want to use a decorative card in a pocket. This can be the most time consuming part for me, but the part I like the best.
- Journal. I then go back through and journal. I journal on cards or on the pictures. Wherever it will fit. I just hand write my journaling because I find it to be easy and fast.
- Embellish. I then go back through my pages and add embellishments. Stamps, stickers, etc. Not a lot. Here and there. Don’t over think this part. Really – I just spend a few minutes throwing stickers, washi tape and stamps down.
- Inserts. This is when I go through my kid’s school/artwork and select a few to showcase for the week. I try to pick one thing from each child. Sometimes I might have other stuff too – like brochures, cards or tickets from the week. I collect this stuff in a big pile on my desk and I go through it weekly.
- I might just do one step a day. So by Monday my weekly layout is all done and ready for me to take pictures to post on my blog. (My husband thinks it is so funny that I take pictures of my pictures). What is my total time to put together a weekly spread? I really don’t know as I haven’t ever timed it. But I can get a weekly spread done over the course of a week, that’s all I know!
- Some weeks I might have a sick kid, travel for work, night meetings, and all “heck” is happening and I don’t touch it. This is when I don’t stress. I breath in and out. And I revert back to my college days when I would stay up late to finish a paper that was due Monday morning. I might grumble a bit. I might feel really tired and want to quit, but I know if I push myself through I am going to be so happy come Monday morning to see my finish layout and it will be worth it.
- When I have skipped a week because of vacation or I just can’t do it for whatever reason. I don’t beat myself up. I just work a little extra harder the next week to catch-up. If you go back through my 2012 PL you will see that sometimes I posted two weeks at once. Those were the times that I did slip. The trick is to not beat yourself up over getting behind. Don’t procrastinate. Don’t over think it. This is not the time to get all fancy with your Project Life layouts either. Drop the pictures in and journal. Maybe even skip the embellishments and inserts if you need to. Just get it done.
So the secrets to keeping caught up on your Project Life album this year?
- Make a plan and stick to it. Deadlines are your friend.
- Don’t worry if you don’t work on it everyday. But respect your deadline.
- Break your Project Life process into easy steps and follow these steps each week. Lather, Rinse and Repeat – or something like that.
- If you fall behind don’t panic. Keep it simple and just get back on the horse.
At the end of the year amaze your friends with your completed scrapbook for 2013. But be ready to answer the question “How’d She Do That?” because they are going to ask!
How do you keep caught up and motivated for 52 weeks? Leave me a comment! I would love to hear your strategies.
If you want to know more about Project Life, check out my Projects Life layouts, grab my Saturday Project Life Blog Hop button, or see Project Life products I use, please visit my Project Life Page.
Make sure you don’t miss a single post from me…subscribe to my blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. (sign up in the menu bar to your right). Thanks!