Most non-photographers think newborn photographers lead a wonderfully whimsical life, dreaming up new sets, purchasing beautifully co-ordinating wraps, props and rompers and of course spending lots of time cuddling and photographing sleepy new babies. Naturally we do spend some time doing all of these things, but it’s a tiny part of our working week!
Most newborn photographers have to dedicate time to marketing, book-keeping, business development, editing (lots and lots of editing), product ordering and delivery, training and self development, finding new clients, networking, website management, social media and all on top of running a home and family commitments. It would also be nice to squeeze in some free time for the things we really enjoy! It’s fair to say that when you work for yourself, it can be very difficult to ‘switch off’ and relax. This is especially true now that social media makes business a 24/7 occupation.We’ve gathered together the top 3 ways you can be more effective with your time.
- PLAN. If you coast through the days, weeks and months with no real plan or goal in sight, you will be likely to get far less done than those who plan. We all have the same 24 hours in the day, it’s how you use them that defines your success. The best way, without any shadow of doubt, to be more effective with your time, is to plan. Even a simple to do list can help you focus and get tasks finished. We prefer pen and paper lists here but there are lots of electronic methods too – we’ve tried ToDO which is brilliant but there are literally hundreds of list apps to choose from. Get into the habit of writing your daily plan along with your to do list and you’ll find yourself immediately more effective!
- DELEGATE. You don’t need to have employees to be able to delegate tasks. Make full use of technology like autoresponders (even facebook messaging has this facility for business pages) or consider a virtual assistant for admin tasks. BANPAS has a brilliant offer available to members for call answering through Call Agents UK so you never have to miss a telephone call or let the machine pick it up. Also make sure you share the household tasks out – even small people can do basic tasks like sorting laundry and clearing the dinner table.
- MOTIVATE. Motivating yourself to finish the tasks you dislike can be half the battle with time management. You might find the tasks you don’t enjoy being dragged out and taking you far longer than they should. Perhaps they never actually make it off the To Do list. One way to ‘cure’ this is to attack the tasks you don’t like, first of all. Make them your first tasks of the day. Brian Tracy covers this topic in some detail in his book Eat That Frog which is an excellent read for procrastinators! You can also set yourself time goals to stay motivated. You might set a timer on your phone to give yourself 20 minutes to work fully on the task in hand without interruption. Follow this with a 5 minute break where you can walk away from the task before setting another 20 minutes to work. Maybe the best motivation of all is to keep a mood board somewhere you can always see it while you work, with images collected from magazines or the internet, of all the things you like to do in your spare time. Having a constant reminder of the reason you work so hard is a brilliant way to push you to finish tasks.
We’d love to hear how this works for you and welcome you to share your own time management tips with us – please comment below.If you’d like more business support you can subscribe to our Business Club HERE as well as join our free Facebook Group