Work Smarter – Save time in your workweek
It’s a wise old saying: Work smarter, not harder. But in a day and age where multi-tasking has become the norm, running a business, a home, and a family all at once can be stressful. Here are some helpful hints to save you time in your workweek!
Four Day Workweek
It’s used in businesses and schools around the world (heck, some of us here at the ShootProof office follow this schedule!): the Four Day Workweek. The concept is to work longer hours on four days and then take the fifth day off.
An article by Inc.com explains that when you’re well-rested and happy, you’re more productive, thereby making your four days of work more effective. Plus, a good work-life balance is crucial, and the four day workweek certainly helps with that!
Set Strict Work Hours / Family Time
One of the biggest advantages to owning your own business is setting your own hours: in theory, it allows for more flexible scheduling, but in reality, it often means working at times you SHOULD be focusing on other things, like home, family, or even another job.
Photographers often work crazy hours: they’re up late in the evening editing, sending emails, and working on their websites. However, it’s important to set your schedule and stick to it. It will give you the opportunity to fit in hobbies and family time, as well as meet your strict deadlines without feeling overwhelmed.
Use a Task Manager
Have a To Do list as long as a roll of toilet paper? Get some help from technology! There are plenty of task managers out there to help you organize the things you have to get done on a daily (or weekly) basis. Some of the most popular (and FREE) ones are Evernote and Trello. Make lists, track tasks, collaborate with others, and reach all of it on all of your devices.
Set an Email Check Time
Admit it. You’re drawn to Facebook every time you sit down at the computer. And who can resist the little ping that announces a new email in your inbox?
You can’t be productive if your attention is drawn in several different ways each time you get set to work, so try an app like Freedom, which blocks distractions by stopping you from accessing other websites on your computer, tablet, or phone. Set a specific time where web-surfing and email-checking is allowed, and the rest of the time, stay focused!
Some of the best time-management gurus out there say that planning ahead can save hours in your day. Plan your meals for the week on Sunday, and go grocery shopping with a strict list. (Have kids? Plan out their lunches, too.) Choose your outfit the night before. Review the next day’s meetings and appointments ahead of time, and pack your bag for photo shoots a few days in advance, to give yourself time to remember something you may have forgotten.
If you don’t already know about this gem, use the Golden Hour website (they even have an app for your phone) to schedule sessions for the best possible outdoor lighting!
It’s pretty simple: if you can do it in less than two minutes, take care of it now. The huge pile of dishes may need to wait for later, but putting your shoes away in the closet or cleaning up the small stack of mail on the counter might be things you tackle right away. This way, you de-clutter as you go, which makes you feel less stressed (and gives you less to do) later.
Always spend five minutes finding the name of that wedding planner when brides ask for a recommendation? Have to search through emails to find the woman whose sunflower field you asked to use for a senior photo shoot? Organize your contacts (we know several photographers who swear by the Humin app). Plus, you can then follow-up in your ShootProof account by tracking those same contacts, linking them to specific galleries, or just tagging them so that you know how (and why) you know them.
Last but not least, recognize when a task is taking over your life. Shooting a ton of weddings each month? Look into outsourcing your editing at a place like ShootDotEdit (especially since they can then upload those photos directly into your ShootProof account, saving you even MORE time). The LawTog website has a great article by that breaks down how a little outsourcing can really save you time (and money) in the long run.
Comment below: What’s one thing on this list that you plan to implement to help you move toward a more productive workweek?