Get more done with the rule of one

by | Productivity Advice | 3 comments

It’s a new year and you’ve still got big hopes and dreams for all the projects you’re going to start and (hopefully) finish. Commonly, many of these resolutions, aspirations or goals will involve organization of some sort. This is all the more true for scrappers with years worth of photos and digital supplies.

I’m here to give you permission to pare down to the basics. Yes, please do keep a wish list of organizing projects. However, there is one little secret that will help you scrap more pages in 2010.

The Rule of One

It all goes back to habits. Your current state of organization (or lack thereof) is a product of your habits. You download willy nilly and leave zips to die hopeless deaths of corruption. Your folders (what folders?) are not labeled with identifying facts. You back up religiously… once a year.

We all know the old saying that it takes 21 days to make a habit. Those old sayings don’t mention anything about conquering your 16 toughest challenges in 21 days, do they? One habit. One.

This year, I want to push you further to get more organized so you can scrap with ease. I’ll let you do it your way if you follow this one rule.

Pick One, Any One

Take that list of resolutions and add to it. Yes, add! Include your dreams (paper scrapbooking) and your fears (scanning photos from the past 30 years). Now pick the goal that means the most to you, the one you REALLY want to tackle. Then, break it down. Start with the dream, envision a path and plan the first step. That first step is your ONE!

  • The Dream: Always having photos ready to scrap
  • The Path: I believe a digital spin-off of Library of Memories will get me there
  • The First Step: Outline a tagging system for Lightroom and begin to use it

Do It Again

Identify the one thing you’re going to do right now, this week/month/year, to get you closer to your goal. Work on it, hard. Work until you master it – until it becomes a habit. I’m going to focus on tagging.

When you get overwhelmed with “so many things to organize”, retreat to the safety AND productivity of this habit under development. You know exactly what you need to do and doing it will empower you.When I have spare time to worry about organizing, I will dig into my tagging. I will learn how to do it well and with ease. I will master tagging of photos in Lightroom, so I know what and where my memories are!

Get a New One

When your one resolution is fulfilled and the habit is ingrained, take on one new challenge. Select a new dream and a new path if you need a change. Or determine the next step on the path you were on. This methodology for getting more done offers several benefits, You will:

  • always know what organization project is the priority
  • reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed by digital organization
  • increase your sense of control over your photos and supplies
  • never feel the monotony of organization – it’s all about habits and new steps
  • be able to scrap more layouts, with more creativity, in less time

The rule of one will change how you feel about your photos and your digital scrapbook stash. Choose one step and take it with vigor. What is yours?

Photo by comedynose

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  1. Elisabeth

    Great post! I have just one question: you mention a “digital Library of Memories”. I loved your post reviewing Stacy Julian’s “Photo Freedom” and I commented that, like you, I was disappointed that she did not really acknowledge the digital world. I also noted that I applied some of her philosophy to my photo tagging system (all of my digital photos are tagged!).

    Can you share / do a separate post on your version of a digital Library of Memories? Can you share your tagging system? I’d also like to hear about the software you use to organize your photos: I am hitting the limit with PSE 5 Elements.

    BTW yours is the only blog I have found that addresses the challenge of digital organization: I think that it’s probably the single largest obstacle in being able to enjoy the photography and scrapbooking process.

    Thanks again for a great post!

    • Jennifer

      I know that with each year, Stacy is adding more and more digital techniques to her system. Her recent blog posts have mentioned it quite a bit.

      What I’ll do is offer a follow up post sharing the specific things I’ve done in the vein of LOM and what I hope to tackle next. I’ll include my photo organization strategies as well as where I’m at with organizing digi supplies.

  2. Julie Rae

    Wonderful post! Very thought provoking and motivating. I am also very interested in your organizational methods pertaining to digi supplies. I can appreciate your comment regarding the “monotony of organization”. Find myself not wanting to sit in front of the computer because I have too many purchases to unzip and “file”. Then I think of my friend who’s husband was laid off last year and how they struggle. OK. I’m ready to wrestle with my digi abundance and stop complaining.

    Just a few tips as to what is a proven system would be nice! (A little confused by the PSE Organizer as everything is in ‘photo’ terms and not digital elements. What do I tag, what goes in a collection, how do you manipulate collections for storage of layout items?) Can you tell I have only been doing this 7 months?! Sorry.

    Thanks again for a terrific post! Awaiting your next one.


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