Thursday, October 31, 2013

Fitting It All In - Priorities

Hello there and happy Friday! Welcome back to the Fitting It All In series here at PurpleMailbox. If you missed the previous posts, you can check them out here: So, hopefully we are all on the same page here and we have thought a bit about our priorities... 
Go ahead and jot them down. 

A quick note to those non-list people who might be reading this:

You don't have to do this in a list format. Don't let that discourage you. Mind map it. Doodle it. Art journal it. Whatever works. Just put pen or paint to the page and get the thoughts out of your brain...
As you can see from the list above, I tried to keep it simple and broad and I also listed the items in order of importance.
Your list might have some similarities, or it might be vastly different. 
It doesn't matter. 
Your priorities are yours and yours alone. Own them. 
Don't write down what you think Nosey Neighbor Nancy wants your priorities to be, or what your mother thinks they should be. 

Write down what you want them to be! 
As you write your list, you will probably start to notice that you don't always prioritize properly. Well, at least that is what happened to me when I made my list. That's OK! 

Don't get distracted by that and by no means are you allowed to hop on the guilt train

Just write down what you want your priorities to be and stay encouraged that each day begins anew...

Now... Remember that Order of Events from the last post?

Take a look at it and then at your newly made list of priorities. Using your colored pen, go ahead and cross out the priorities that are already a part of that Order of Events:
Then, circle the ones that you need to "find time" for. 

As you can see from my list above, my faith, my children, my home keeping, and my health are all an integral part of my daily order of events. And if I am functioning at a relatively human rate... they will be accomplished.

Now for those that were circled... 
Remember the Order of Events where you jotted down those areas where you could "find time?"
That is exactly where the "extras" can by filled in. I don't know about you, but I find this so freeing!

You see... I won't be able to fit all of my priorities into every single day. However, I know in my order of events exactly where I have a bit of "extra time." This gives me permission to fit in those priorities, that are circled on the list above, as I am able.
  • On many days, it's quality time chatting with my husband.
  • Some days, it might be a power walk.
  • Other days, it might be time in the studio.
  • And every now and then, I might just do something social :)

Now - I know what you are thinking...

You work all the time. After you get home, take care of the family, etc.... you are just whooped.
Ah yes! I think we can all relate to that at some point in our lives.

Here is what I would say - use your "free time" to perhaps engage in something more passive.
  • Watch a craft video.
  • Listen to a Podcast.
  • Plan your next page in your head. (more on that soon :)

This also applies to those moments where your "free time" is only free on a mental level.... commuting, exercising, vacuuming, etc...

Use those moments to mentally multi task!

Or, maybe you do have the time to do something more active and engaging, but you are just too tired and can not seem to find your crafty mojo....
  • Organize some supplies.
  • Clean up your scraps.
  • Edit photos.
  • Browse an online gallery.

Trust me... there are many, many times when I am not actively engaged in making something, but feel I am utilizing my creative energy by engaging my brain in certain tasks, like the ones mentioned above.

But, knowing where I can "find" that time, allows me the freedom to plug in those priorities as I see fit! 

And the freedom to say, "not today."

You see, once you know where your "extra time" lies. You can make use of it however you wish. 

"Ok - that's fabulous Ashli... I have now figured out that I do indeed want to prioritize scrapbooking and I may or may not have a select few 15 minute increments on any given day to get that done." 

"How, dear Ashli, do you suggest I actually make that happen?"

Glad you asked! We will get to that, I promise! 

I will see you soon as we take a slight breather and look at some everyday tips and tricks to have in place that will actually make it possible to be a productive scrapper with just little bits of time.

In the mean time, I encourage you to ponder your list of priorities, make any adjustments you might think of, and get ready to plug them into those extra bits of time!

And remember... feel free to leave your tips and/or questions as we go along. I would love to hear how you fit in your creative time and any specific conundrums you might have along the lines of this topic! At the end of this series I will compile a "reader tip list" along with a Q&A. So, don't hesitate to chip in!

