PRT106 – Scrapbook Procrastination

This week we’re tackling procrastination! Come listen!

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  • vintageplaid

    I am listening to the PRT right now — and yes, just sitting down and playing with paper and embellishments — sorting and filing — all help to stimulate creativity and enthusiasm for the next idea.  Also a super way to relax!  Thanks for the ideas.

  • Connie Hanks

    Thank heavens you’re back! I was going through PRT withdrawals :) Two weeks felt like an eternity between shows! I think I can act out (or voice over) “Categories of Amazingness” from the numerous times I re-listened to the show. Totally ready to start listening to today’s show – currently downloading in iTunes – and totally fired up on this subject. Can’t wait to hit play… Thanks for a new episode – you’ve made my day!!!

  • PK

    Hi, I just started listening to the first part of your show about Instagram & wanted to add that you can use Instagram privately and never share your photos.  All you just have to go into edit your account and under privacy select “photos are private”.  I use instagram almost exclusively for project life and and nothing gets shared. :)

  • Ha! Laughing hard at the idea of PRT reenactments! ;)

  • Iceteeeeee

    Great show, as always. I saw a T-shirt once that I need to get: Quuen of Unfinished Projects! I am inspired by so many things that I dive in head first and don’t always bring them to completion. I’m working on it, though! Thanks again for all you do for us.

  • I wanted to add three comments:
    1) You only briefly touched on classes as a way to combat procrastination, I think they are great for that, they give you deadlines, motivation, inspiration, structure and solidarity rolled into one. Stacy’s Twelve and May’s Fieldguide are both kicking my butt to get some pages done. I’d guess that the new double take class, Elizabeth Dillow’s challenges or Lains True Scrap would have the same effect. Classes are also terrific to get you started if that is the problem. I highly reccommend Shimelle’s hitchhikers guide class for that, loads of ideas for getting started.
    2) Challenges! Many people swear by them as a way to give you a deadline and some structure around sitting down and getting it done.
    3) For me it is all about WHY, you guys talked about this a lot, and I wanted to say that sometimes if you give yourself options in your scrapping you can get something useful done and still procrastinate at the same time i.e. if you dont feel like actually getting a photo and words on a page, then make up some page kits to take to a crop, if you dont want to go through your photo software and order prints, then make a page without a photo, or just leave a space and get some embellishments and journalling down. Etc. Not the ideal page perhaps, but I think you need to push through or you will find 6 months have past since you last sat down and “it is all too hard”. My procrastinating used to be all about product selection, when I realised that I changed the way I organise and buy supplies. Now I get kits (kit clubs or collection kits) and store my paper and often even embellishments by kit. When I want to scrap I just grab a bag of matching stuff and go from there. 

    Great show, thanks!
    Ruth from Australia

  • Iris Fox

    Yay, it was wonderful to have a new show.  I only caught up to current shows a couple months ago (I discovered PRT in the Fall) and while I have been re-listening to the old one’s, I got spoiled with being able to have marathon listening sessions of new-to-me shows.  And episode 106 was QUITE a bit shorter :(  PLEASE say that’s not a new trend!

