You have your goals and you know you want to grow your business, but you’re procrastinating every day and at the end of the week, you have little of your planned actions done.
Sooner or later, you will realize that growing your business starts with setting goals and planning the actions to realize them.
However, if you fail to do the actions that can lead to the accomplishments of your goals, you are working a broken strategy. You might be suffering from hardly any time management.
So brace yourself, here is your time management doctor!
Not long ago my weeks were very similar to what I described above. Luckily, everything can be learned. And when you finish reading this article I am sure you will find that you can do it too!
Yes, we are going to start with being honest on how you spend your time. I want you to keep a record of every minute during your day. Simply create a spreadsheet and write down every thirty minutes what you did. Or use an app for it, I use Tyme for example. Just do it for a few days, minimum 3, and you will get a good idea of how you spend your time.
Find the time leaks
Now that you know how you spend your time, see if you can make it more effective or efficient. For example, you wrote down 7 hours for editing a family shoot with 300 images. Could you do it faster? Is this the normal amount of time you spend on such a task? Where you distracted a lot during that task?
Also look at the time that you didn’t spend on anything productive. Maybe you were on Facebook or Instagram or you were spending 2 hours with your emails. Ask yourself, were you procrastinating for some other task you had to do? Maybe you didn’t know exactly how to do the other task? Maybe you were distracting yourself with social media instead of figuring it out or chop it up into smaller tasks?
I have found that it can be paralyzing if you write down tasks that are actually big projects, like ‘new website’. In that case, it helps immensely to chunk the project down into smaller tasks. Make a list of all the smaller tasks that together create that full project, like: selecting new portfolio material from your recent photoshoots, creating your brand style guide, creating the page structure, writing texts for the pages, selecting a website theme or creating a brief for a custom design and so forth.
Create workflows for repetitive tasks
When you have certain repetitive tasks that you do every day or every week, create workflows for them. This way you can outsource parts or maybe even whole workflows to an assistant.
Typical recurring tasks for photographers are:
- Creating contracts
- Communication with your clients
- Sharing on Social Media
- Billing and Bookkeeping
- Album creation
- Sales sessions
All of these can be partly or fully outsourced. Especially if you dread doing some tasks this can be something that can get your photography business from stuck in a rut to growing and scaling again.
Having a workflow is also super useful when you are working alone. Knowing exactly at which step of the workflow you left your desk because someone called you is such a peace of mind for your brain. You get back at your desk and you can pick up right where you left off, without having to think about it first (and getting distracted in the process of getting back to work).
If you have never used a workflow before, download the handy workflow chart template below. It can be customized with your own tasks:
Have questions, comments? Drop me a line below!