WPT #39: Start with Just One

by | Productivity Advice | 16 comments

I would like to learn brush script.

And digital shadowing.

And better photo editing.

And where to put those little enamel dots on my layouts.

The list of things I’d like to learn how to do or get better at in my scrapbooking is long.

I’m eager to learn and ready to start, but know that I only have so much time. I also know that I want to spend more of my time making things and less of it thinking about making things.

And there’s those projects I want to finish. We can’t forget about those. How can I find time to grow as a scrapbooker, on top of everything else?


As many of you know, I talk about focus a lot when it comes to scrapbooking and especially to projects. The more you divide your attention, the less effective you are.

This works the same way in learning.

While you can read and watch videos about a wide variety of techniques and approaches, you only truly learn them with action. And we all know, there’s not enough time to do it all.

This is why I recommend working on just one skill at a time.

When you put your energy into learning just one new thing, you have a chance to apply it again and again. This is what makes that knowledge stick.

Four to six weeks is a good time period for learning something new, which is why you see that period so often for workshops. It’s long enough to go in-depth but short enough to keep it fresh.

As you consider how you want to grow in 2014, be mindful that you’ll be far more effective by spreading out your learning interests across the calendar – and not stacking them in January and February.

What is one skill you want to pick up or improve in 2014? 

The Weekly Pep Talk shares one strategy to help you simplify scrapbooking and focus on what matters most. 

Did you find this post helpful?

We believe simple is not how your page looks, but how your scrapbooking hobby works. We have a free workshop called SPARKED and it is the best way to learn more about Simple Scrapper and start creating consistently.


  1. Melissa Shanhun

    I want to actually finish things. I have so many pages, albums and projects 90% done. This month I’ve already FINISHED a few, but next on my list is printing the 100s of layouts on my computer. 🙂

    • Jennifer Wilson

      Finishing is an under-rated skill… and as you have identified sometimes it’s the most important one to work on.

  2. Kelly Sroka

    I want to make a habit of tagging my photos as I move them into LR. I also want to improve my photography skills, both in composition and post-processing.

    • Jennifer Wilson

      I want to do more tagging too Kelly, but am also working on more automation. Wondering how to best combine those two, since I’m trying to set up hands-free importing into month folders.

  3. Lisa Jacobe

    Your pep talk is really hitting home for me this week! This is an area I seriously struggle with. My head knows one at a time, but I continuously drift from one thing to another, never making much progress, or am paralyzed and nothing gets done. I also struggle with decision making. What do I want to do first? The list is incredibly long and I want to do so much. This seems to hit every area of my life, not just scrapping.

    I guess the first skill I should pick up or improve upon is taking pictures daily and improving my photography (get off auto), and workflow. Without pictures, I have nothing to scrap, and I have been a horrible memory keeper in the past, especially at family events (I think the chaos throws me off). And along with that skill/improvement is photo organization, and I need to figure out if I want to deal with Lightroom and/or ACDSee, both of which I have, or just continue with Photoshop for photo editing.

    • Lisa Jacobe

      *sigh* I just realized with my post that I did it again. I didn’t just pick one, but rattled off a few different things. I will revise that to say the one thing I would like to start with improving is my photography, practicing daily by taking pictures off of auto mode. This will give me pictures to scrap, and help me learn. 😀

      • Jennifer Wilson

        It’s alright Lisa! Sometimes you need to do a brain dump first, before you can take the step of picking one thing.

  4. Eileen

    One thing? Glue pictures on the layouts I have together already. But truthfully…I am more like Lisa. Yes you have company, girl!

    • Lisa Jacobe

      Eileen, I feel sorry for what you go through, since I know what it feels like…but it is nice to have company. 😉

  5. Carmelle Landreville

    I’m on Facebook Under my name…

    I would love to make the workbook you were making in Start fresh. I already some ideas in a note book but will prefer a bigger album like planner on something with calendar.

    I would like to learn how my machine I bought last year to scan my négatives.

    And the important thing is to put my pictures in orders so I can make my albums. I will like to start a PL album.

    I think that’s all for now…. sorry for my English …. I’m a french lady..

    I love all the beautiful layouts I saw from the girls on start fresh.

    I want to say Happy birthday to you Jennifer. And also to say thank you for the beautiful Christmas card you send me.

    Have a beautiful scrappy week! Carmelle xxx

    • Jennifer Wilson

      Thank you!

  6. Carole Jordan

    Like everyone else, I have a list too! Hmmm, wonder why this blog post is hitting home with us?!
    I’ll say the one skill I’d like to pick up is getting comfortable with my silhouette since i didn’t check that off my list in 2013. Trying to figure out the most efficient way to do this. I’ve had friends say “search for videos on You Tube”, but that turns into a major time sucker for me. A good 4-6 week class would be perfect. Any suggestions?

    • Lisa Jacobe

      Carole, check out Kerri Bradford and Creative Passions classes (silhouette Fundamentals with Tami Taylor) . I can’t vouch for these classes since I don’t have a silhouette (incredibly sad, but someday!), but I’ve heard really good things about Kerri Bradford and I have taken a class from Creative Passions that was awesome. Wasn’t sure if it was okay to leave links here. I totally get where you are coming from with the YouTube thing. Good luck!

  7. DragonsLady

    Carol – I’m taking a class with Get It Scrapped that starts next week – it’s Silhouette fundamentals with several classes following it.

  8. Kendra

    I want to reintroduce myself to crocheting….specifically granny squares. My grandma made all of us girls a granny square Christmas stocking when I was about 12. I want to make them for my kids. Just have to remember how!

  9. Cheri Mandaquit

    Thank you so much for the pep talk. It’s just what I needed. I feel like the rest of you with a VERY long list of things I want to accomplish and end up spending time reading about them or watching videos instead of actually DOING it! So, I’m going to focus (my one word) on learning how to use my Cricuit.


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