5 Tips for Catching Up on Project Life

As you may have noticed, I’ve gotten a bit behind with sharing my Project Life layouts this year – like everything else, the closer my #26quilts deadline got, the more items I shifted to the back burner in order to focus on the quilting. Project Life was no exception. Until this past weekend, my album for the year stopped mid-February…. week 8 to be specific (we’re now on week 21 – I was/am 13 weeks behind and getting further behind by the minute). PLCatchUpTips03

Project life, and really any kind of project that you do consistently, can get very overwhelming when you get behind…

What I found when trying to catch-up, was not rocket science, really, but I did have to constantly remind myself of the following 5 tips to get my butt back in gear and crank out these layouts.PLCatchUpTips10

1. Get Ready to Work

If you were a chef, you’d call this step your mise en place. You’re getting your space and your supplies ready to start. This is where you print your photos (I use Printicular for iPhone and love it! Makes my life super easy). This is where you get your Project Life Kit together. This is where you make sure you have scissors, glue dots, and pens handy. This is where you load up podcasts, queue up your Netflix series, and mentally get ready to knock out some awesome work. PLCatchUpTips05

2. Just Start.

Yep, the most obvious step is also the hardest and most essential. You’ve got to block out some time and just get started. Wether you’re catching up on your project on a weekend, afternoons after work, or during your kids’ nap-time, clear your mind and your agenda and set aside a block of time to work on your project and only your project. PLCatchUpTips02

3. Let Go of Perfection

Finished trumps perfect, every time. Don’t get caught up in have the perfect photo when you have 5 perfectly fine photos that capture the memory/story just as well. Don’t let perfection be your excuse for procrastination. Stuck on that one photo but have an ok photo you could use? Go ahead and slip in the ok photo, finish the layout, and make a note to yourself to pick up the perfect photo from the printer to slip in the finished layout later. That way, even if you never get around to picking up that perfect photo you’ll still have a completed layout and only you will know the difference. 



4. Use Your Stash

If you’re like me, you have a stash of products that could be used for your project. Honestly, I have way, way, way too much in my stash (as evidenced by the unruly workspace pictured above). So, referring back to #3 – instead of searching for that perfect embellishment piece, do a quick search of your stash. In fact, I often find it super inspiring to force myself to just use what’s easily accessible (i.e. on top of the pile) in my stash. The paw-print stickers on the layout below is an example of something that’s been sitting in my stash for nearly a year. I’ve also put myself on a purchasing freeze (which is a whole ‘nother subject, but a direct result of having a stash that I wasn’t using) – which forces me to use what I’ve been hoarding.


5. Finally, Have Fun or Choose to Let it Go Completely

If you dread working on your project, if it makes you sick to think about it, if you’re so far over it that it bears absolutely no benefit to you and only brings you stress, let it go. It’s ok to put it down, unfinished, and walk away. It’s ok to have your life change and your priorities change, and say, “you know what, I’m just now into this anymore.” or “right now, I have other things going on that take a higher priority than this.”

If you aren’t enjoying it. If it’s not fun while you do it, and it’s not fun at the end, give yourself permission to be done with it as it stands. Let go of the stress of “not finishing” and enjoy your new found “free-time” to do the things that are fun – that do make you happy – and that do bring a benefit to your life. It’s totally ok. I promise.


What do you find most helpful in catching up on Project Life, or any big project you’re working on?

2 thoughts on “5 Tips for Catching Up on Project Life

  1. Katie says:

    These are great tips! I especially love the last one.

    Right now I’ve got a few projects going. I just had to make a list and commit to doing one at a time, because I was getting overwhelmed and was avoiding working on them!


    • Emily says:

      Thanks, Katie! And I totally agree with you – I’m definitely a list maker! That’s the only way I can make sure to get everything finished 🙂


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