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I love Pinterest; I can get lost there. All sorts of amazing tips, craft projects, new hobbies to explore, recipes to try, photography tips to use, and blogging plans to follow.

Pinterest & Simplifying: A researchers delight or comparison trap? |

After a while, however, it can be a discouraging place to visit and an excuse to collect a vast amount of dreams and ideas that will probably never be pursued. While researching and learning about simplifying your life, it’s easy to let your pins and boards become a gigantic, insurmountable to do list.

It can also become a place where you feel you are not doing enough, the right things, and a comparison trap of I’ll never be like that blogger, cook, or artist.

My boards have become my treasure trove of brilliant, creative ideas, but as I go through them looking for a new project, I start to wonder how in the world am I going to tackle them all? Especially knowing that tomorrow I will probably find more to add to the list … and the day after that and the day after that.

Don’t Let Pinterest Discourage You

The bad thing about Pinterest is that it is easy start feeling guilty when I can’t get it all done. There is so much to try and do, I want to do it all right now and do it really well. Good grief, how unrealistic is that? Not only is that not moving me towards my desire for simplicity and improved quality of life, that level of expectation is not fair.

We already have a vast array of roles we must function in:

  • Mommy
  • Wife
  • Caregiver
  • Entrepreneur
  • Marketer
  • Crafter
  • Homemaker
  • Taxi Driver
  • Chef
  • Financier

So we shouldn’t let ourselves feel bad when we can’t seem to squeeze a few more roles into our already busy lives.

Pick Your Projects Carefully

Naturally we are all curious, want to try something new, and create something awesome. That is the fun part of Pinterest right? But to get the most out of it, without the added overwhelm, you need to learn to pick your projects with care and make sure they align with your current goals and priorities.

Here are a couple of questions to ask when you are feeling overwhelmed with all the ideas and options:

1) Based on my current needs, what one thing from my boards can I try in the next week?

Start small, make it manageable and not overwhelming to start with. You can always build on this first step. Most of us are looking to simplify and not add more to our plate. But even the process of simplifying can feel overwhelming when we don’t break it down into small steps.

2) What can you let go of right now?

There are so many great ideas and creative solutions that I would love to explore and try, but I also know that right now, it’s not going to happen. So there are times I have to force myself to let a pin go by, or go through and delete some boards. Letting go can be freeing and take pressure off the “I need to do this now” feeling.

Remember to Have Fun on Pinterest

Be Nice to Yourself

Pinterest is meant to be fun, distracting, idea collecting, and inspirational. So be aware and be ready to step back from the comparison trap. Your strengths, priorities, needs, and experiences are different from the other bloggers, artists, and cooks you read about. It’s okay that you can’t do it all! I bet that there are things you do that they wish they could, give yourself some credit.

Remember, It’s a Journey

Simplifying is about adding quality and intentionality to your life. Cramming in 10 new projects to try in the next month does not bring quality and enjoyment. Most likely it will only bring craziness and discouragement when you can’t get it all done.

Simplifying is a series of small intentional decisions and not one big giant one. With each new step we take or skill we learn our journey becomes something to share and motivates us to continue down the path.

Enjoy Yourself

Pinterest is supposed to be fun, let it be. Browsing through different boards is inspiring. Quotes that make you think, beautiful photography, inspiring creativity, and great resources for your next project. These can be small moments of beauty or an opportunity to find the solution you have been looking for. It is also a place to find kindred spirits with the same interests as you.

Celebrate Your Successes, and Failures

When you learn a new skill – like planning your menu for the next 2 weeks, share it! When you follow through with that plan, share what you have learned and pat yourself on the back.

When the recipe you tried or tip you followed ends up saving money take the time to appreciate it and thank the one you got the idea from. When you finally make that first gift (instead of buying it) enjoy that moment, celebrate it, and please don’t hide it!

When the recipe that looked so good, fails miserably, laugh about it and realize something important – you tried it! You didn’t let it sit on the shelf of “Someday” you stepped out and did it, congratulations! And feel free to share it, we will probably laugh with you and share our own “Pinterest Fails” stories.

Pinterest is a wonderland of ideas and inspiration, do you ever get lost in the possibilities or overwhelmed by the possibilities?