Do you sometimes plan to scrapbook after the kids go to bed, but end up doing something else? In this post I’ll explain why that happens and what you can do to solve this challenge.
Getting started is a very common challenge for scrapbookers. A variety of factors often collide to create internal resistance and a barrier to taking that first step towards making something new.
One factor that often plays a role is a simple lack of willpower. However, this is not a personal flaw. Scientists believe that each of us have reserves of willpower that are depleted by each decision you make and each cookie you resist. Additionally, fatigue due to lack of sleep or lack of physical activity can prevent your reserves from being replenished.
This explains why it can be hard to get started scrapbooking at the end of a day, even if it’s something you really enjoy. It also creates an opportunity to better understand how everyday lifestyle decisions impact your motivation to scrapbook.
How to Cope with Willpower Depletion
It has been well-documented that Barack Obama has a very limited wardrobe of suits to reduce the number of decisions he must make before starting the day. Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg have used this approach as well, a fantastic example of simplicity contributing to productivity.
While you don’t need to wear a black turtleneck every day, there are small actions you can take to better manage your willpower reserve for the activities you enjoy.
1. Create Routines – When you develop patterns in your everyday life, actions become automatic and require less energy to complete. In short, routines help you reserve energy for the fun stuff.
2. Focus on One Thing – Juggling more than one thing at a time is exhausting for your brain. Learning to focus can help you stay more motivated to scrapbook.
3. Get Enough Sleep – Sometimes it’s counterintuitive to think that more sleep will help you get more done, but high-achievers know that sleep is a true secret weapon.
Do you ever lack the motivation to scrapbook at night? I’d love if you left a comment if you think this knowledge might help you create more.
And if you’re someone who loves scrapbooking at night (and it comes easily), I’d love to know if you can pinpoint an element of simplicity in your day that contributes to energy maintenance.
LOL! I’m the total opposite I have more energy to scrap at night than I do in the morning. Being an empty nester might help with that. I will head to the craft room right after dishes are done so by 7:00 PM I’m in there doing my thing. Will usually have a layout done by around midnight depending on what all I’m doing with it. What has helped me is to limit what I look through for papers for my layout, I totally agree with this.
Sounds like you have a great routine set up for yourself that supports you making something often. Love hearing that!
One reason I would find not to scrapbook in the evening if I still had kids at home is that I’d been with the kids so much during the day that the peace and quiet of the evening would be ‘veg’ time with no demands on my time. Besides that, being that creative in the evening would make it more difficult for me to get to sleep – my mind would be running on trying out this and that on a layout and I’d never get any rest.
Yes, parenting is a big energy drain. For young kids especially, we’re depleted because we’re making decisions for people other than ourselves as well.
And you’re right, there can be a challenge on the other side of getting started. If you find the momentum to get going, you might end up staying up too late because you’re hyped up.
I often scrap at night because a lot of events are between 1 and 6pm in the USA – what means 6 pm til night for me. 😉
This is totally my problem lately. I’ve been really busy during the day and I’d like to scrapbook at night to relax and get some pages done. But after a busy day, when I feel like I need to get some pages “done”, it feels like one more to-do thing on my list, and I mentally resist after a busy day. I end up taking a bath or reading a book or watching Downton Abbey, lol.
Audrey, that is it exactly! Once I sit down at my scrapbooking table and get started it’s relaxing and enjoyable, but often scrapbooking feels like something I ‘should’ do and I resist.
It’s like you’re in my head, Jennifer.
I agree with sometimes feeling like scrapping is one more thing on my “to do” list. I find it very difficult to scrap in the evening. I have 2 teenagers, and I work full time, with a 45 minute commute each way. By the time my son comes home from sports and showers, we do not eat until around 6:30 or 7:00, and then after dinner I am just tired. I am often using this time to finish laundry, catch up with my family, or take my daughter to meet with a study group. I guess I sound like I’m complaining, but I’m just laying out the facts. When I get home from work, I start laundry, take care of the mail and bills, and do some light house cleaning so I won’t have to do it all on the weekends. It’s all pretty routine, and I don’t take many photos during the week. I find it difficult to establish a scrap booking routine, but I do think that would be a helpful way to enjoy this hobby! I guess that should be one of my goals!
I can scrap at night on the weekends but not during the week. In fact, I try to stay away from night scrapping during the week for one simple reason. It wakes my brain up and makes it really hard for me to go to sleep. This is obviously fine on the weekends but not so much when I have to get up to go to work the next day!
This post really resonates with me Jennifer … I know if I create some routines for myself I will scrap more. And if I get more sleep!
This! I find it hard to do anything physically or mentall creative in the evenings. That led me to make two changes: 1. I started getting up earlier to do a load of laundry and the previous night’s dinner dishes *before* I go to work. It’s still not perfect but I’m far more consistent than I was trying to do these things in the evening and 2. I’m taking steps to simplify my life and address those willpower issues. A big step in this was starting Project 333 for a minimalist wardrobe and decluttering loads of stuff in my house.
