Project overload: where do you begin?

I know it happens to the best of us- project OVERLOAD. It can take a few different forms, and of course there is more than one way to handle it. Today I want to share where I’m at, and what I’m doing to combat it!

The first thing is this: I will ALWAYS AND FOREVER have more that I want from a day than is physically possible. I will never be bored or wish I had something to do.

That said – it is entirely possible, plausible, and likely I will have times that I can’t pick! Too many options! So I scroll through some blogs or read a magazine… not helpful! The first thing I admit to myself when I find myself in a “so much to do I’m doing nothing” type situation is to assess if there’s anything I can do that will “get it off my plate”. For example:

  • write & mail holiday cards
  • wrap up open blog post drafts/schedule content that is already on computer
  • organize photos that I’ve already printed
  • put loose scrapbook pages into albums

Nothing too wild – just “clear the deck” things. I’ve also moved all remaining studio mess to ONE big scary pile. I can chip away at it from there instead of seeing small piles all over two rooms. Much better!

My current project list includes:

  • Disneyland 2015
  • Disney World 2016
  • 2016 scrapbook
  • 2017 scrapbook
  • NYC 2017
  • Museum of Ice Cream mini book (and class!)
  • Journaling (free class!)
  • Planning Guides for Europe 2018

From here I could keep going but it gets into wish lists, and if only I had more time things. My point is if I sit down and list it all out? *GULP* there is a LOT of open projects in this studio of mine and I will be honest I do NOT like it. Most of the things above I could simply carve time out for them and sit down and “do” a little more. With these all listed and my mind on how to approach things what is next?

Next for me will be to pick just ONE of them, put it on my desk, and focus on it exclusively. I don’t have illusions that I’ll ever be caught up or a rival to Mary Poppins (practically perfect in every way) – but I do know for my creativity and mental state that I run better without quite so many open “tabs” or projects. So I think NYC will be the first since all it needs are words + any embellishments. I can do this in small bits of time, and it’ll be fun to revisit and I think within a week it could be 100% done.

I’m also going to treat myself – I can make a new supply purchase every time one of these projects is done. No trips to the scrapbook store or online shopping until one is all set and done.

The other thing I will do is eat really well and get all the sleep I want. Water. Veggies. Protein. Fun stuff in strict moderation. While I convince myself at times creativity requires sugar… the thing is I will both bloat up and later crash! I also know taking care of me today is best for the long run. I’ve been making what we call “big cool” salads as well as eliminating a lot of junk or bad habits that were sneaking up.

I will share some ideas & good habits I’ve been building soon (yes, during the holiday season. YES IT CAN BE DONE!) – for now though I’d love to hear how you motivate yourself to complete projects, or what you do when you face “project overwhelm”. Please do share!

5 thoughts on “Project overload: where do you begin?”

  1. I think realizing and acknowledging when you’re feeling over-committed is a good first step. My December Daily journaling card yesterday was headed by “bah humbug” and talked about how there are so many extra things going on this time of year. I’m an introvert and all this extra expectation of extroversion is exhausting. Some of the things are “optional” but if you don’t do them, you’re letting down an organization you value or not being a “leader” at work, so they don’t always feel very optional. So: lists, lists, lists and trying to take things one day at a time. I do agree with your idea of finding small things you can do to get them off your plate — sneaking in that load of laundry while trying to head a child towards bed or in between events. Happy Tuesday, May!

  2. The last time I felt this way was in June when my boys graduated high school and I fell behind on PL. I don’t have a strict weekly PL, mine is 6×8 monthly, however many pockets I fill I do, and just a simple card noting the next month. But it was a busy week, and I had no idea how I was going to deal with it. Finally in August I just got down to it, printed photos, homemade journal cards, finally wrote the journaling, and caught up. I just did it. Looking back I don’t know what held me up. I can’t explain it. I didn’t let that happen though, when they left in August. I just got through it. Can’t wait to hear about your new class.

  3. You hit all my hot spots, May! (Especially reading blogs when I don’t feel like doing what I really need to.) My advice always is “Just do something,” and realizing what you want to accomplish is the first step. Gathering everything in one place makes it less overwhelming for me, too, and not seeing stuff out of place makes the rest of the house more relaxing. For some reason, starting seems to be more fun than finishing, so instead of setting a goal of finishing, taking one step toward completion works well. I also firmly believe in rewards, so when I know I’m procrastinating, I tell myself I can look at blogs or Instagram for a specific period of time after I complete a task. Finding that happy medium between busy and frazzled and always a challenge.

  4. As usual May, you are incredible! I have ALL of the above issues. You have inspired me to think I CAN make progress in my creative life and my “treats” life. I was feeling discouraged, and now I am truly inspired!! Thanks May! :o)

  5. You always amaze me May with all that you can get done!
    Something on that list looks like fun … Europe 2018!! I can highly recommend guide books by Rick Steves if you’re looking for guide books?

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