The [INSERT: busy / silly / summer / fun / wedding / awesome / holiday] season is well and truly on it's way! I often get asked by friends, industry peers and clients how I keep on top of work during this season, how we manage to stay energised and keep up to things like blogging every week. So today I'm sharing 3 things I do in my business to stay organised & productive...
BLOCKING OUT DAYS IN MY CALENDAR AS 'UNAVAILABLE'.
When you’re self-employed and you don’t follow the usual 9 to 5 Monday to Friday structure it can be pretty easy to forget to have a day off or just give yourself days of no distraction to knuckle down and get the editing & office work done. If I allowed myself to book shoots, meetings and appointments for every day of the week it would be easy to fall behind with my workflow. So I try to block out at least one day each week in my calendar as “unavailable” so that I don’t book in anything for that day and I know I have that full day to work on office tasks and with the luxury of being able to do it in yoga pants with messy hair & no makeup! Just this simple trick with my calendar definitely helps me stay organised and on top of my workload during the busy season.
SETTING TIME ASIDE FOR SOCIAL MEDIA.
Rather than having Facebook open on a tab while I’m doing emails, or sitting on my phone uploading images to Instagram when I'm meant to be relaxing on the couch with Matt, I try to have set windows of time that I dedicate to my social media platforms. And once I’m done I close the browser tab or the app instead of keeping it open in the background (sitting there to distract me in a moment of procrastination). Even though social media is a huge part of my business I think it’s crucial not to let it monopolise my time. By setting myself a block of time to update social media I'm making it a task and once I've done what I came to accomplish I shut back out of it. And if you find it really hard to leave Facebook alone, you can even get an app that will lock you out of social media for a set amount of time!
I HAVE A WORKFLOW & I STICK TO IT.
Shooting up to 20 weddings a season means there are a lot of emails, meetings, location scouting, editing and album designing for various wedding couples going on at any one time. So having a system and checklist process helps me know what needs done when for each of our wedding couples and every shoot. I use a CRM software called LightBlue which is specifically designed for photographers and helps me keep track of workflow, plus things like contracts and even enquiries. There’s heaps of different programs out there for photography businesses and other industries too, it’s just a matter of finding one that fits the way you like to work and that does the things you want it to. We also use an app called Trello for simple management of non-client related tasks. Now that Matt is assisting me with more tasks in the business, Trello has become a great way for each of us to be able to see what general tasks need doing. Regardless of whether you have a written list workflow, a spreadsheet (which is what I first used) or you’re using software - the key is to have a system so that nothing gets forgotten, over-looked or overdue.
If you're an entrepreneur and you have a busy season ahead I hope my 3 things might be helpful for you. And I'd love to know what tips & tricks you have for staying organised and on top of your A-game?