I finished several layouts this weekend. I am really close to being ready to print our 2014 family scrapbook. I had to ask myself why I got so much more accomplished this weekend than I normally do. I noticed 3 things that I could change.
Saturday in Ashland
My daughter and a friend were selected to play their French horns in a regional orchestra. OK, I’m a proud mama. This orchestra represented 22 counties in Ohio and my daughter was first chair! Saturday was a practice session from 8:30 until 5. This practice and the performance on Sunday were taking place in Ashland, OH, about an hour and a half or so from our house. I volunteered to drive the girls to and from the practice, thinking that I could find a quiet spot in a library somewhere to work on this blog and my digital scrapbooks.
I dropped the girls off and drove to where I thought the public library would be. I didn’t use my gps because it usually tries to kill me. (Seriously, it has told me to turn into an empty public swimming pool, the back side of a sawmill, and a guarded military base where the guy with the gun was kind enough to show me the way back out.) Instead of the library, I found a little store selling Amish pastries. I went in to get a little something and shopped a while.
I finally ended up at the library. I took my time looking around for a quiet spot with an outlet. I didn’t find one so I asked someone. The sweet librarian directed me to a busy area with carrels. Two were open. One of those had power. I knew my battery wouldn’t last all day, so the outlet stall was my choice. On one side of me was a person who appeared to be fighting some type of respiratory infection. She coughed and coughed and seemed too tired and worn out to cover her mouth. On the other side of me was a woman who was watching a movie on her laptop and who might have run out of soap. I kept reapplying my hand sanitizer to mask the smell.
I managed to finish about 4 pages in the two hours I was there. Not that great. I could do that at home. I left to go find some lunch. I decided to try the Ashland University Library after lunch. I was pleasantly surprised to find lots of parking options. There were no meters for the on-street parking in front of the library and the lots had free visitor parking spots. I went to Ohio University and my husband works at The Ohio State University, so I’m not used to free parking.
I asked at the information desk for the best place to settle in. The librarians were so accommodating! They not only told me that all of the tables have outlets close by, they told me where to find the most comfortable chairs! They suggested the private study rooms on the upper floors. I got going right away. There were no other people around and it had that wonderful library smell.
I almost finished my scrapbook while I was there. I noticed that I am missing some photos that are on my daughter’s phone, so those pages of course aren’t finished and I have a little bit of journaling left to do, but it feels really good to accomplish so much.
The drive home took much longer than the drive there. It was raining hard and the winds were gusting so it was exhausting to fight against it. I was also listening to a depressing OSU/Michigan State football game on the radio. But I still felt great about all of the progress I had made.
I Learned What Slows Me Down
So what was different from the morning to the afternoon? I thought about it and have narrowed it down to a few things that slow me down.
I am a font-aholic. I haven’t counted, but I am sure that I have hundreds of fonts on my computer. When I create layouts at home, I tend to think to myself, “I like this font, but I’ll bet there is one I would like better for this page.” And then I go to DaFont.com and download a few more fonts. Then I have to unzip and install them then restart Artisan 5 so that they will appear there. Many times I organize them too in the new font organizer that comes with Artisan 5. I could spend hours looking at fonts.
While in the library, I didn’t have internet access. They probably had wi-fi available, but I was on the 5th floor and didn’t want to pack everything up to go back down to ask about it.
I wrote down the type of fonts I would like to find when I got home. I realized that I didn’t really want to leave the pages incomplete so I used fonts I already had on 2 or 3 of the pages that I had considered finding a new font for.
I got a lot more done when I was actually scrapbooking instead of browsing for fonts. Imagine that.
2. New Digital Kits
Along the same lines, if I “need” an embellishment that I don’t have, I tend to open my browser and go shopping. No internet meant that I had to jot down notes for what to shop for too. I found that I really didn’t need new embellishments for most of the pages on which I had considered it.
I actually did some shopping this morning and still haven’t decided which kit would be best. I spend way too much time on that!
I like to think that I focus very well. Apparently I am deluding myself. Once I was in a room all alone with no strange sounds or smells, I was able to concentrate and complete so much more!
I don’t want to mislead you. I wasn’t scrapbooking in silence. I was listening to the newest Janet Evanovich book, Tricky Twenty-Two: A Stephanie Plum Novel while I was creating layouts. It was fabulous, just like all of her other books! After I finished the book, I listened to Christmas music from my computer’s playlist.
The sounds I didn’t hear were the dryer beeping, the little song the dishwasher plays when it ends, the beautiful voices of my children saying, “Mom,” and the little voice in my head suggesting that I start supper, clean the floors, or sort the laundry.
How I Will Change
Now that I know how much more efficiently I can use my time, what will I do differently at home?
- I intend to scrapbook with a notebook beside me so that I can jot down fonts and embellishments I think I need and search for them another time all at once.
- I intend to set aside uninterrupted time at home, as much as possible. That means that if I have some alone time, the dishes, laundry, floors, other things can wait until I finish a certain number of layouts or until the kids get home.
What do you do to be more productive when you are scrapbooking? I would love to learn from you!