You want to organize family photos. You’ve been trying to get started. But it’s hard to do when you have so many obligations. Here’s how to make the best use of limited time, so you can enjoy your memories again and leave a meaningful collection for future generations.
Are you feeling like you don’t have time to organize family photos? You’re not alone. It can be hard to find the time to organize your gigantic photo memory collection. But there are two simple ways you can manage your limited time and organize your family photos. And it all revolves around something called “time confetti.”
What is Time Confetti?
Time confetti refers to the phenomenon of having small fragments of time throughout the day that are not well utilized or structured. For example, waiting in line, commuting, or waiting for a meeting to start. According to Ashley Whillans, a psychologist and assistant professor at Harvard Business School, these small shreds and scraps of time can add up. This can result in a feeling of being overwhelmed and stressed. It can lead to a reduction in overall well-being and satisfaction with life.
Brigid Schulte, author of the book “Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time,” first popularized the term “Time Confetti” in 2014. She used it to describe the fragmented and disjointed experience of time that people are feeling in the modern world. In her own life she tracked her time confetti and figured out it added up to 27 hours per week!
Technology is Part of the Problem
In addition, current technology, specifically the widespread use of smartphones and the internet, has the potential to disrupt our sense of time in several ways. Some of the ways include:
- The continuous availability of information and communication technology means that people are often reachable. They are expected to respond to messages, emails, and other forms of communication at all times. This can lead to a blurring of boundaries and also make it difficult to switch off and relax.
- Technology provides an endless stream of distractions, such as social media, online news, and games. This can eat up large amounts of time without us even realizing it.
- Pace of Change: Technology is constantly evolving, which means that we are expected to keep up with the latest developments, software updates, and new devices. This can make us feel like we are running out of time to keep up with everything.
- Compression of Time: The speed at which information can be processed and communicated means that events that would have taken weeks or months to unfold in the past can now happen in a matter of hours or even minutes. This can lead to a sense of time pressure and a feeling that there is never enough time to do everything we want to do.
Overall, technology can make our experience of time feel fragmented, rushed, and relentless. This can have a negative impact on our well-being and quality of life. Not to mention feeling like we can’t devote time to projects that require it.
Retirement is No Escape from Time Confetti
Retirement is often seen as a time to relax and escape the pressures of the working world, but time confetti still abounds. Despite having more free time and a lighter schedule, many retirees find that their days are filled with fragmented moments. They struggle to find a sense of purpose and connection in their lives, or to devote time to long-term projects.
One of the challenges of retirement is that it can be difficult to know how to structure your time in a meaningful way. Without the structure and routine of work, many retirees find that their days are frittered away. They experience small moments of boredom and disconnection punctuated by bursts of activity and engagement. This can lead to a feeling that time is slipping away before you have a chance to make the most of it.
However, it’s important to note that retirement can also be a time of great opportunity and growth. By being intentional about how you spend your time, you can find ways to organize family photos, even amidst the fragments of time confetti.
Time Confetti is a Double-Edged Sword
Time confetti can be compared to a double-edged sword because it can be both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, having small scraps of time throughout the day can provide opportunities to get things done that might not otherwise be possible. For example, you can use a short break to do smaller tasks. It takes some planning ahead to make the best use of the time.
On the other hand, these fragments of time can also be a curse. They can lead to a feeling of constant distraction and disorganization. When you’re constantly switching between tasks and dealing with interruptions, it can be difficult to stay focused and get things done effectively. This is especially true when you’ve got a long term project you want to do, like to organize your photos. Additionally, if you don’t use these small bits of time effectively, they can simply add to your overall sense of busyness and stress.
The key is to use them in a way that works best for you to organize family photos.
Managing Time Confetti to Organize Family Photos
By recognizing and actively managing these fragments of time, you can increase your sense of control and reduce stress. You can finally find the time to organize family photos.
