Earlier in the blogs, we explored building your business and how time is your friend or can become your enemy if you allow it. Well, best not to allow it and make it work for you instead. Creative pursuits like photography do not like to be time-constricted. Business operation, marketing and administration are elements that can be allotted and reasonably postponed if push comes to shove. Wedding photographers, in particular, have to stick to a schedule. So learning to love time is a skill worth learning for any business.
If you are a photographer servicing events and weddings, chances are that you have resigned yourself to losing your free time at weekends. And possibly some weekday evenings on a regular basis. Normal business hours, therefore, are unlikely to present the best the optimum timings for running your business. Unfortunately, the rest of the world does not work that way. So at least some of your schedule needs to operate in normal hours. You do, however, have to make it work for you and your energy levels.
HOW TO MAKE TIME YOUR FRIEND
- Chasing your tail. With the business being yours it is tempting to work as many hours as is humanly possible. As if the business will experience a giant leap forward if you magically complete your never-ending to-do list. This will not happen! Working sustainably, efficiently will see far more tangible results.
- Shorten and space out your goals. Efficient working means breaking up all those big objectives into smaller, digestible chunks. Make the big goals a series of smaller, shorter goals that can be done in a morning for example. Several mornings or afternoons of smaller goals, like meeting service providers or setting sales targets, will build up into a semblance of a routine which become regular calendar slots.
- Be sensible. If you have worked all weekend and you need to edit your photos to deliver to a client on Monday or Tuesday, then make some time for a breather on Monday morning. Go for a walk or a run, or make time to sit down and have a coffee in peace. Do anything but focus on work and re-charge your batteries. You are no good to anyone tired and lacking in creativity. Sometimes there is no respite for this kind of thing but at some point you have to make time for yourself and get the juices flowing again. Extremely important and if you are working on your own. No one else is going to tell you to do it except yourself.
- Populate a calendar. And stick to it, as far as is possible, but also be flexible enough to change it and make it work as circumstances change.
- Review your schedule. Much like your business strategy, you must visit your schedule regularly and make sure you are not getting stuck in too many ruts. Keep things fresh. Swap things around. Try to keep your brain alive and kicking.