| Written by Ronnie |
'Falling behind' can be a big stumbling block when it comes to doing life albums. It's easy to feel discouraged, disheartened, and disappointed in yourself, snd when falling behind stretches over a long period of time, the catching up seems overwhelming and insurmountable. Last year, because I chose to focus all my energies on setting up our LIFE:CAPTURED Inc site, I didn't create any weekly layouts for our family album between Week 27 and Week 46. And this year, due to unforseen family circumstances, I didn't work on our family album between April and July.
Today, I want to share a couple of tips and the two strategies that I'm employing to catch up on our family life album. Hopefully, this might give you some ideas and the motivation you need to catch up on your own backlog, if you have one.
First of all, you need to tell yourself that it's okay to have fallen behind. As much as I expouse the virtues of discipline and setting aside time every week, you cannot control when life decides to throw curve balls at you. When that happens, coping with life itself must always take priority over documenting life.
Once you've let go of your guilt, you then need to re-establish some sort of routine and structure to help you get back into putting your life album layouts together. Decide on a time during the week when you will work on your layouts, and allow yourself at least 2-3 hours during that block of time.
During that time, you'll need to get back into a habit of working on the week just past (which is the 'current' week) so that from this point on, you stop falling behind. Not only is this is the most sensible approach to getting your life albums done in the long-term, it also prevents your 'catch-up backlog' from getting any bigger.
Once you've established a good rhythm and routine for completing your current weeks, then it's time to tackle your backlog and to start catching up. From here, I think there are two different approaches that you can take.
First of all, you can 'double up' to catch up: as you complete each current week's layout, make the time to also complete one of the weeks that you missed out on. In other words, every week, work on two weeks' worth of layouts: one being the current week, and one being a week that you need to catch up on. This is my preferred strategy to employ because it's an easy way to approach my backlog and it helps me not to stress about the fact that I have a lot of catching up to do. So, for the twenty weeks that I didn't complete in 2014, I simply carried them forward to 2015: when I did Week 27 for 2015, I also did Week 27 for 2014. When I did Week 28 for 2015, I also did Week 28 for 2014. And so on, and so forth. In my mind, this is a neat and tidy way of approaching the (rather big) task at hand, and it also has the added advantage of allowing me to compare our life today with what it was like exactly a year ago. This has been a most interesting exercise to say the least!
The second approach is to take your backlog, break it down into smaller batches, and then to treat each of these as a separate project which you tackle in your spare time. This is the approach that I'm taking for the weeks that I fell behind on for 2015. So as you might remember from this post, in October, I'm planning to catch up on Weeks 18 to 29 (ie. the weeks I missed between April and July this year) by completing four weeks at a time as a project of its own. If four weeks seems too much, you might decide to do three or two weeks at a time.
* * *
By employing one or both of these strategies, you should be able to slowly but steadily clear any backlog that you've built up. Remember that every little bit of progress you make counts, and be encouraged by the fact that you're taking action!
You can read all the other posts on life albums here.
- Digital templates used: Signature Card Set (Rockwell Edition); 'This Week' Insert (Rockwell Edition)
- Physical supplies used: Becky Higgins Design A page protector; Kirkland Signature professional glossy photo paper
- Printer used: Canon MG6360 Pixma