It’s the holidays. We’re decking the halls, shopping up a storm, and sending season’s greetings to what feels like Santa’s entire list. Whatever possessed us to think that we could use this time period to also finish a project that we were unable to finish during less busy times of the year?
We’ve talked in previous weeks about how to make a project go faster when we sit down to work, by batch processing tasks, or by simplifying it from our original vision. But those techniques are only useful if we can find time to sit down and scrap in the first place. How do we make that happen?
For me, the most powerful tool in my time management tool box when I’m trying to make time for something is routine. When I make something part of my routine, I don’t have to “make time” for it. It just happens naturally in the flow of my day or week. Making something part of my routine means that I’ve made it a priority. My routine also saves me time – there is no time wasted on decision making about what to do next.
A lot of us hesitate to make scrapbooking part of our regular routine. We don’t think we should make something fun, that we do for ourselves, a high priority. So we sneak it in here and there, when we have a few “spare” minutes. And we feel guilty for doing even that. It’s just another one of the ways that many of us shortchange ourselves and put ourselves last and don’t take care of ourselves.
But there’s one thing we forget. We can’t take care of other people if we don’t take care of ourselves! We have to give ourselves permission to make regular time for ourselves…and our scrapbooking…if we expect to stay sane in this crazy world.
So, if we take a deep breath and tell ourselves that it is actually ok to make ourselves and the things that we enjoy a priority….how do we make that happen? Where can we fit time for ourselves into our daily schedule?
The answer will vary, of course, depending on your projects and your daily routine. But I can tell you how I do it. First, I sneak in mini scrapping sessions throughout my day. My kitchen scrapbook area helps a lot with doing this. While my daughter eats her dinner on one side of the kitchen table, I often am fussing with and making adjustments to the project in progress on the other side of the table. The same goes for while I’m waiting for something to heat in the microwave, or other tasks in the kitchen. I can sneak in a couple of minutes of scrap time at the kitchen table while I wait.
It takes more discipline to get in my longer sessions of scrapbooking. I do this two ways in my routine. I try to make the last hour or so before my bedtime – after my daughter goes to bed – my creative time. It doesn’t always happen but making it “routine” means it happens more often than not. The bonus of utilizing that timing in my routine is that I sleep better after de-stressing by relaxing with my scrapbooking. I also try to set aside a weekend at least once a month that is something of an informal creative retreat – a weekend that I don’t have a lot planned where I give myself permission to take the weekend off from all but basic necessary tasks and just recharge with scrapbooking and projects that I want to do, instead of feeling that I have to go at breakneck speed seven days a week.
For you, the answer may be that hour in the morning before the kids wake up. Or during nap time. Or while your husband watches football on Sunday. Whatever time you decide to set aside…make it your own. And don’t apologize for it. Mental health is just as important as physical health, and yet too often we disregard our basic needs in that area until we reach a crisis point. Remind yourself that a happy you makes you a better mom, a better wife, a better friend. It makes you a better you. And then take the time to create it.