It’s easy to get distracted as a photographer, especially if you’re also juggling a job or a family. I have two photography related jobs that require me to work from home. Throwing kids into the mix makes it interesting. I have to maximize every single minute of my day, or else I start treading water.
These are a few tricks that I use on a daily basis to keep me focused, motivated and productive.
Read more: 5 Time-Saving Tips for Photographers
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No.01Shoot With Intent
I’ve dived into this previously, but I’m a firm believer in shooting less. When you shoot with intent, you’re left with images you love and a whole lot less to edit. The end result is being able to edit more shoots in the same amount of time it would’ve taken you to cull and edit just one.
Read more: 5 Reasons You Should Stop Overshooting
No.02Clear the Digital Clutter
Digital distractions are easily the number one cause of decreased productivity for anyone. If you find yourself getting pulled into social media when you should be editing, block those pages on your computer and put your phone away.
My favorite app for Chrome is “News Feed Eradicator” for Facebook. As tempted as I may be to aimlessly scroll through my feed, it’s not there.
No.03Learn Keyboard Shortcuts
If I really need to get something done that I dread doing, I set a timer for work and then another timer for a break. I use my Echo and my phone to set timers and alarms for me throughout the day.
For example, if I have to cull a large wedding, I’ll set a 45 minute timer for me to cull at least 400 images. I then set another timer for a 15 minute break and then repeat.
I think most folks do well under a little bit of pressure and timers are a great way to fuel a bit of motivation.
Every photographer should have several backup methods. The key is to have shortcuts.
For example, when I import images to Lightroom from my cards, I import files to the main destination file and I also make a second folder on another drive.
When I export jpegs, I always export twice. Once to my main external picture drive and once to a Dropbox folder on my hard drive. From there, another cloud service automatically backs up my Dropbox folder labeled “pictures” and another external hard drive mirrors my computer’s hard drive.
When things automatically back up on their own in the background, it saves you hours each month of manually backing up files to multiple locations.
This may sound random, but audio books are the best when you have to do marathon editing. A really great book can suck you in for hours.
My job is to edit, so I’m often at my desk for eight hours at a time. I’ve found that music can keep me focused for about an hour, but a book is where it’s at.
If you love to read and just don’t have the time, audio books are the next best thing. Worth every penny in the amount of focus is gives me.
I have a digital calendar and a paper planner that I have with me at all times. Both are color coded and keep my life in check. Deadlines, what files to edit, kid activities, and such.
However, the most important thing I add to my schedule is family time. Trips away, dinner out during a busy work week, and a weekend with absolutely ZERO plans are my favorite ways to “reset”.
It’s easy to get swept up in being busy, but I always find that my productivity takes a nose dive if I don’t have something to look forward to. It’s amazing how much faster you work when you know that fun awaits you at the end of the day or week.