Whenever I feel overwhelmed or swamped by endless 'to-dos', unable to fathom how I will ever catch up or get on top of things again, I reach for my trusty notebook, filled with jottings and ideas. It is here that I make a huge list of all the things currently bothering me and all the things I feel I need to do. Just writing them down and visually venting seems to clear some head space in a way and allows me to step back and look realistically at all that has been on my mind, items which seem more achievable somehow when they are put onto paper.
And while my long term list still has oodles on it, my washing basket is overflowing and keeping our house clean is still a constant battle, seeing items slowly being crossed off has been very satisfying indeed. Just a fifteen minute block of time here and there each day has made a huge difference to getting things done.
In prioritizing what I've needed to do, I've also placed importance on carving out small blocks of time for creative projects. I've always fallen into the trap of thinking I had too much to-do to 'allow' myself the pleasure of some time for crafting, telling myself such luxuries could wait until the house was in order. However, the order I strive for is something I will probably never fully achieve, there will always be something else I 'should be doing' and consciously making time for creativity is in fact something that deserves to be part of my days and weeks.
A line I came across as I was recently re-reading Amanda Soule Blake's "The Creative Family" summed up my thoughts...
'Don't slip into the habit of relegating your creative projects for "after everything else is done" ... "Everything else" is never done. Crafting needs to be as important a part of your life as anything else you consider a necessity. There is time for creating; you just need to make it a priority for you.'
And so, as well as slowly working on long-term spring-cleaning-type household projects, I've also been spending time at my sewing machine and delving into my box of craft supplies. Sophie's patchwork quilt is beginning to take shape, the gallery wall of family snapshots I've been planning for months is almost ready to be displayed and I am finally putting together some photo albums (something for a whole other post in itself).
Productivity for me comes in waves. There are some seasons where simply getting through the day to day essentials requires all my time, weeks where I lack energy and motivation. At other times, I feel a sense of urgency and a strong desire to 'deal with things'... a non-pregnancy nesting of sorts... For now, I'm going to continue to plug away at my list of projects... the key for me being to do so bit by bit and to tick things off one by one...