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I never thought much about planning out my projects until I had children and my projects started piling up. Even when I worked outside the home, I did whatever I wanted to do or needed to do when it needed to be done. If that involved staying late at the office, so be it. At home, if I was working on a craft project and I wanted to continue working on it, I’d stay up late.  I was responsible for myself and didn’t have to concern myself with how my projects impacted others.

Enter the children – my time is no longer my own. Even after their bedtime, my time is consumed with dishes and laundry, menu planning and clutter reduction.  My craft projects have piled up alarmingly. Sewing projects — such as the curtains I promised for a friend, the curtains for my son’s room, all the mending that even my extended family brings to me — knitting projects (don’t even get me started on all the knitted things I was going to make for my youngest before he was born), crochet projects, paper cutting, home improvements… you name it and it’s probably a project waiting in the wings for me to find some time. I love doing all of these things, though, so I willingly take on new projects.

A knitter whose blog I read regularly has a wonderful method for planning her Christmas gift knitting. She has an experienced knitter who is familiar with her knitting speed and ability plan out her projects for her. Granted, she writes about knitting for a living and knitting is basically her job. But even with all of her experience, speed, and the time she is able to devote to knitting, she still needs some structure to get her projects done.

I am still working on a solution for my own projects. I don’t think I could have someone else schedule my projects, but I’ve assigned priorities to them so I know what to work on first. Otherwise, I’d work on the most fun and keep neglecting the others (those poor curtains). I do throw some fun, quick-finish projects in the mix, too – that helps me enjoy what I’m doing and gives me a sense of accomplishment.

When I do get some time to work on my projects, my priority system helps me so much. Things keep getting added to my to-do list, but I don’t feel overwhelmed by it. I keep plugging away at my high-priority projects – while I enjoy them, the fact that they have to be done brings out the procrastinator in me. But they’re getting done now. And I’ll keep adding new projects, knowing that they will get done!

Leigh's signature

I love to scrapbook!  It has been a hobby of mine for years but I stopped doing it around the time my son turned one.  Why?  He became mobile.  It was impossible to work on anything while he was awake.  By the time he went to bed and I dragged all my stuff out I was exhaused and ready for bed myself. 

A few months ago I discovered a new way to scrapbook (new to me at least).  Digitally!

There are several reasons why digital scrapbooking works better for me:

1.  No supplies to drag out (with paper scrapbooking the prep time would take forever).

2.  I can stay much better organized (organization is always a struggle for me, but everything is in neat folders on my computer)

3.  It is so much cheaper!  There are so many designer freebies just waiting to be downloaded.  All you have to do is a little searching.  And purchasing digital kits is much cheaper than buying supplies at a craft store.  One kit can be used over and over again – as opposed to a piece of paper.

 All you need to get started is photo editing software – I use Photoshop Elements.  Google digital scrapbooking and get those creative juices flowing!