Okay so you’ve committed yourself to weekly Project Life spreads? Good for you. That’s the way I do it, and that’s the way most people do it. The number one disadvantage of the weekly pages is that getting behind can happen really quickly. In fact, it takes exactly seven short days of inaction to fall behind.
Recently I fell behind in my Project Life for the first time on this scale. TWENTY SPREADS kind of scale. Two-oh. Ten times two. Basically one million in Project Life terms. I fell behind because I fell in love with something else. I’ve been cheating on Project Life with art journaling. Now because of creative team commitments, my album was never completely ignored. So that isn’t twenty weeks. It’s however many weeks that happen between the Paislee Press and Essence posts, plus inserts. When I shared this on Instagram, I had so many people comment, direct message, and email me wanting to know how I did it. And so here I blog about it.
The secret to how I did it is that I just did it. But that’s not what you wanted to hear, right? Let’s get detailed…
Don’t get behind in the first place
Again… that’s not why you’re reading this. Well, remember this once you’re all caught up. If weekly pages are not working for you, try monthly or Project Lifing at will. If you’re like me and enjoy the structure and accountability of weekly pages, well then you’re going to have to work at it a bit. Set a reminder on your phone. Do it bit by bit. Even if you just take notes each week on what you did, and do a creativity burst once a month. Do whatever works for you. You know yourself better than I do.
This is the best tip I can give you. Start with this week. This week is the easy one to do and once you’ve gone through that whole process all the other ones are going to be easy to. It’s called flow. Once you’ve built up a momentum it’s easier to do the more difficult ones.
If necessary, get out of your usual space
I usually work at my laptop in my library / craft room / home office upstairs. I finished twenty layouts while lying in bed with my laptop.
Decide whether you want to do it all at once a la Caylee, or over a period of time a la Ronnie
I sat (lay) down and just went through everything. I know that Ronnie is catching up by doing only one extra layout per week. Or you can try something in between.
One at a time
Don’t focus on the fact that you have twenty layouts to do. Focus on just getting one done. Once it’s done you can focus on getting a new one done. And so on. This is Crafters Anonymous.
I’m a total GTD girl and so this works for that part of my personality. If I write absolutely everything down that I need to do, the task seems much less daunting. As soon as I start ticking things off? Well man, then I’m just on a super high.
Organise your weeks
If you don’t have consistent weekly title cards, then use post it notes to organise the weeks. Make things as easy as humanly possible before you start the meat of the “work”. Make sure that you know exactly what you need before starting.
Organise your photos
A while back, when I first decided that I wanted to tackle the backlog, I put my favourite photos into numbered folders. My photos are already perfectly organised for me by month and then by event. Pics that are not from an event are put into the “Bits” folder. I made new folders with just the number of the week, and copied the photos. I copied them because I would delete them once done. This is serious motivation for me because I hate having wasted space on my harddrive and the only way to get rid of it is to do it.
When you have all your possible photos in one space, and clear away everything else (other, non-applicable photos), you can focus better and get things done.
Don’t feel guilty about leaving things out
This is a big one for me. The only reason I don’t Project Life annually is because I forget things. I do it weekly so I can really have all the details that I want to have in there. I want to have all the feelings I felt each week. I really do make an effort of typing up my week in review cards at the time, which really helped my process along. On the weeks that I didn’t do that, I just relied on my copious amounts of photos. In order to progress I also had to let go of my fear of leaving out the details. If I have only one photo in a week, or only one memory (even if it is “Griffin was cute this week”), then that is one more than if I didn’t do it at all, and that’s worth it for me. Let go of the guilt.
Want ways that you can rediscover those memories? Look at the photos you took, go through old Instagram photos, tweets, Facebook statuses, emails, ask husbands and friends, go through memorabilia, go through bank statements. All of these hold bits of how you spend your time. I often take photos that are not pretty but rather aimed at remembering. Once I’ve remembered them, I delete the photos, although I love deleting, so if you feel like that’s too much of a mission and you want to hang onto them, then go ahead.
Looking back our weeks are often less important to us than when they were happening. Some weeks need three spreads, and some weeks only need half a spread, and I’ve made myself okay with the fact that I don’t need to have exactly two Design A pages per week.
Keep it simple
Create the skeleton. Go back and add the flesh. Photos, papers, sorted. Even if it’s only photos. Just get them in there. When you feel like it, you can go back and add the embellishments. If you never end up feeling like it? That’s okay too.
Do you have any tips for catching up on left out weeks? Please share them!