    I identified with all the reasons for procrastinating pointed out in the podcast, but I have another reason for why we procrastinate.  Guilt.  You guys have talked about the guilt thing before.  (I should say you gals, cuz Izzy obviously doesn’t get it – lucky dog!)  And so often it is self imposed.  My family loves to see my creations, but often I feel like I have to do the crafting (I also quilt) when they are not around because I feel obligated to be interacting with them/entertaining them/feeding them/whatever when they are around.  Case in point: my husband goes to work at 10am and usually gets home around 9pm.  In the morning we’re busy getting our girls to school and getting ourselves ready for the day, so there isn’t much interaction then.  He isn’t one to watch TV by himself, but after a long stressful day that’s how he/we unwind because most of the time we are so exhausted that all we do is watch one hour or so of a show or movie and go to bed.  But say I’m actually in the mood to scrap.  He wont SAY anything, but gives me a hurt you-don’t-want-to-spend-time-with-me kind of look, and he wont watch TV.  Then I feel all guilty for not spending the one hour I might see him in the day with him.  So my solution for that situation at least is that while he gives whatever we’re watching his undivided attention, I hardly ever am watching TV without doing something else, such as hand stitching something, purging and tagging photos, journaling, going “Pin” happy for inspiration, ordering supplies (I really should NOT have watched all those CHA videos of yours), or working on some organization project, like recently I divided up stamps and chipboard shape sheets into more intuitive categories.  There are other situations where guilt wins over, but I’ve found that “multitasking” sometimes is the only way I can get past procrastination and have some progress in my creative endeavors, at least the “prep” part, so that when I have the guilt-free time it can be more play with photos and pretty paper. 

  • Iris Fox

    I was also thinking about classes as a way to combat procrastination, but in my case what’s worked best for me are the more “self-help” ones like Ali’s “One Little Word” and Lisa Day’s “Journey to Happiness: What Matters Most” and of course Stacy’s “Finding Photo Freedom”  I took Lain’s MotherLOAD and for me it was too much pressure.  I don’t think challenges work for me.  But the others that guide you through becoming more aware of your process, that make you think about what’s important, and gives you perspective are so liberating.  Oh and I can’t forget Paperclipping Memebership.  Those tutorials have opened my eyes to design principles, so that I don’t procrastinate because I’m not scared of sitting down and staring at a blank page anymore.

    Also the messages we hear from everyone on PRT and on the blogs of many of the PRT guests- do what works for you, it all counts – those help relieve some of the perfectionism and overwhelmed feelings that cause procrastination.  One of the best things for me has just been discovering that you all are human too, having good hair days and bad hair days, not liking some of your projects, struggling with finding time to create, etc…..unlike the magazine days where all you saw is “perfection”. 

    Listening to PRT kills my procrastination.  It’s not as intrusive/distracting as having the TV on at the same time while trying to scrap, and it inspires and entertains me.  I think like Noell going to the coffee shop, I like having the energy of
    people when creating, but not the distraction.  So I prefer to be
    in my craft room by myself, but I like hearing voices  And I can listen to it with headphones on my phone so I tune out the rest of the distractions. 

  • Katie Scott

    I’m at the personality part of the episode and I’m an ENFP on the Myers Briggs and I don’t like being told what to do, but I do exceptionally well on a short deadline.  I paused so I’m not sure Angie addressed the Myers Briggs as related to which personality types like deadlines and which don’t.  I don’t necessarily like deadlines, but I think of them as a tool.

    My favorite Short Deadline story:  In 1990 when I was at Eckerd College, I had an essay scholarship contest that my Dad wanted me to enter;  I kept putting it off and I had the brochure about it from the previous year and the handout from the current year but I hadn’t read it very carefully (ENFPs aren’t especially good with details). One day, while I was skipping class because I had a cold, I decided to take a look at the handout and realized that my essay had to be post marked that very day!  It was 3 pm and I had to get it to the campus post by 5pm to qualify!  Totally unprepared, I typed the essay on my Smith Corona typewriter and got it in by 5.  I won the NCBFAA National Scholarship of $5,000  and bought my first computer and a three week trip through Europe.  Two of my most productive hours came with a very short deadline.

    How does that relate to scrapbooking?  I think putting yourself on short deadlines is an excellent way to get pages scrapped.  I don’t often go to crops because I internally look at them as speed scrapping competitions!  (Crazy right?)  But scrapbooking at home, I do give myself deadlines and also give myself time limits to creating pages, this is especially useful when I’m feeling creatively stuck.  I don’t use this deadline method all the time, just when I need to kick it up a notch – its a jumpstart for creativity.  Short deadlines, limitations and boundaries actually help in the creative process.

