If you read our article yesterday, you’ll know that we have been discussing the giant fun-pit that is busy season. It’s a bit like a toddler ball pool, all of the balls are your shoots that seem so pretty and shiny and you can’t wait for them and then WOAH! you’re in way over your head and you’re drowning in them. Hello photography business overload.
Editing and admin and just generally running a business takes completely over, and as for actually getting your work out there and published? That seems like a hazy, pleasant dream you once had. Perhaps you’ll get back to it after busy season is over, maybe…
We’ve come up with 6 top tips to help you manage your photography business overload. These tips work for us and they will work for you too. Don’t forget to join us over on Instagram when you’ve finished reading to share your top tips for work overload!
4. Turn Off Distractions
You know what happens! Facebook calls at lunchtime. Or your whatsap pings you a notification. Most of the time, these are pleasant distractions, but during peak work times they turn into demonic time sucks. Social media is just too easy to use as a work-avoidance tactic.
‘I’m working! I’m working! I’m tweeting! That is essential work that needs to be done’! You don’t need to convince me. I’m (usually) right there on Twitter with you. But you know, if you want to be working at your most productive, put the phone down. In fact, turn it all notifications off apart from calls, and stick it in a drawer so you aren’t tempted to take ‘just one quick check’ and before you know it an hour has flown by. An entire hour that you could have used way more productively.
Don’t log in when you’re online, keep browser windows to an absolute minimum, and turn off notifications. Your sanity will thank you for it.
BOOM I love the cluster-bomb way of working! It makes me feel like Superwoman and cuts down my to-do list like nobody’s business. It’s simple to do, as long as you are disciplined and can do step one, above. Cluster-bomb working is choosing one target area of your business that you know needs work, and focussing on just that one area, in one short, powerful space of time.
For example, you know you want to blog four times per week. However writing a post a day especially during busy periods can often seem impossible. You only have time for so much work in a day, right? So this is why cluster-bomb working is perfect. You choose one day, one time slot, and you concentrate on just this one task. You sit down and you write your four blog posts. You do nothing else but these four blog posts. No email, no facebook, nothing else but the task at hand.
By the end of the day you will feel such a sense of achievement and a real weight off your mind when such big tasks are complete. That feeling of accomplishment is a real boost to your psychological well-being, and is also a huge dent in your workload. For those reasons alone, we highly recommend cluster-bombing during your busy periods.
6. Futures Folder
A Futures Folder is one you create for those shoots and assignments that you are working on that you plan on submitting in the future (or perhaps when you are cluster-bombing).
We use Evernote to create ours, and in it we put anything and everything that might be useful to our business in the future. It works by preventing us getting distracted by future tasks whilst we concentrate on the present ones, so it keeps us on-track, whilst at the same time paving the way for future ideas and submissions to come to fruition.
We use Evernote because the phone app is quite frankly, fabulous. Whilst browsing Pinterest and the internet in general, we are constantly coming across shoot ideas, props, gear, and a whole host of other things that we want to bookmark for future reference. Evernote enables you to add web links and images to a specific folder. Plus, you can photograph anything and add those images to a folder too.
Editing a wedding you want to submit when you have the time at the end of the season? Snap your desktop on your phone, add it to the folder. Seen a gorgeous outfit on Pinterest for client meetings that you definitely want to add to your fall wardrobe? Add the link and the image to your folder. Know your business cards need a redesign come Autumn and you just got handed one that you absolutely love the font? Shoot, upload to folder.
Got the late-night creativity vibe and blog posts ideas are flowing? Jot them all down in your Futures Folder.
Search for the Evernote app, spend a little time getting to know it, and we don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
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So that’s our roundup of 6 top ways to overcome work overload! Have they helped you? We would love to know. Join our discussion over on Facebook.