See you soon!


  1. I'm really enjoying this series, Ashli. It definitely makes you look at time, and how you spend it, in a totally new light. Love your layout too, with the layered journaling papers.

  2. OK, so I haven't really done this yet but I have been thinking about my schedule and fitting in things. Love your idea of using those scraps of time!

  3. Great series Ashli!! I can definitely relate to this as time just seems to moving faster each day and I struggle balance it all. Looking forward to catching up on the rests of your posts :D

  4. love this idea! Very cool for a scrapbooking page. Love your take on this!

  5. Great post! I don't have half as many things on my list and I still have a hard time fitting it all in. Lot's to think about. Looking forward to more of these posts in the future.

  6. I LOVE your series!
    I just added my priorities to my notebook and see a few areas that need a bit of work :)

  7. Personal question, but my free time is pretty much the bulk of my time. Married, no kids, disabled, blah blah blah. My priority list is high on the creative, but how do you *schedule* creative. Writing is very high up there, but I never seem to find the time. How do I schedule this in without feeling forced into something so organic? I have severe ADHD so I feel that I'm just not taking advantage of the "blessing" that I've been given of staying home all the time. (I also need to prioritize my medication regimines, but that can be done by just sucking it up and... well, DOING IT!) Any advice would be *really* helpful, thanks.

    1. Hi Aeryn! Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment :) The first thing that comes to mind, is to put your creative time in your "schedule" during those times of the day that you generally feel most inclined to do it. And - since you are blessed to stay home and have a more open schedule... you could even put the creative time in your order of events several times a day. This doesn't mean you have to actually use it, but at least having it in there might give you more "permission" to go ahead and do it. And, since you love writing, you could prioritize that first.

      For instance...
      Creative Time
      Random chores, medication, etc
      Creative Time

      Of course, I have no idea if the above list fits your lifestyle at all... lol, but - perhaps it could be a good jumping off point.

      You also mentioned ADHD... perhaps a large block of time wouldn't work best for you? Maybe you could try writing or creating in smaller blocks of time scattered throughout the day?

      Take a look at the post here:
      as to how I make that work for me :)

      Just a few initial random thoughts, I shall keep pondering and will include this in the reader Q and A post, for sure! :)

      Have a great day!

    2. ok. wow! mandatory "quiet rest time" - brilliant! I'll be borrowing that one in the very near future.

      so, in theory, scheduling things is easy - in practice, not so much... how do you deal w/ the "too tired," "don't feel like it," "i'll do it tomorrow"... do you ever "force" yourself to be creative - I mean, I know you can't force ideas and inspiration, but do you ever find that you're forcing yourself to sit down and do something creative - or to atleast start something?

      that seems to be my biggest issue... I have entirely too much going on that's non-negotiable - work 5.5 days a week, a house, 2 dogs, pregnant, was going to school, etc. sadly, my biggest complaint is that when I do get the time, i'm "insert excuse here" - whatever that might be. lol...

      how do you/would you deal w/ that? any insight is greatly appreciated! thanks so much!

    3. Hi Cristi! Congrats on your pregnancy!!! The short answer to your question is.... yes! I "force" myself quiet a bit, but only because once I get over the initial hump of not feeling like it, I usually get in a groove and if I don't and am hating every minute, I stop. Many times if I don't feel like it and just can not get into it, but want to so bad, I will do something more passive... watch a craft video, organize a supply, etc.

      Also, having some sort of accountability has been really helpful to me. Being on design teams and having the blog has been a great sort of motivation. Those deadlines, self-imposed or otherwise, are certainly a good dose of healthy motivation! :)

      So - there is my rambling answer for now, but will certainly include this in the Q and A and have some more solid thoughts there as well :)

      Hope this helps a bit and thanks again for reading!

    4. hey ashli! thanks for the congrats and for taking the time to answer my question! and huge congrats to you as well!


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