My advice is that while you are in the wedding season – editing, album delivering – to write down and make a list of what you would change and update in the way your workflow is organized.
And that made me think – what are some other super easy and productive principles that helped me manage the full wedding season and minimize my stress?
Well, what I’ve learned over several wedding seasons through managing multiple concepts is the fact that productivity is more about organization and mindset than anything else.
Yes, there are plenty of shortcuts and workflows and outsourcing methods that will help you save time and take more pictures … and I’m totally pro to them!
But honestly, when you are counter-clock and you have to deliver three weddings and two photo sessions by the end of the month, now is not the time to try a shortcut. These are noted now, but they are applied and tested off-season.
Right now (in the wedding season) it’s about the correct ORGANIZATION.
I’m more productive and I can concentrate more when I’m with my thoughts in order if I have only a few clear things that I have to go through on a certain day.
So here are the five best productivity habits that helped me minimize the stress of the wedding season so I can enjoy it instead of struggling with it.
Changing Mentality # 1: Implementing daily objectives
I am an A-Type achiever personality, and I realized from the beginning of this year that I would implement daily goals. So I feel more motivated and more willing to make the norm of that day.
What are your daily goals?
It’s not what you think.
My Daily Goals ARE NOT:
- Reading emails and deleting them
- Writing a blog post
- Organizing my task list
- Delivering albums from a wedding.
- These tasks are difficult to complete and require energy, time and discipline. I have to be in the best mental and physical state, dedicated and motivated.
So to start my day with the feeling that I have achieved something important my first daily goals are:
1. Waking up, arranging and organizing the bed (I’ll do it myself though I’m a man)
2. I make my coffee
3. I get freshened up a bit while the coffee boils
4. I have breakfast
5. I sit in the kitchen with breakfast and coffee in total silence to enjoy them as much as possible.
6. I listen to Indie while I dress
7. Do not check emails or Facebook (or anything else related to work) until I get to the office and sit down to it.
If you finish these 7 goals in the morning, you will check 7 things on your list just before you start your own job.
Of course, not all the mornings are perfect. Sometimes I have meetings with my clients in the morning or I stayed until late in the evening. But no matter how your day is, my goal is to check as many of these goals when I start my day.
And the good news is that I can accomplish the first three goals very easily. In most of the cases I will have at least 3 goals, and up to 7 to help me start my day.
What are your daily goals?
Which are the three to five small, achievable goals that give you the motivation to start your workday?
It can be just as simple as cleaning the desk before you start working. Or take the garbage, or take the dog out for 5 minutes or take the children to school.
This change of mentality helped me to understand that it is not necessary to conquer the world to have a successful day.
Changing mentality # 2: Section your time
The second change in mentality that helped me a lot with time management was to section or compartmentalize it.
I schedule myself in the morning to do important activities like writing an article on my blog. Since I implemented this section I can confirm that it is amazing. How else could I start writing for the blog if this section was not dedicated to the program?
So now, my day is broadly divided as follows:
8:30-13:00: Important thing
My mornings are reserved for things that I believe are part of my important work, like creating content (this blog post was written during this time), developing our courses or podcast episodes, and educating myself.
I start my important work by reading other blog posts, listening to podcasts, or getting inspired by authors and educators that I love. I’ve found that I’m much more effective in my content creation if I inspire myself first!
13:00-14:30: The lunch break!
14:30-16:00: Administrative Tasks
In the afternoon I check and respond the emails, and Tave objectives, such as delivering an album or schedule an event, such as a future photo shoot (check weather, location, etc.).
The second half of the afternoon is dedicated to moving forward with the “studio” projects like updating the workflow. I like to reserve this interval of time for appointments with the team or with clients.
18:00: Control and preparations for the next day
I will develop these two final tasks of the day in points 3 and 4 from the Change of Mentality.
So when I create the list TO DO, I categorize my tasks in the three major categories: Important tasks, Administrative tasks or Projects. Also, it helped me to understand how much I can do in one day…and what I can not do.
Think about how you can share your time and what are the three major categories of your day.
Mine may be different because we have our own style of doing things and we do them as a full-time job. For example, you need to create a category for publishing and postproduction and/or a category for social media, blogging, and marketing.
If you think about your tasks, how can you plan to become more compartmentalized will make it much easier every day. This means you can focus on your current task and not distract yourself with another task because you know it will come.
Changing Mentality # 3: Reviewing the day
At the end of each day, there are two major repeating tasks in Asana at 18 o’clock (Asana helps us manage projects and daily work schedules. I like it because it’s free and very good).
One of them is to review all the tasks we have done on that day and celebrate the accomplished goals. They are victories.
At the end of a long day, I like to see what I’ve done. It gives me energy and helps me feel good when I shut down the computer and go out for the evening walk. It’s so simple, but revising what we’ve done has a huge impact on our mental health.
Change mentality # 4: Prepare your list for the next day
The second daily task for 18 o’clock is to prepare my assignments with Asana and organize them for the next day. This second day does not surprise me in the situation of not being able to decide what is important. It was already set the day before. And if unexpected tasks occur I put them in the categories that will follow on that day or I delegate them for the next day. This helps me stay focused on one thing, instead of having to keep everything in mind, or worse, to fiddle between tasks and lose my focus.
Monday morning I plan the content of my entire week to know what to do and when. Plus, we do the production program and the sales targets.
Changing Mentality # 5: Explain WHY
I mentioned this factor on the blog.
While you are in the leadership of a photo studio, you can be attracted to thousands of other parts in terms of opportunities.
You can be drawn in different directions each requiring your energy and TIME, from your clients, collaborators, other photographers and friends.
Get back to your feet asking yourself WHY you do what you do and where you want to go. Which is your gain? What are your CATEGORIES? How do you celebrate your victories based on daily gains and how do you motivate yourself to do this? Think of the actual mentality when it comes to your work and I encourage you to start implementing some of these simple mentality changes that will turn your business into a truly unique one.