  • Katie Scott

    MYERS BRIGGS Personality Types & Deadlines:

    “ENFPs learn best in flexible situations where they know the teacher takes a personal interest in them. They like to be able to interact with their peers, but not too much so. They want to feel free to dig into subjects that are of interest to them. Having both flexibility and creativity rewarded is encouraging to them. While they may not enjoy deadlines, if they value the assignment, they will meet those deadlines. DEADLINES may force ENFPs to decide that their work is ‘good enough’ to turn in.” (wikia)

    I tried to find something on my polar opposite and their preference for deadlines but couldn’t find it, I did find this on my opposite for the first and third factor:

    INTP: “The following teaching strategies are recommended for INTPs- Compare / contrast tables, flow charts, concept maps, theory-application-theory methods, application methods, concise teaching objectives, Teaching objectives that incorporate the rote, meaningful and integrated, and critical thinking metacognitive levels; The incorporation of Bloom’s Taxonomy, Dissect a complex assignment into subassignments; Provide DEADLINES for assignments; Provide feedback.” (wikia)

    ISTJ:  “Family is of the utmost importance to the ISTJ. The ORDER AND SCHEDULE of a home
    life is very important. Any family member who rebels against order is likely to
    anger the ISTJ who revolves their life around a sense of conformity. The ISTJ is
    likely to want breakfast at 8, lunch at 12 and dinner at 6 no matter what,
    holidays with the family are of paramount importance and no sacrifice is too
    great to keep the unit intact.” (  I’m guessing they love deadlines but probably don’t wait till the last minute to meet them.

    INTP: “The LAST MINUTE PLANNER is often found in the INTP. They are in such a rush to
    discover and feel everything that they are in a constant state of planning. The
    idea of changing on a dime is never a problem for the INTP.” (

    ESTP “loves to be the center of attention. They also live for the moment.
    Difficult for friends sometimes because they will almost NEVER PLAN and view it
    as a waste of time. Their lack of order is difficult for others to deal with.” (

     ESFJ “is often viewed as SCHEDULERS who like to schedule friends the same
    they would a dance card. They also often make for great friends who will listen
    to others and are very loyal.”

    If your type isn’t up there, you might check on one of those sites or take the Humanmetrics Myers Briggs test.  Although I really think that knowing your type is also about knowing your weaknesses so if you are one of those that doesn’t love deadlines or schedules, you can train yourself into a work-around if you find yourself procrastinating.

    P.S. I love any discussion about Myers-Briggs (obviously).


  • Great additional thoughts! Thanks for adding to the discussion!

  • Great thoughts. It takes planning to make things happen in your life when they aren’t urgent. When my two oldest were 2 and 4 I realized that if I gave them super-focused attention with an activity where it was all about me and them, they were suddenly “done” with me after only 20-30 minutes! All they needed was a short dose of heavy attention and then they were ready to go play on their own (at their own prompting, even) and I could then go do some other things.

  • Katie Scott

    One more thing:  Just starting is huge!  There’s a quote that goes something like “What you are doing right now is a really good predictor of what you are going to be doing in 15 minutes” – this is sometimes good motivation for clicking off the tv and getting to the scrapbooking room.

  • Anonymous

    Izzy you totally crack me up. Yes, I’m the digiscrap Wendy (though never tell a lady she’s huge). I’ve been a guest on The Paperclipping Digi Show (Episode 37: Push A Button And It Scrapbooks For You) and The Digi Show (Episode 27: Printing Questions Answered). In my online life, I sell actions, templates, tools, tutorials and ebooks for Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. You can find me at Scrapbookgraphics (aka The Studio Girls) and my blog ( And, in my offline life, I’m a graphic designer with over 20 years of experience in the advertising and print industries. I don’t usually hijack the comments to talk about myself, but I thought I’d clear up the mystery. Thanks for the laughs and no worries for anyone who didn’t make the connection!

