Although I love to update my photo albums (yes, old school physical photo albums), a busy schedule and inertia had kept me from updating them for the last 2 years. The piles of unsorted photos were intimidating, and knowing that I’d only have bits of time here and there to work on getting them into albums made it seem useless to even get started. Determined to get over the hump, I asked myself a number of key questions to help me move this endeavor forward. Maybe some of these questions will help you make progress on things that are otherwise holding you back:
“Is this important enough to spend time on?” It’s easy to fall into the trap of doing something because you’ve always done it that way. I wanted to be sure I wasn’t loading myself with unnecessary guilt and stress about not completing my albums, so I asked myself if it was an important enough project to spend time and energy on it. Travel and family are important to me, and looking at my photos in albums is the best way for me to remember important events in those areas. And putting them into physical albums is a fun creative outlet for me. Therefore, I confirmed to myself that yes, updating the albums was important enough to spend time on
“What’s the very next action I need to take on this?” Slightly modified from Getting Things Done guru David Alan’s key question, I focused on just the very next thing I needed to do to move forward on updating my albums: First, gather the Snapfish envelopes of printed photos; next, review the digital photos on my computer and order prints of anything I don’t already have copies of; next, sort the envelopes and their contents into chronological order; and so on. Identifying each step of the process helped me focus and not worry about how long it would take.
“When will I do it?” it’s easy to intend to do something, but a commitment improves one’s chances of actually doing something. Rather than telling myself I’d work on the albums when I have time, I committed to working on them every evening right after dinner. Although dinnertime was different each evening, I knew exactly when I’d be working on my albums. I also told my husband of my plan, and he helped hold me to it (at my request).
“How can I make this easier?” One of the biggest hurdles for me was the set-up required – pull out the albums, pull out the supplies, spread things out on the dining room table, etc. All that set-up work added to my sense of overwhelm. To get over this hurdle, I determined it would be easiest for me to just leave the project out on my dining room table, so I could just jump right into the project each evening with minimal set-up time. To keep the table, which is in a highly visible part of my home, from looking cluttered and feeling embarrassed of the mess when people stopped by, I covered it with an easily removed tablecloth whenever I wasn’t working on the albums. When it was time to work, I just removed the cloth.
Voila! In just one month, I got the albums up to date. Inch by inch, it was a cinch!
What questions will help you get over the things that are holding you back from getting organized?
Wishing you simplicity, harmony and freedom,