Tuesday, January 9, 2018

"Time flies, but you're the pilot."

One of the main things many people need to accomplish before they can be successful in preserving their photos and memories is making time for it.

As you may have read a few months ago here at LifeTalesBooks, {you don't find time.  You make it.} Time doesn't just appear on your doorstep on a random Tuesday.  You make time for things.  Marie Leslie put it perfectly in {"Time Doesn't Need Managing"} where she wrote, "Time Management should really be called Priority Management."  Glenn Santos even writes that {if you schedule your free time, you will have more of it}!  Isn't that an enlightening concept?  

I read something recently that really struck me.  It's not so different from the idea of making time for things.  Lanette Pottle calls it time creation.

Yes, time flies, but you're the pilot!

According to Pottle, time management is not the solution to finding more time--time creation is.  I love what she says at the introduction to her {Time Creation Course}:

"The problem isn’t that we need to find space to cram more appointments and tasks into our day, it’s that our decisions cause us to fill our days with monotonous obligations, unfulfilling activities, and other people’s priorities.  It starts innocently enough. We are ambitious and driven. There is a lot to accomplish to leave our mark on the world and we take pride in doing whatever it takes to make it happen.  Sacrifice becomes a badge of honor (especially for those among us that have people-pleasing tendencies). Deferring our own pleasure becomes common place. We buy into the belief that if we stay focused and committed, there will be time for that later.  The problem is that all too often later never comes… or if it does, it’s on the other side of burnout.  The REAL solution is to shift from managing our time to managing our decisions… and in the process, we become world-class time creators."  ~Lanette Pottle

{Productivity Manager Julie Davis} teaches the same thing to her clients.  I am an organized person, but I fall into the same traps many people do when it comes to feeling a little swamped.  One thing I've learned from Julie is that everything on your to-do list falls into one of these categories:
  • Do it.
  • Delegate it.
  • Dump it.
Sometimes you need to just DO things.  (You're the only person who can exercise for you.  You have things in your job that you need to do.)  Sometimes your time is better spent by DELEGATING something.  (Can your kids fold laundry, even if it's not perfect?  Is there a high schooler in the neighborhood you could hire to do that thing?)  Sometimes you need to DUMP things.  Julie says if you've moved something off your to-do list three times, consider if you need to just dump it.  (Evaluate if it's worth your time or if you can let it go.)

Davis also suggests that there's no such thing as multitasking.  I've always considered myself a good multitasker (and I bet a lot of moms do), but Julie says that productivity actually takes a nosedive when we try to multitask--even if we think we're good at it.  #foodforthought

One last tip from Julie Davis:  If something is on your to-do list for days and days and you keep putting it off, and you know you can't Delegate it or Dump it, do procrastinated projects in chunks of time.  Take 20 minutes, set a timer, and work on your procrastinated project for just 20 minutes.  You usually find out it's not so bad, and you can do it.

So many things take second (or third, or fourth, or fifth) place when we aren't in control of our time, aren't managing it, or aren't creating it.  Doing something with your precious photos is often one of them.

I bet you have a photo like this--a moment in time stopped, a great memory you've had the blessing of capturing.

This photo, like yours, shouldn't just sit somewhere as a JPEG file.  Files aren't usually looked at.  Photos are.

Here are several {tips for bringing your photos to life here}, including:
  • set aside (i.e. CREATE) time, maybe an hour or two a week
  • think about {making it a family tradition}, like every Sunday night
  • organize your photos so you know what you have and what you're dealing with  (You can find some pointers and actually watch me in my process of photo organization {in this video}.)  UPDATE 2022:  For the ultimate in photo organization tutorials, try the 3-part series at this link, including the difference between storing and preserving photos plus strategies for consistency.
  • choose your favorites (If you have 1,000 pictures to deal with, you may make more progress if you narrow down the number you want to preserve by just choosing your favorites.)
  • keep your appointments with yourself!
Time does fly!  The older I get, the faster it seems to go.  But I'm the pilot on that flight.  I get to choose how I spend my time.  I hope you'll think about Marie Leslie's perspective of Priority Management--what you fill your days with and what you are (maybe inadvertently?) prioritizing.  I know that makes a big difference in my own time management and creation.

There's so much to be gained, {so much that's GOOD FOR YOU}, when you make time to preserve your memories and your life's story.  Start now, because there's no time like the present!


  1. I love the idea of being the pilot in your life! Powerful concept to be intentional in how we manage what we do and don't do!

    1. I love that idea, too. I know I have often felt like I'm being dragged behind a horse, letting my calendar dictate my life. Really learning to make choices based on priorities makes a big difference. Can I spend all day networking for my business? Yes. Can I spend all day writing blog posts and getting out there on social media? Yes. Can I spend all day hanging out with friends, cleaning my house, etc.? Yes. But do I WANT to? What makes the best life for me? Powerful thoughts, I think. Thanks for reading. :)

  2. I agree with getting a big project done in chunks. I am presently doing that in about an hour a day with preparing my receipts and numbers for my accountant for tax day. If you have a deadline, just be sure you start early enough to finish in time.

    1. Me, too! Chunks of time can go a long way. And making sure you give yourself plenty of time to reach a deadline. I prefer doing most things way ahead of time so that I don't feel stressed on top of having a lot to do.

  3. I'm so bad at using chunks of time. I want to do something from start to finish or not start it, and that deters me from doing anything. I'm trying to retrain myself to use chunks of time better, but old habits die hard.

    1. I totally get that, Christa! I'm a "whole project" person, too. I am usually super distracted about it until I finish it, so I prefer to just finish. I use the "chunks of time" idea for things I don't really want to even start, like cleaning out the basement or organizing a closet. I find if I just set aside a chunk of time to do it--like 30 minutes--then it helps me actually get it done. Most of the time, it's something I don't mind leaving and coming back to later. I've found that with things I'm really into, though,it's better to just block out a day and get it done all at once or it will distract me for days and days! ;)

  4. I love the idea of being a time creator! If only I really could create time. I suppose it is all just a matter of organisation, to make the most of the time you have. #WanderingWednesday

    1. Me, too! I think the idea of creating time by managing and prioritizing our choices is a really powerful thing to think about. Thanks for stopping by, Ruth. :)

  5. Oh, that's deep! The part about productivity taking a nosedive when we multitask! It seems like I can't stop multi-tasking, yet what she says makes sense too. I am going to have to think on that one! #heartandsoullinkup

  6. I know--that whole multitasking/productivity thing really threw me for a loop, too. I had to think about that one for a while. I think some things are easy to multitask, but others aren't, and it just depends on the amount of thought and focus that the task actually requires. I can't write a blog post while making a phone call, but I can make a phone call while driving to the dentist. :) Thanks for stopping by and for commenting.

  7. #heartandsoullinkup Ooh, I love this quote about being the pilot! This is so true; I learned this lesson from Crystal Paine's writings on reclaiming our lives (and saying "no" so someone else has the OPPORTUNITY to say "yes"!) And I have to say, discovering bullet journaling has definitely made me feel as if I'm "creating" time in my life - I am getting so many more goals met than I ever dreamed possible, now that I have a way to plan my time better!

  8. Yes, I've heard about bullet journaling. I'm so glad to hear that the idea of reclaiming your own time and your own life resonates with you. I feel like too often people feel like we're just being dragged around by our calendars and to-do lists, but it's really not true. WE are in charge, not the clock. :) Thanks for stopping by and for the great comment. :)


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