  • Rochelle

    I am a recovering perfectionist, who now realises that procrastination is part of my creative process. It doesn’t stress me at all. I like taking my time, I will never be caught up, & that’s fine by me. 
    I enjoy the process of scrapbooking so much, that I will often go slow, so as to savour the whole experience. SometimesI will make decisions quite fast & other times I might not finish a layout for days. I often leave photos & a pile of paper sitting on my work table just waiting for inspiration to strike. If it doesn’t, they get put away & I just choose something different, & start again.      

  • Hey, Wendy! Thanks for helping is out!!

  • Now I would not call that procrastination. I’d call that savoring the moment and letting inspiration move you!

  • I loved this part of the discussion too! I am a textbook INTP, and have had to develop some strategies to fight against my nature, because INTPs are completely and totally unaware of how long things take.  Time management is NOT our strength.  But we will be hard at work the entire time! It’s just that we will get to the deadline and work right through it… so we are deadline motivated, but not in a way that makes it at all useful for the real world.  (Oh. Also, we each live in our little world.  Mine is called Shimworld, and I assure you it is a lovely place full of peace and ideas and a lot of old books.)  On the plus side, INTPs will work so crazily hard through the entire process that when we do finish something, it’s usually a pretty big something!

    I can imagine an INTP who scrapbooks just for fun will have a ridiculous amount of projects/pages she wants to make at some point and even some perfect products in her head that don’t exist at the scrapbook store, and very very few INTPs would be motivated to scrap by organising or tidying supplies. Procrastination could definitely come into play with that fear of not wanting to commit until things are perfect. We’d be quite likely to hide away with a gazillion supplies and a messy desk for hours just moving things around until they are at the most perfect perfect perfect of spots on the page.  And heaven HELP you if you interrupt us in that very important process!

  • Laura

    I’m having a scrapbooking crisis of sorts and I’m hoping the roundtable panel might help me sort things out.  I love the approach to scrapbooking that Ali Edwards and others have championed with putting the story first and foremost.  I am definitely doing a better job of finding the story and telling it on my pages.  I’ve always been good at journaling, but of the “We all had fun at the zoo!” type, rather than more meaningful stories.  I’m getting better at bringing more meaning into my scrapbooks.

    However, now I find myself hitting a roadblock when there are photos I want to scrapbook, but I can’t find the story.  Pretty photos, supplies I want to use, but no story.  Do I need to go in search of a meaningful story first?  Is it OK to make pages that don’t have a story?

    I know that there are no scrapbooking police to come get me if I make a page with superficial  journaling (or even none at all).  But why am I having such a hard time with this?  I look through my photos and can’t find a single one that sparks a story I want to tell.  I mean a Story (capital S).  I can only find stories (small s).

    Please help me get out of this rut.  Scrapbooking is such therapy for me and I find myself unable to take part in this hobby right now.  It seems all the pages I see from Noell, Ali, Stacy, et all have real journaling.  Is that really all you do?

  • Hi Laura,
    I can only pass along advice from someone greater than me :D My understanding of Stacy Julian’s approach is that you dont look at photos and think up a story, you think about the story you want to tell, then find a photo to put on a page about that story. E.g. Say you have 2 kids and you think about something you want to write down about how they interact with each, like one child helps the other with carrying a heavy bag, or one lags behind when you all walk together and the other rushes ahead. Write down the story, then you might find that you have your zoo photos that reflect that (or you might need to look further – she also has a system for organising photos to help with finding them for your stories). The story is then about the children and not the zoo, the zoo just gave you some pretty photos that you can use for illustration. Noell/Stacy/Whoever: feel free to correct me if I am leading Laura up the wrong path!

  • Love that quote! Thanks Katie.

