The Daily Grace
The Daily Grace

2) Ten minutes at a time.

Jan 8, 2012 | ideas & inspiration | 2 comments

I am a photographing addict.

It’s true. It’s gotten so bad that my 19-year-old daughter, who does not spend a single moment of her life (waking or sleeping) without her phone in her hand, regularly says to me: I’m afraid you are not experiencing life, you are so busy photographing it.

(I hope you parents of teenagers find this remark as remarkable as I do.)

Nevertheless, I have 29,911 photos in iPhoto at this moment, and by the end of the day, I will likely hit 30,000.

The problem? I can never find the photo I am looking for because my filing system is such a mess. I have therefore vowed to get things in order—partly to eliminate one more bit of chaos in my life, but also to assess my over-zealous photo habit. Is it warranted?

This is an overwhelming task, as so many are, because there are really two challenges to be tackled. One is the issue of the existing 29k. And then there are the incoming photos that pile and pile and pile. So I devised a plan.


  1. Set up a proper folder filing system.
  2. Commit to properly filing every time I download photos from my Canon or iPhone. This means I will not hit the download button unless I have the time to AT A MINIMUM properly split and name the EVENTS, then to file them properly in folders.
  3. By the end of the month, I will go through all the new photos (if I haven’t done it already) and edit them.
  1. Bite it off in 10 minute chunks. Just start. Let 10 focused minutes at a time be enough.

May I report that my system is working? As someone who cannot complete any task because I get sidetracked (putting away laundry leads to cleaning out the underwear drawer leads to reorganizing all the drawers leads to the establishment of a sock box leads to …well, you get the picture), this is cause for rejoicing.

Ten minutes at a time.

Just today I came upon this image buried deep in a random August photo dump. I know where I was when I took the shot—in the backseat of my brother-in-law’s car as he drove us to the Sarasota airport—but I don’t remember ever seeing this particular picture when I downloaded the disk.

the face in the clouds

That shot alone makes the effort worth it, I think.

Ten minutes at a time. Ten minutes.


  1. Minnesota Transplant

    I completely appreciate this approach! This is how I convince myself to clean up the kitchen (just 10 minutes), start a run (just 10 minutes) and file paperwork (just 10 minutes). Sometimes I go longer, but if I do just the 10 minutes, I can get an amazing amount of stuff accomplished. Plus, I love the photo you found. Score!

    • Cathy

      Isn’t it crazy how powerful 10 minutes (at a time) can be? (And thanks for the comment!)

Cathy Rigg Headshot

Hi. I’m Cathy.

This is a blog about writing, creative living, and grace in the everyday. It’s my hope this little spot on the internet will be for you a place of quiet and reflection, a source for inspiration, and a reminder there’s beauty all around—we simply need to keep our hearts open to see it. Thank you for being here with me.

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