Have you ever felt guilty about all of those memories you intend to scrap but never get around to actually doing?
Do you sometimes feel your life is just whizzing by as you struggle just to keep up?
Do you sometimes find yourself going through the motions without ever really taking time to stop and look at the big picture?
Have you been in a situation where you finally had the time to scrap but didn’t feel any creative energy or inspiration to actually do it?
I know I have.
I’ve been reading a book lately that has me thinking about the above questions a bit differently. It’s called The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, Is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz.
In a nutshell, the authors suggest that all of us have a finite amount of energy available to us every day. The difference between someone who is highly productive, creative, successful, energetic or whatever term has meaning for you and someone who does not is in how we choose to spend, or use, that energy that we begin with.
The authors further state that our energy is influenced by four major areas of our life – physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. A deficit – or abundance – of energy in any one area affects all of the others. The trick is learning how to balance everything in such a way that your energy is focused in the areas of greatest value or importance to you.
One of the key ways to do this, say Loehr & Schwartz, is to carefully and intentionally plan for “recovery” periods to balance out those times where we are highly focused, such as in our jobs. This is more than just an annual family “vacation” … it’s incorporating periods of intentional rest or rejuvenation into each day. They suggest that by building rituals, or specific routines or habits, into our daily life that become automatic, we can conserve energy for the things which really matter to us because we aren’t wasting precious energy making decisions about what to do and when to do it. We just do it, much like brushing your teeth every day.
In terms of the big picture, by specifically crafting these rituals based upon our individual core values, we can better live the lives we really want to live … automatically, or at least with greater conviction.
How does this apply to scrapbooking?
Let’s say you are a busy mom juggling multiple demands … kids to care for, a hubby who wants some attention, a house to manage, and probably a boss that expects you to show up and be productive on a regular basis. Do you take time to exercise? Go out with your girlfriends? Scrap? More importantly, where does that fall on your priority list and how do you think and feel about doing those things, if you actually do them?
If you’re like a lot of us, you don’t do them enough – or not at all – and you feel guilty about that, including the lack of scrapping. (Think about how far behind you are!) Or if you do actually take time for yourself to do those things, you may feel guilty about THAT. Either way, you are impacting your creative energy. How? First of all, suggest Loehr & Schwartz, taking care of ourselves through activities such as regular exercise and time cultivating friendships enhances our energy, including our creativity as well as our ability to be focused and productive on the job. Second, feeling guilt, pessimism or other negative emotions drains energy from all areas of our life, not just the one that is most obvious.
This is stuff a lot of us have heard before, right? What I find interesting, however, is the whole concept of very intentionally creating specific values-based rituals to help manage our energy … and ultimately live a life closer to the one we desire.
What if you took the time to decide exactly when and how to download, save, catalog and/or backup your photos each week or month … and then did it consistently until it became automatic? Would that ease a few worries about losing precious files or make things a little easier when you find some time to scrap?
What if you set a specific place and time every day when you would write down your thoughts in your Memory Logbook … and then gave that activity the same priority that you give showering or brushing your teeth? How would that affect your memory-keeping?
What if you scheduled a guilt-free 15-minute break into your workday every morning and every afternoon – even during those busy days when you don’t have a moment to waste – during which you took a walk outside, called your best friend or hubby, grabbed a cup of coffee or tea, or checked in with your Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest profiles and pages? Would that make it easier to tackle the second half of that part of your workday?
What if you planned a non-negotiable hour of scrapping at a specific time every day during the period when you are most creative, as opposed to after everyone else’s needs and priorities have come first? How would that affect your mood? Your overall energy level? Your general outlook on life?
I’m still working through these questions myself as I continue reading the book. I’ll share my thoughts again down the road as I continue the process. In the meantime, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Is this a new way of thinking for you? Do you already have rituals in place that support your scrapbooking or your overall creativity? Please share!!
(If you are on our blog home page and do not see the comment box, please scroll to the top of this post and click on the title. You’ll find a comment area at the bottom of the individual post page.)