Welcome to the first segment in a series of solutions for challenges that interfere with our ability to stamp more. As stated in the introductory article, the top three struggles identified in my audience research were 1) lack of time, 2) lack of space and 3) a limited budget. Today, I would like to address the challenge cited most for not stamping more at home…TIME.
As I considered this challenge, it occurred to me that all three challenges are intertwined, that is, interconnected. However, I must contend that the first challenge to overcome is the challenge of having time to stamp. This idea was brought home to me when I came upon a quote by Peter Drucker which says:
“Until we can manage TIME, we can manage nothing else.”
Most of us do not have enough time to stamp more frequently, not just because of our life commitments and the general activities of daily living but also because we do not have the plan in place to stamp more regularly.
Sir John Lubbock, 1st Baronet said,
“In truth, people can generally make time for what they choose to do; it is not really the time but the will that is lacking.”
However, let’s clear one thing up right now; No one can “make more time” to stamp. Each of us, of course, have just 24 hours in each day. Therefore, we must be calculating, organized and methodical in our pursuit to do more stamping. We must PLAN, ORGANIZE and USE OUR TIME WISELY because these are the keys to success.
By having a plan and working the plan, I promise you will have time to stamp more in the very near future.
Have you ever thought about stamping a card only to take one look at your craft area and say, “NOPE, don’t want to that bad!” I know I have.
We have identified the challenge, now an introduction to solutions:
Many years ago I read Marabel Morgan’s book titled The Total Woman. (Don’t judge me!) One of the most important chapters in her book for me was “Your $25,000 Plan”. The title of the chapter came about from when Charles M. Schwab, while president of Bethlehem Steel, challenged Ivy Lee, a management consultant, to “Show me a way to get more things done. If it works, I’ll pay anything within reason.” This was her plan in a nutshell…for which she was paid $25,000:
“[Tonight] Write down the things you have to do tomorrow.
Next number these items in the order of their real importance.
First thing tomorrow, start working on number one and stay with it until it is completed.
Next take number two and don’t go any further until it is completed. Then proceed to number three, and so on. If you cannot complete everything on schedule, don’t worry. At least you will have taken care of the most important things before getting distracted by items of lesser consequence.
The secret is to do this DAILY.”
Now, we as women wearing many hats know, it is not always possible to stay with one task until it is completely finished. Car pools, doctor appointments, dance, sports, family time, homework, cooking, you name it, tend to dictate how big a block of time we can devote to one thing before being interrupted. However, most of us have become adept at multi-tasking…starting that load of laundry ahead of starting to cook supper so it can go into the dryer just before sitting down to eat and be ready to fold once the kitchen is put in order, right? This is brilliant use of time!
“I recommend you take care of your minutes, and the hours will take care of themselves”~ Earl of Chesterfield
This very quote was a theme in Nancy Zieman’s Book 10-20-30 Minutes To Sew. She was struggling to find time to sew, just like you and I struggle to find time to stamp! Yet, even on busy days, she could free up 10, 20 or even 30 minutes to sew. I truly believe we can do the same to stamp!
How can we use all of this information to help us in our pursuit to stamp more?
Let’s combine the $25000 Plan with the 10-20-30 minutes plan to conquer our challenge!
These three things, TIME – PLAN – ORGANIZATION, are the key to being more productive. This is especially true when pursuing a hobby.
“There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstance permit. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results.” Kenneth H. Blanchard (author of The One Minute Manager)
Let’s get started! Here is the “assignment” for your first step to stamping more:
A. COMMIT – commit to at least a 10, 20, or 30 minute session per day to do your assignments. Write this on your PLAN daily. You may use several of these short sessions to observe and think of how you want to organize. Then write down how you want to proceed, the approximate time needed for each task i.e., Identify your stamping space, finding or purchasing boxes, containers, bins, etc. to organize your products, sorting your products, labeling, etc. Basically, you will be making a master plan and then prioritizing how to proceed.
B. IDENTIFY YOUR SPACE – If you do not already have a designated space for stamping, identify one now. Your space can be large or small. It can be portable or stationary. It can be the end of your dining table or a craft room. Consider the basic needs for this space:
- A flat smooth surface
- Good lighting
- Functional space – whether standing or sitting.
Use your ingenuity! If you are going to use the end of your dining room table, then you need to organize the very basics into a plastic bin, a box or a rolling container. Your main intent is to have everything you need in one container (or two) that can easily be taken to the table to use and put away again. You want easy access and clean up!
Of course, if you have a spare closet or a spare room, you can have the luxury of leaving more things out and easily accessible all the time. Stampin’ Up! is launching a new, light weight, interchangeable, storage system for ink pads, markers, re-inkers and Blends on April 1, 2019. How timely is that!?!
I will delve deeper into the basic “needs” and “wants” of a paper crafter in the next segment.
C. ORGANIZE – First brainstorm on paper. Document what you have, your inventory, and how to make it the most easily accessible.
Just as Nancy Zieman organized her sewing tasks into 10, 20, or 30 minute time frames, we can organize our stamping tasks likewise. Following are some examples:
- 10 minutes – Make yourself a tool kit by placing all the basic tools to make a card together. I use a Stampin’ Up! wood mount stamp case to store a Snips (small scissors with a sharp point), a bone folder, liquid glue, glue dots, dimensionals, Snail adhesive (tape runner) and, a (retired) adhesive remover. You do not need to use a clear mount case. You can use a cigar box or shoe box or a plastic container with a lid that can hold all the basic tools. Whatever works for you. Here is a photo of my basics kit. I use this when I go to classes or retreat.
I also have a table top tool holder that I use on a daily basis. It is fabric that has pockets sewn into it. This fabric fits over an acrylic tabletop photo frame. I love it! And, or course my Tombow multipurpose “go-to” glue that is held upside down in a 2″ square tiny treat box is always close too.
- 30 minutes – take time to organize one aspect of your stamping area or supplies. The more organized your products are, the less time you will spend hunting for them. This will give you more time to be productive. For example: separate your cardstock by color. Create a system to store it. (this can be in a file cabinet, a drawer, file folders, accordion pleated file folder, etc.) It can be arranged by color family, by varying shades of the same color…however you like it. I suggest making labels to make the exact color you want easy to find.
There are many, many ideas on-line. Start at https://www.pinterest.com and search for paper storage, ink pad storage, paper punch storage, etc. There is almost everything from do-it-yourself to purchase it all.
- 10 minutes – Gather all the “ingredients” needed to make a card you want and store them together, preferably in a plastic box or a shoe box. That is, get the card stock, ink pad(s), punch(es), dies, embellishments, glue, glue dots, scissors etc. all together and ready to make the project. Of course, if you already made yourself a tool kit, you grab that, your card stock, ink pad, punches, dies, embossing folder(s), embellishments, sponges, markers, etc. and store them all together, ready for the next step.
- 20 minutes – Grab your “ingredients”. Cut and score your card stock, stamp your images, emboss, die cut, and/or punch the card stock as needed. If time permits, assemble the card. If not, write down a 10 minute slot of time to complete the card tomorrow.
I think I have given you quite a lot to think about and to do. I would love to have you comment if you are going to commit to stamping more and your successes! In fact, each time you post (limited to once per day) I will enter you into a drawing on April 15th to win a FREE set of 5 white plastic trays to store up to 15 sets of Stampin’ Blends!
Let’s DO this!!
Next in the Stamp More Series: Segment #2 – BUDGETShopping online? Be sure to use the April 2019 Hostess Code: QGKQ36XE