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Operation Clean Slate: Week 5 – Making Time

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. Continue Reading →

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Operation Clean Slate: Week 4 – Batch Processing

About now, if you are anything like me, you’re seeing December looming on the calendar…and along with it your self-imposed deadline for your Operation Clean Slate project at the end of the year. And December in most homes is full of extra responsibilities and calendar commitments for holiday celebrations.

I feel the need…the need…for speed (scrapping)! There’s no way that I will get my project done without it!

But if I was a speed scrapper, I wouldn’t be in this situation, right? I wouldn’t be behind on a project and need to devote special effort to getting it caught up if I was fast at creating. So how do I bring some fast into my scrapping? I have to step outside my normal process!

We’ve already talked in some of the previous articles in this series about some methods that will speed up the creative process. Starting out by assembling all your supplies will speed up your process. And simplifying the content and design of your project will also speed up your process. Continue Reading →

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Operation Clean Slate: Week 3 – Simplify and Modify

It’s Thanksgiving week and so this week is a great reminder of the chaos of life that made us fall behind on our projects in the first place. Ramping up for holiday activities may also be making you ask yourself: “What made me think I can finish anything this time of year?”

Week 3 of Operation Clean Slate is here to help! The trick of week 3 of Operation Clean Slate is to simplify and modify your project to get it to completion.

When we originally started out on our projects, we probably had big complicated plans in our heads. We imagined every detail completed to perfection. We were dreaming big! We’re artists, after all, right?

But I’m here to say that perfection and complexity are not always a good thing, especially if they keep you from completing a project. Which would you rather have – a half completed pile of complicated perfection, or something special that is completed? If you said the completed project, then you are on board with week 3 of Operation Clean Slate! Continue Reading →

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Operation Clean Slate: Week 2 – Identifying Road Blocks

In week one of Operation Clean Slate, you compiled a list of the projects from 2011 that you are behind on. Then you picked one to work on completing before 2011 is over. And you started work by gathering all your supplies together.

But there’s a hitch in the plan. One you probably don’t realize is there.

Why haven’t you finished this project already? I’ll bet in the time you’ve been working on your Operation Clean Slate project (whatever it is) you’ve finished many other things. So why haven’t you completed this project?

We’re going to figure out why.

Take a good hard look at your project. So what is holding you back? Are you short on content? Are you trying to force yourself to work with supplies that aren’t right for you? Are you pushing yourself to do complex techniques that you really don’t want to do? Once you figure out what the road blocks are, you can figure out how to get around them! (Because doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is, after all, the definition of insanity – right?) Continue Reading →

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Operation Clean Slate: Let’s Get Started!

2011 is winding down and soon it will be 2012. Most of us will probably start the new year off by making resolutions, some scrapbook related, and many of us are already planning scrapbook projects that will span 2012.

But, as we look forward, we have to admit that there is something holding us back: this year’s unfinished projects. Whether it is a Project Life album we didn’t keep up with, or a Big Picture class like One Little Word, or another creative project that we tasked ourselves to complete in 2011 and haven’t, it weighs on our mind and creates guilt and leaves a sense of failure already hanging over us as we try to embark on next year’s projects.

Unless, of course…we come up with a way to finish them or get them off of our mind. Which is why this week Scrapbook Update is launching Operation Clean Slate. It’s all about closing out 2011 with a finished project and a clear mind!

So let’s get started!

Each week, we’ll try to move a bit closer to completing something, and to letting go of the rest – to creating a clean slate for 2012. I know this is a busy time of year so we’ll take it slow and try to create doable tasks. Remember, the goal of this is not to commit to a huge project. The goal is to do something manageable and then give yourself permission to let go of what is not possible to complete, to let go of the massive pressures that we put on ourselves to be superhuman. Continue Reading →

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