  • Jenn Edwardson

    I find that procrastination can be good sometimes.  If I have a deadline or a project that I want to do–whether it is scrappy related or in my life, it is very helpful for me to create a timeline, sometimes written, sometimes just in my head.  If I procrastinate, I can take more time to think through the project and often come up with another, usually better approach.  I tend to be the type to jump in and start working without always thinking through the outcome.  Procrastinating is a tool I use to make myself think things through.

    As to why we get more done when we’re busier?  We are more organized, knowing every minute counts.  If I am not busy, it is far to easy to wile away an evening in front of the tv or on pinterest or even to sit down and peruse a magazine or cookbook.  When my schedule is packed, I have timelines and lists and don’t waste a minute.  

    When teaching scrapbooking classes I tell my students to schedule scrapbooking time into their calendar, just like they put in their doctor or hair appointments.  If you wait “until you have time,” you’ll always find something else to fill that hour or two.  If you put it on your calendar and approach it like an appointment, you’ll make the time to be creative.  If the juices aren’t flowing you can use that time to organize photos, pull together photos and papers for future sessions or even look through a book/magazine/online source for ideas for your next layout.  

  • Laura,
    I have the same problem but find that if I write down in a notebook or journal when I take the picture the story that I want to tell, then when I go back to scrap it I have my thoought process from when I took the pictures. Also Shimelle had a great post about this on her blog here:  Good Luck.

  • Well, I definitely wouldn’t say you’re on the wrong path, Ruth! I’d just say that’s one approach. I actually look to my photos first most of the time, and then I think about what the story is that I really want to tell about it. And Laura — It doesn’t actually matter to me if it’s a story with a capital or a lower case “S” type of story. I just like there to be a story — a reason for choosing it.
    Sometimes I don’t really have a story, so I ask myself why I’m drawn to scrapbooking that picture in particular. It can take a while, but I always eventually figure out a tangible explanation for why I want to highlight that photo with a page. There are so many photos to scrap, though, that I do tend to pick the photos for which I have stories in my head. I usually leave the seemingly story-less photos to simmer for a while until I identify the story.

  • Another great episode!  I would love a badge for my blog :)  My 3 year old loves your intro and conclusion music, and he asked me to keep playing it over and over.  

    I went back back to listen to Episode 1 as a reference for a blog post.  I try to keep up with the episodes as they are released, but it was surprisingly fun to go back to listen to an older episode.  I will keep listening to the new and older episodes, especially when I am trying not to procrastinate on exercise.  

  • Susanna Boyd

    The best way to combat procrastination is a scheduled deadline.  If you put off your creativity until you have free time, you’ll never be able to fit it in.  If you treat it as a reward, you won’t have any creative energy by the time you earn it.  Noell shared a blog post last year about the importance of practice and scheduling the time.  It struck a cord with me, since I give up several hours a week hauling my sons to baseball — why would I hesitate to dedicate some of my time to my scrapbooking?  Since then, I don’t have to procrastinate — you can find me in the studio from 4-6 on Sundays.  It’s made a world of difference and now I feel like I have some balance in my life.  

    Thanks for such a great show — and cheers to Angie — I also feel like the Roundtable is a group of close friends and I chime in before realizing you can’t hear me!  

  • I do something similar, but prefer to jot the details into the photo file in the caption of the metadata. That way it’s right there with my photo when I’m browsing on my computer and I don’t have to go hunt for it in a notebook. Not only that but when you do it that way it’s permanently embedded into the photo and we and our children will always have that info attached.
    I’ve written a number of articles on how to do this and how to do it simply and quickly. I’m also running a blog series on this called, Photo Stories: 2012. You can find these posts by clicking on the Photo Stories 2012 category in the side bar of Paperclipping.

  • I always love hearing that someone tried an idea I shared and it worked for them! Yay! Thank you for chiming in!

  • Molly

    Really interesting topic today… and by today I mean 10 months ago!! (I’m going through your archives)

  • Teddi Honeybee

    this was so good, and very true. i hadn’t ever really considered why i actually DO procrastinate some things and my life. it made a lot of sense.