Catching Up: 5 Tips to Get You Back on Track

Jennifer Wilson

I’m your guide here at Simple Scrapper. Our community helps people find what fills you up and fits your life in memory keeping.

October 18, 2013

This is a guest post from team member Kimberly Kalil.

I’m a mother of two very busy kids. I’m a Girl Scout troop leader.

My husband helps run his family business, which can mean long, unpredictable hours.

I work full-time as a media and software consultant. I split my time working from home and on site with customers, which means a lot of travel.

I have an Etsy shop, blog, and creative team commitments.

Not surprisingly, I’m constantly behind. I’m nearly always playing catch up.

But here’s the deal, I hate being behind. Seriously. It drives me nuts. I gives me so much anxiety and it takes some of the joy away from my creative time. As I’ve been wrestling with this issue the last few years, I’ve come up with a five ways to get on top of my backlog and start catching up. I will tell you, even with these tricks I’m still behind, but I’m making steady progress, which is awesome. And having a plan of action helps me feel less stress and anxiety.

My Plan for Getting Back on Track

1. Set time limits. When I have a lot of pages to catch up on, I set a timer. Normally I give myself an hour for a page. Sometimes, I get the page done in under 60 minutes. Other times, I don’t. But I always tend to work faster, smarter and with greater purpose when I have a time limit.

A layout created using a template from Little Green Frog Studios (credits).

A layout created using a template from Little Green Frog Studios (credits).

2. Use a sketch or a template. When I’m trying to get a lot of pages done in a short amount of time, I turn to templates. For you paper scrappers you could look toward a sketch to speed up the process. I used to think a template or a sketch would result in pages that “looked like everyone else.” And then I stumbled onto the Simple Scrapper membership. The entire creative team and membership plays with the same sketches and templates, but all the layouts look so unique and different. Your story and your perspective make it different.

Two weeks of Project Life pages all using only Just Jaimee's September Storyteller kit.

Two weeks of Project Life pages all using only Just Jaimee’s September Storyteller kit.

3. Limit you supplies. This is something I do all the time, especially when I’m trying to catch on my Project Life pages. I select a single digital kit and three fonts (Bebas, Homestead and Hero are my favorites). Then, I only use that kit and those fonts. I ignore the urge to go searching for something else. I admit, in the beginning this was hard since I like product as much as anyone. But it’s become a fun game now to see all the ways I can use a single kit. In most cases, I sit down and do two to three weeks of PL layouts at once and all the spreads use the same supplies, but look distinct and special. If you’re a paper scrapper, make your own “kit” of some of your favorite supplies and just scrap with those items. When you exhaust your goodies, make a new kit and start again.

4. Know your limits. I’m a sucker for a large scale project or class, especially one that lots of people are doing. Every year I have this urge to do Week in the Life, December Daily or a summer mini book. But I don’t have time for any of these projects, so even though they are appealing, I have to pass them up. Every now and then I have a little extra time in my creative schedule, but even then I’m super selective. I’d love to do everything, I know I can’t. And rather than adding more work to my pile, I only add a few extras when time and circumstances permit.

5. Let go of your expectations. I used to make my self so upset and I worried about being caught up. Nowadays I’ve changed my expectations. I often ask myself, “Am I telling the stories I want to tell and I’m enjoying the process?” If the answer is yes, then I know I’m on the right track and need to cut myself some slack.

Editor’s Note: When you get off-track in scrapbooking or in life, how do you find focus and get going again?

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