First, let me say I love Project Life and it’s premise. I love having a documented look at my life as it is right now. My single-in-my-twenties life. My living at home, making my way, curating the life I want to live life. I love know that there is a record of what I went through, how I felt, and what I learned during this period. It excites me to knowing that I have something I can share with my future family.
The downside is I like to do more than just the bare bones system – I enjoy embellishing my pictures – and often journal directly on the photos. This takes more time – and unfortunately, I’ve gotten WAY behind (as in my last completed spread is from April 2014). Over the next couple of weekends, I’ll be finishing up my 2014 album and re-evaluating my process for 2015. I still want to document, and I still love this method, but I’ve got some tweaking to do in order to prevent such a huge lag.
So, as I work through my pile of photos and get everything in order, I thought it would be fitting to reflect on my last-shared Project Life post and revisit my own tips for catching-up. Below are my top 5 tips for Catching-up on Project Life when you’re way-far behind like me. Enjoy!
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.
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.
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.