It’s all been a major improvement but it’s still not helping me scrap on weeknights. I’m much more likely to play a video game (I’m a big RPG fan) or read a book. And if I’m really drained, it’s likely to not even be a new book, but one I’ve already read a thousand times.
Terri, I think you’re doing all the right things. Do make sure you give yourself credit for working on your habits, examining how things are going, and working to simplify. But it may be that your energy cycle dictates that you’ll be a weekend scrapbooker. Don’t feel that there’s something wrong with you. And maybe you’ll get so caught up on laundry that you can do some photo processing in the early morning! 😉
I am TOTALLY an evening scrapbooker. Not only have I NEVER been a morning person, but due to my Fibromyalgia, I am MUCH more awake, thinking more clearly and feel better at night, as long as I am sitting up and the body weight is not aggrevating my pressure points. That means that I am often still awake 3-6 hours after our son and my husband have gone to bed, therefore I have to go back to bed after getting him off to school in the morning. I am currently struggling with the change of schedule with school starting and have not been creative in several days.
This article really hit home with me – I often put the kids to bed and head to my study to scrap, but I end up surfing the net or just not having the energy to get started. I now see that I need to have unfinished projects or a to-do list at the ready so I can just get started. 🙂 Too many decisions – that too hit home. Can’t see a black suit making its way to my wardrobe, but will definitely give some thought to how I can better fight off the mental fatigue and actually get something done. 🙂
I think my issue is that I am a morning person. I am more motivated to get things done in the morning than at night. My mornings start at 5:55 with getting kids up and out the door for school. The last one leaves at 9 am. Then I head to the gym. Run a few errands, kids come home, off to sports and music music lessons, dinner and I am done for the day. If I were a night owl I think I would scrap more at night. I am sooooo far behind in my albums (10 Years) that it just seems overwhelming.
Emily, could you shuffle your schedule for gym and errands to fit in twice-weekly memory keeping dates? Maybe one just for photos and another for creating?
This is definitely an issue for me. Whenever I do a weekend crop, which is how I get most of my scrapbooking done, my friends all tease me about not getting anything done on Friday night. I get my things set up, chat with my friends and sometimes stare at photos trying to get inspired but I really don’t get revved up until the following morning after a good night’s sleep. I am the same way with work, exercise, etc. This actually explains a lot about me. 🙂
This has so resonated with me. I haven’t scrapbooked regularly for a few years now as I’ve been doing 12-13 hour days outside the home and am often not home before 7 or 8pm. I find that when I do have time to be creative I end up surfing the net instead of digi scrapping or catching up on rest.
New Years goal – schedule creative time. Once I start I go for hours, its the starting thats the problem.
In my late 30s and 40s I would/could stay up on any given day until 2am working on a layout. I’m in my 50s now and I just can’t stay up past 10pm. Also ideas for layouts are harder to come by, because my son is now 15 and I don’t have as much material to scrapbook/record.
I have six children and also deal with lupus. I do not have the energy to scrap at night. I scrap during the day. Today the ideas were flowing so I quit cleaning and did my project. Now I feel energized to tackle my housework.
This has been a frustrating issue for me for more than a few years. This last month I was determined to carve out late morning through 3ish in the afternoon to do my crafting. I was trying to do it in the evening after the dinner and cleanup and spend some time with my husband and let him unwind and by the time all this was accomplished I (ashamedly) watched YouTube about crafting. NOT anymore. If I can keep this new routine going for 3-4 months, I think my habit of crafting earlier in the day will stick.
This is a great post! I agree and have decided I shouldn’t be so tough on myself when I don’t feel like scrapping in the evenings. I need the daylight to see colors in their true form, as well. My pictures don’t even look good to me at night. I do think it’s interesting to note that I used to do most of my scrapping at crops from 6 pm to midnight but I’m an extrovert and I get my energy (sometimes) from being in a crowd of people so I was all jazzed up to scrap with my friends around whereas now that I scrap at home alone, scrapping in the evening is not appealing to me at all. I think your post explains why! Thank you!
My girlfriend and I set up every Thursday night to scrap. Some days we struggle to get motivated but there are other days when things move for us.
I think our biggest issue lately has been more of a creative block. All the pages are looking the same and it seems to get boring. Since we are in her basement I am always excited for my night “out” but I know she struggles because there are sooooo many pictures she doesn’t see the end is the tunnel!!
I’m all about eliminating unnecessary decisions. I have a very limited wardrobe. I have a rotating meal plan. Things like that exhaust me. I want energy for the important and fun stuff. I’m a night owl though. I’m my most productive and creative after 8 pm.
Christine – it’s so valuable to know what works best for YOU, and then to be smart enough to apply it to your daily life! I too, have found success with a limited wardrobe, not so much with the rotating meal plan though!