In her research, Whillans has found that people who engage in activities that bring them joy and relaxation during these scraps of time experience increased happiness and life satisfaction. She also discovered that people who actively engage in activities during their time confetti report feeling more productive and less stressed overall.
Her research emphasizes the significance of taking a proactive approach to these moments. And it suggests that even small changes can lead to significant improvements in overall happiness and satisfaction with life.
Here are two smart ways you can manage your time confetti to help you organize your family photos.
Use Scraps of Time To Organize Family Photos
The key to being productive with time fragments is to prioritize and be intentional about how you use them.
Take that proactive approach and make a list of quick photo tasks you can do on your phone. In fact, make and/or keep the list on your phone (take a picture if you wrote it out) so that you can refer to it when you’re stuck in line or waiting for an appointment or meeting. Here’s a starter list (add more as you think of it):
Delete unwanted photos:
- Near duplicates and burst photos – keep only 1-2 best
- Super short video clips (often created by accident)
- Accidental photos
- Reminders, Serial Numbers, and other one-time photos
- Informational photos you sent to others
- Food photos you shared with others
- Multiples of something – keep only 1-2 best
- Bad and blurry photos
- Memes, Recipes and other things you won’t care about in 5 years.
Mark Your Favorite Photos
Whether you are using your phone’s native app for photos, or you are using another app such as FOREVER or Mylio, you can star or flag or somehow mark your favorites. This will make it easier to find them when you want to share them or use them to create a photo book or gift.
Edit Your Photos
This depends, again, on which app you are using, but you can crop, fix the color, and otherwise enhance your photos in small scraps of time.
Organize Your Photos
Put them into albums, add keywords/tags, and more, depending on your app.
Celebrate and Share Your Photos
Share favorites through email, text or social media. Create quick photo gifts from your phone if you have apps for that.
Rearrange and Eliminate Time Confetti
For larger tasks in the project, such as sorting and organizing printed photos, scanning, and more, you need bigger blocks of time. You may not feel you have any right now. There are things you can do to create some of those needed blocks out of your time confetti. Essentially, you rearrange some of the time confetti, and eliminate some of it as well.
Manage Your Tech
Managing technology effectively can help you save time and increase productivity. Here are a couple tips to help you do so:
- Minimize distractions by turning off notifications for non-critical apps, such as email, Facebook and other social media. Also messaging apps, such as Messenger, WhatsApp and more. I only leave my text message notifications on because I communicate with my family that way a lot.
- Set specific times of day when you will check email and social media. For example, I have 4 times a day when I check both email and Facebook. During those times I deal with anything that needs to be dealt with. Then I close them and don’t open them until it’s time to check again.
By following these tips, you can better manage technology and gain more time for the things that matter most to you. These are ways to rearrange time confetti.
Set Time for Project Work
In order to eliminate some of your time confetti, set work hours for yourself for your projects. Make sure to give yourself enough time to really make some progress. It doesn’t matter if it’s 1 hour every day or 4 hours twice a month. What matters is that you see it as a commitment to yourself and your goals. I discuss this in my article about how to finally get started on your photo organization. Stay away from email and social media and maybe even your phone during your work sessions.
If you find it hard to create and keep a commitment to your work sessions, I invite you to join my virtual co-working sessions. I hold these each month. Honoring a commitment to someone else is often easier, and the camaraderie makes it more enjoyable.
It’s Possible For You to Create an Organized Photo Memory Collection
Time confetti–something you may never have heard of–may be stopping you from organizing your family photos. By learning to identify it, use it, rearrange it, and even eliminate some of it, you can get your photos organized so you can enjoy your memories again and leave a meaningful collection for future generations.
And if you’re really having trouble finding the time to even get started, check out The Family Photo Keeper’s Planning Power Pack. It delves into goal-setting strategy, mindset, and the essential decisions you need to make before you can create the organized collection of your dreams.
Join the free Family Photo Keeper Community to get more tips and techniques for managing your family photos. I’ll send you my free “Getting Started Checklist” as a welcome gift.
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