When a member leaves Décorography, I always follow-up and ask why. Not to be nosy, but because I want to continually improve what I’m offering. Every person that has left has given me the same reason: “I don’t have enough time.” And every time I hear that I shed a tear. I know it’s not the 1-2 hours per month it takes to watch a Décorography class that they don’t have time for, it’s putting what they learn into action. They’re saying they don’t have time to decorate.
Well, who does? Really. Even as a decorator, I spend my working hours decorating for others or teaching them how to decorate. As much as I would like it, I don’t get paid to decorate my home. So even though it’s my job, I still have to find spare time to decorate my home. We all have the same 24 hours in a day and we are all pulled in a million different directions.
So how can you carve out more time to create a home when you’re too busy? Should you just put it off? Should you not decorate?
No matter how busy you are it is possible to make time for decorating.
And if you want to live a better life all around, I say it’s mandatory. Especially, if it decorating is something you want to do and enjoy doing or want to learn to do better. We can’t actually get more time in the day, but we can choose where we spend the time we do get.
Four Ways to Find Time for Decorating
I want to share with you some of the simple strategies I use to find decorating time. We all have our own list of things that keeps us busy. I have a full house and a full schedule with my husband, two young boys, two dogs, and my business, but I still make time to decorate and take care of our home. It doesn’t happen every day or every week, but it’s important enough to me that I make it happen regularly. These are the strategies that help me make more time for decorating:
1. Spend Time Where It Matters Most to You
I just interviewed my friend Kalyn Brooke from Creative Savings for Décorography. We talked about her money-saving philosophy–which is to cut back in places you don’t care about so you can spend more where it matters most to you–and the parallel with decorating time struck me immediately. You need to cut back on the time you spend doing other things to make time for decorating. That might mean watching less TV in the evenings or staying in for the weekend.
I bet if you really examine how you spend your time for an entire week (seriously, journal it), you’ll be surprised at where you can find better ways to spend your time. Wouldn’t that two-hour session scrolling Pinterest have been better spent working on your own home?
2. Make It a Family Thing
When your hobby is of no interest to those around you it can feel impossible to carve out time for what you want to do. Trust me, I know, I live in a house of boys. But how many times have you played video games, helped wash the car, or cheered on the baseball team? Lots, right? And you do those things because you love the people who love to do them. You can expect the same in return, you just have to ask.
Tell your family what your most important project is and how they can help. Spending time on something you love to do doesn’t mean you have to spend time away from your family. Plus, when it comes to decorating, deep down they want an awesome home to. Tell them how they can help you make it.
3. Stop Doing Things that Aren’t Working for You
This tip goes well beyond finding time to decorate, but it can help with that too. Examine all the things you’re doing in your home and create a stop doing list. That’s right, a stop doing list, as in the opposite of the to-do list. Stop focusing on what you think you should be doing and figure out what you really want to be doing.
Early on in my kids lives I thought I wanted to host homemade crafty parties. Then I realized how much time and energy that takes. As much as I love cute DIY parties, I’ve scaled back considerably to make time for things that are more important to me. For the last two years my boys have happily had their birthday parties at the karate studio. All I had to do was choose a simple theme, pick a fun party favor, and set out the cupcakes. What can you stop doing to make more time for something else?
4. Pick a Priority
I cannot stress this one enough. (In fact, it’s the subject of my new book Project Home.) I know for me when I feel like I don’t have enough time, it’s because the list of things I want to do is too long. I know I can’t do them all, but as long as they’re on the list I feel the burden.
In my new book Project Home, I teach a four-step method to prioritize your home projects and ideas so you can find your most important project–the one you should do next. With my method, you’ll always be working on the project that will have the greatest impact on your quality of life for the least amount of effort. Besides feeling organized and in control, when you know you’re working on the most important project in your home it’s highly motivating. When you’re motivated you get more done in the same amount of time.
4. Make Success a Foregone Conclusion
When you have limited time for anything, you want to spend it being productive and successful. The same holds true for decorating time. You want the time you have for decorating to be productive (get some stuff done) and successful (get it done well). Decorating is one of those tricky hobbies where you could easily waste time or have setbacks that make you feel unproductive and unsuccessful. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Set yourself up for success so every minute you spend decorating is worthwhile. That means:
- Focus on your most important project (see above) – Don’t start something new. Don’t have multiple projects going at once. Spend your precious time making progress on the one project you already know will have the biggest impact for the least amount of effort.
- Make a plan – I know planning sounds like it will take more time and it will initially, but with careful planning you can save yourself a ton of time while you’re doing the project. A clear plan helps you foresee obstacles, account for everything your project needs to be a success, and solidifies your overall vision. Planning means being less spontaneous, but allows you to better use the time you have.
- Find a reason to celebrate often – When you’re planning, set milestones for your project that call for mini celebrations. This will give you something to look forward to throughout your project. And for this, it’s totally okay to bribe yourself. For example, maybe you won’t allow yourself to watch the next episode of your favorite Netflix series until you reach your first milestone.
If you follow the simple strategies above, you can make more time for decorating. For even more strategies to make the most of your precious decorating time, check out Project Home. I wrote it to help you prioritize your home project ideas so you know where to focus first. By the end of the book, you’ll have a complete plan to successfully tackle your most important project. Read Project Home today so you can make significant progress in your home.
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