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Photography Business: Setting up a Weekly Schedule
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Photography Business: Setting up a Weekly Schedule

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:

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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.

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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!

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Wednesday: Website!

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!

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Thursday: Learning!

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!

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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.

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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!

26 Comments
  • March 20, 2015 at 11:02 AM

    Thank you for sharing your tips and love your approach! Even for those of us who don’t own a business, this is really helpful! I had to laugh at your distractions – when I went back to school full time and had a paper to write, the house usually ended up and was cleaned first! lol

    I’m at home for the first time in years (and a new empty nester) and find I can waste the day away reading photography blogs, reviews on gear, or processing images I’ve “meant to get to” for months.

    Love your ideas and also the images you included. Thanks so much!
    tina

    • March 20, 2015 at 3:58 PM

      thank you so much for the kind comments, tina! and i am definitely the same way! i have to have a clean house in order to be productive or it can be so distracting for me! ha ha!

  • March 20, 2015 at 11:18 AM

    Having a schedule is great. I work on a rota system at work so my days/hours change every week, which makes keeping a schedule impossible.
    Rubi | The Den | http://www.the-den.blogspot.com

    • March 20, 2015 at 4:01 PM

      hello rubi! yes, it sounds like your schedule is always changing! maybe you could schedule in little times for you and your photography, here and there! i totally understand how it can be a challenge!

  • Brennan
    March 20, 2015 at 11:26 AM

    On point as usual!!! You are so inspiring!

    • March 20, 2015 at 4:02 PM

      thanks so much, brennan! you inspire me so much, as well! <3

  • Natalie
    March 20, 2015 at 1:05 PM

    This is very helpful for me! I am at home with a toddler and trying to focus more on my photography and make it a side job. I definitely need to set goals and have some sort of direction on what I need to accomplish (or at least try to!) on a daily and weekly basis. Thanks for the tips!

    • March 20, 2015 at 4:03 PM

      you are very welcome! yes, start with making a list of your goals! you will be amazed at how much it helps to actually see it written down! have fun! and don’t forget to make some time for you too! ;)

  • March 20, 2015 at 1:19 PM

    Great post! I’ve been thinking about how to devote more time to networking/blogging/website upkeep and these are great ideas! Do you do this before your editing/shooting/client work each day?

    • March 20, 2015 at 4:08 PM

      hello maisi! this is a great question! when i have client work on my list, it definitely takes priority over this schedule. i am not saying that i don’t get to everything that week, but i definitely focus on client work as a priority so i can get their images delivered and hanging on their walls asap! for example, on mondays when i want to be social, i just do it later in the day so i can focus on editing first thing in the morning! sometimes i definitely need to shift some things around to work with session scheduling! but i try my best to make sure that i still focus on all my goals!

  • March 20, 2015 at 10:11 PM

    Love this post Beth. I am someone who is also at home and like a bit of schedule/routine, I find it keeps me motivated although I do struggle to stick to it, do you have any tips on how you stick to your schedule? Again thank you for your inspiration now time for me to write a schedule :)

    • March 21, 2015 at 8:33 AM

      hello catherine! yes, schedule and routine is so very helpful! to be honest, my motivation starts the second i write it down on my calendar. i am one of those people that really enjoys crossing things off my list, so if i write it down as a task in my planner, i am anxious to complete it and satisfyingly crossing it off! i know this sounds silly, but i really love dwindling down a list. which is also why i like to create my weekly tasks the friday before so i can just jump right into my week on monday and not waste any time. i know this sounds funny, but all getting ready for the day and dressing up like i am going to an actual job is also huge! i feel refreshed and ready to go, not to mention confident! i hope this helps! working from home can be such a struggle, but routine is a huge help! <3

  • March 21, 2015 at 12:50 PM

    Great advice! I’m a stay at home mom and hobbyist photographer. These tips will definitely help me to be more productive in the coming weeks!

  • March 21, 2015 at 1:27 PM

    I absolutely love these tips! Seriously, they are so simple but I never even thought to organize days this way. I’m definitely going to come up with my own list and devote a day to it as well. The one thing you didn’t mention is editing! This is the hugest thing that consumes my time right now, and it is such a tough balance. I’ve got three young children (including one toddler who is home all day with me) and finding the time to edit sessions is a big problem for me. I’d love to hear how you balance this aspect of your business.
    thanks!!

    • March 21, 2015 at 3:43 PM

      hello laura! great question! first of all, i don’t have any little ones yet. :) but as for editing, i make client editing a priority over everything else. not saying that i don’t squeeze all of my other goals in, but if i have a session that needs to get edited and delivered, it goes to the very top of my list so my clients have their images as soon as possible! this sometimes means starting my day with editing, and putting off blogging or social media until the end of the day. so i still do my best to get to all of my goals every week, but i just be sure to make editing my highest priority!

  • March 23, 2015 at 2:05 PM

    Thank you so much for this wonderful and extremely helpful article!!! I LOVE it.

    • March 24, 2015 at 10:21 AM

      you are very welcome, patty! glad you enjoyed it!

  • Nikki
    March 27, 2015 at 12:14 AM

    Thank you so much for this post Beth! It’s perfect for me right now. I have been trying to set up a photography business from home for so long now and everything else seems to take priority because I am at home. Your advice will certainly put me on the right track to finally setting aside the time needed to make this dream come true.

    • Beth Deschamp
      March 28, 2015 at 9:28 PM

      yay, nikki! i am so happy to hear that this inspired you! i know what you mean when it feels like everything else comes first, but this really really helped me to schedule out the important things i need to focus on weekly for my business to thrive! have fun creating a schedule that works for you! you will do amazing!

  • Jeniece
    April 3, 2015 at 3:45 PM

    I’m an organizational freak – but extremely easily distracted. So awesome to see how someone else has done it – what is successful for them. I hope within the next 12 months to start my photography business – full-fledge. This is definitely an article I intend to refer back to. thank you!

    • Beth Deschamp
      April 4, 2015 at 8:59 PM

      thanks so much, Jeniece! i am so happy that this was helpful for you, especially as you are going into business! it will be very nice for you to set up a schedule that works best for you from the very beginning too! best of luck!

  • Chloe
    November 26, 2015 at 12:45 AM

    Do you out source your editing as you made no mention of it in your weekly schedule :)

    • Beth Deschamp
      November 26, 2015 at 5:36 PM

      Great question, Chloe! I do all of my own editing, I actually really enjoy editing because I feel like I can put even more style and brand into my photography during post-processing. This weekly schedule is in addition to the editing that I do. These daily tasks usually take me about 1 hour to 90 minutes, and the rest of my day is spent editing. :)

  • Casilin
    August 11, 2016 at 10:30 PM

    Your plan is really a good idea! Usually what I learned is the daily plan from morning to night, not separating different tasks to different days in a week. One task one day, sounds easier to accomplish. I still go to work every working day, so there is not so much time left everyday, And after the whole busy working day, it is hard for me to continue any other thing. As a result, I’m easy to give up on my plan. I think your suggestion worth trying.

    • Bethany Deschamp
      August 18, 2016 at 9:44 AM

      I hope this helps, Casilin!

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