This is a guest post from Aaron Morris aka Sir Scrapalot, who shares tips for scrapbooking productivity with Simple Scrapper readers once a month!
Six months ago, I was fighting the Energy Eater. If you had asked me what I did in my free time, I would have told you that my hobby was Sir Scrapalot Designs – creating products, writing for my blog, scrapbooking, and generally being part of the scrapbooking community. I was happy, I enjoyed what I did, and enjoyed spending most of my free time (aside from family time) working on Sir Scrapalot stuff. As time wore on, however, I started to get tired. Real life picked up, school was in full swing, and the holidays were rapidly approaching. I was quickly getting overwhelmed and not enjoying anything I did. I was up against the Energy Eater, but I didn’t know it. At the urging of my friends and family, I took the last two weeks of the year off for some “downtime.” I thought I would catch my breath before I got moving again. What I didn’t expect was what I would learn about myself and the Energy Eater.
Downtime is a funny word, it implies that something isn’t working, that nothing productive is happening. My downtime was anything but that. I took my family on some cool outings, I spent some time with friends, I read more than my Google Reader, I cooked more adventurous meals, I downloaded a DJ program and created a few remixes for myself, I played video games, I researched new teaching methods…and this is just the tip of the iceberg. As the end to my “downtime” neared, I started to realize all the things that I had forgotten were my hobbies – cooking, music, video games, reading, teaching – and how much I would miss them when I got back into Sir Scrapalot Designs.
That was the major a-ha moment. Why on earth was I thinking “Well, I enjoy doing these things, too bad this other hobby takes up all my time?” (Insert car break screech here). How did I let Sir Scrapalot Designs become my Energy Eater? If I wanted to have more time to do those things, well then that was up to me. I’m the CEO, big boss, head cheese, man-in-charge of Sir Scrapalot Designs, I made the rules. From that moment on, the rules changed. I had to fight the Energy Eater, and I had to win. It’s not an easy fight to win, though. In fact, every day the Energy Eater and I engage in the age old “good vs. evil” battle with the hopes of coming out on top. I admit, that definitely makes it sound like I’ve played a few too many video games in the last month, but you get my drift.
The lesson to take away from my story is this: anything can become your Energy Eater. Sometimes it’s your job, or a hobby, or your friends, or reality television – the Energy Eater has the uncanny ability to take many forms, and change at the drop of a hat. As the “hero” it’s your job to make sure you are getting to all the things you want to, that you are living a balanced life, and that you are doing things that make you happy – that you are fighting the Energy Eater. While the fight may be difficult, the rewards are plentiful.
So join me, let’s fight the Energy Eater this year together! What types of things do you do to keep certain tasks from taking over your life?