My second game changer this year in memory keeping has been breaking down my process into small tasks. (You can read about my first game changer here.) I learned this through reading about goal setting. In the current month, I work on the past month’s pages and that is okay because I already have the photos and the stories safely in my phone. I am creating my pages in my iPad using the Affinity Photo app and then I add them to a Blurb 8×10 book to print when the year is over.
I divided this project into three major parts: photos, stories and album design. For each part I broke down every single step and assessed how much time I need to complete each one so I could allocate them in my calendar in a realistic way and leaving time for everything else.
I broke down my tasks as follows:
- Daily: write three things about the previous day (5 minutes), take photos, edit photos (2 minutes per photo)
- Week one: choose photos (10 minutes), set monthly layouts on Affinity (20 minutes), add photos to Affinity layouts (10 minutes)
- Week two: select text from Day One (according to hashtags) (10 minutes), add text to Affinity layouts (by theme or prompt) (20 minutes)
- Week three: proofread text (10 minutes), final review (5 minutes), back up to Dropbox (5 minutes)
- Week four: set up Blurb pages (5 minutes), import layouts from Dropbox to Blurb (5 minutes), add completed layouts to Blurb book (5 minutes)
I can complete these tasks anytime throughout the week and it takes me up to five hours per month to complete my pages. Five hours is nothing! I chose Tuesdays and Wednesdays to work on my Life Book, but I am always open to routine changes or to work on this project whenever I feel inspired or have more time to do it.
As I let go of comparison and trends, I learn to work in ways that work for me and help me get things done. When I focus on what I am not doing (or on what others are doing), I get always behind and end up feeling guilty and frustrated. When I focus on what can I do with what I have (and with what I know) to assess my own particular process, I open a door for improvement.
If you struggle with this hobby (or any other) I encourage you to make an assessment of the external factors that affects your workflow. I used to spend a lot of time focusing on design, tools, products, trends, tendencies… until I decided to look at things such as time management, organization, reasons why, how my other projects (or my daily life stuff) affects this project in terms of time and effort, etc.
When I made that assessment I was able to explore real alternatives and doable steps (for me) based on my available time, considering changes of plans and making space for the rest of the stuff going on in my life. Through this process I had to let go off projects that did not have a real meaning for me or that I was doing them because everybody else was. Storytelling genious Ali Edwards talked about establishing our “enough” in memory keeping and that post helped me a lot to put my feet on the ground about this. Organizing my project (s) this way and being aware of its importance in my life helped me to make it part of my everyday rather than seeing it as an obligation.
So, if you always feel behind on your memory keeping, and think that there are thousands of unfinished projects waiting on your crafty space, I suggest you to use this approach and make it your own (for this and other projects in your life).