At the beginning of the year, I had a goal of making my workweek more productive. I wanted a plan of how to break up my week so that I could accomplish more and be a more productive photographer. Having the ability to work from home is one of my favorite things about owning a photography business, but working from home also comes with it’s fair share of distractions. Besides focusing on my business, I found myself getting caught up in the day to day stress of simply running a household.
When I should have been working, I found myself quickly distracted with everyday household chores like unloading and reloading the dishwasher, beckoning to the buzzing sound of the dryer, running the vacuum, reorganizing kitchen drawers, groceries, veterinarian appointments…you get my drift. I found myself struggling to find a balance between home and work, because they seemed to be the same thing. More than ever, I needed a plan to separate work from home, even though they were the same address. Especially because they were at the same address.
In order to get an idea of how I wanted to structure my new weekly schedule, I sat down and made a list of the things I needed to do to keep my business thriving. My list included things like, networking, learning more about photography, practicing my skill, maintaining my website, maintaining my social media presence and dedicating more focus to my blog. After knowing what things I needed to do to keep my business organized and successful, I designed my new weekly schedule, with a specific focus every single day that addresses a certain aspect of my business. After designing my schedule I made a goal of focusing on each daily task for a minimum of one hour every morning.
It is important to note that the first thing I do before I start my day is I pinpoint my potential distractions. Distractions for me are Facebook, Pinterest, television, email, and my iPhone in general. After I pinpoint my distractions, I eliminate them for one whole hour. Yes, this means that I have to put my iPhone on the other side of the room sometimes, but if it works, it works! Right!? For one whole hour, I sit down daily and focus on one aspect of my business. Here is a typical breakdown of my week:
* This post contains affiliate links. Thank you in advance for supporting Click it Up a Notch.
Monday: Be social!
On the first day of the week, I make time to browse through photography forums like Clickin Moms and network with other photographers. I also focus on being social on my social media platforms by taking the time to answer questions that I receive via Facebook and Instagram. I use this day to take the time to thank people for their kind comments on my photos or posts, if I haven’t already.
Tuesday: Blog it up!
Whether it is sitting down to write a post or taking photos to accompany my blog posts, Tuesdays I place a focus on my blog. My goal this year is to publish at least one blog post every week, and dedicating a day to focus on my blog has been a game changer for me when it comes to productivity. I also take this time to make sure I have addressed any comments that were left on my blog and outline ideas for future blog posts. It’s always a great idea to keep a running list of topics, and to take the time to create short term and long term goals for your blog!
More specifically, I dedicate this day to my professional photography website. Whether it is updating pricing, rewording session descriptions, or keeping my portfolio up to date, there is always a little maintenance to be done on my professional photography website. I love dedicating one day a week to my website because it ensures me that it is being kept current on a weekly basis. Plus, taking the time to maintain it a little every week is so much easier and manageable for me than having to do a complete website update every few months. It makes me feel better to know that, at any time, a client can click onto my website to see my latest and greatest work!
Thursday is the day where I dedicate some time to sit down and learn something new! I am that girl who buys a bunch of photography books that end up sitting on the shelf because I can’t find the time to enjoy them. On Thursdays, I make the time to wipe the dust off those photography books or sit down and read a blog post that I have bookmarked. I love making time to learn because I always end up getting a dose of inspiration. And inspiration is so refreshing!
Friday: Tackle a dreaded task!
There is always that one task on my to do list that I avoid. The task that I always skip and have to carry over to the following week because I just don’t want to do it. On Fridays, I tackle that pesky task! I allow this to be a personal or a business task because…pesky is pesky! Whether it is filing paperwork, scheduling an appointment, or cleaning out my camera bag, I tackle it! I like tackling dreaded tasks on Friday because it gives me a nice refreshing feeling going into the weekend. Accomplishing a dreaded task on Friday helps me enjoy my weekend without having anything lingering over my head.
At the end of the week, I always plan out my next week. I write out my new list of goals for the following week that fit under the five daily categories: Be Social, Blog it up, Website, Learning, and Dreaded Task in my daybook. I do this on Fridays because it is nice to just jump right into my workweek on Monday morning instead of wasting time planning out what I need to get accomplished that week.
And that’s my schedule! Let me just say, it has done wonders for my productivity. I make sure that I do this during my first hour of the day because, when I accomplish a task early on in the day, I am more motivated to keep working. So starting off my day with productivity really encourages me to have a focused day. In addition to this, I also keep up on my email on a daily basis and I sneak some camera practice in every day, as I am working on my second 365 photography project.
Yes, some things take more than one hour to accomplish. But I make myself focus on that business aspect for at least one hour, and if I want to do more, I do more! There is so much to be said about the power of 60 minutes. And to be perfectly honest, most days I will look at the clock and realize that I have dedicated way more than an hour and it feels so good! More importantly, my stress of owning a business and running a household, all in the same square footage, is much more manageable because of my new workweek schedule. It’s so nice to know I am giving my business the time it deserves and the dedication it needs to grow!