I recently wrote a blog post all about how I schedule my work weeks, as part of my education for photographers series. You can view that post right here if you’d like to read it. But I thought I would go and even a little bit more detail about how I structure my workdays. I have two work days a week, and I’m gonna tell you a little more about those days:
1- I guard my time. I don’t do things other than work. In the past I’ve been pretty lenient with these days and instead use some of the time to do things that were easier to do without children in tow. At some point I realized that I need all this time to work, so that’s what I do during these days. I don’t go to appointments, I don’t run errands, I just purely work. (and sometimes take a little bit of time for myself at the end of the day)
2- I make a schedule and stick to it. Usually the night before, or the morning of my workday, I write down a list of what needs to be done. I often write down my top three things. And then I write a schedule based on that list. I factor how much time I’m gonna spend editing, blogging, answering emails, etc. This helps make sure you use your time wisely. And that you get everything that needs to be done.
3- When making the schedule I’ll make sure that the most important things get done first. The things that take the most creative energy from me, I do in the morning. Because I know my mind will be a little bit more spent in the afternoon. So that’s when I can do a little more mindless tasks, like answering emails or preparing photos for blog posts.
3- I really love using the Pomodoro technique. If you’ve never heard of it, you can Google it, or I’ll give you a quick rundown right here. The Pomodoro technique is a time management strategy where you set a timer and work without distraction for 20 minutes and then you take a quick break (5 mins or so). You repeat that multiple times before you take a longer break. This is a great method if you’re having a hard time getting motivated. It’s really easy just to set a timer and get 20 minutes of focused work done. And often after that initial set of work i’m ready to keep working on it.
4- This one ties to my third, can I make sure to factor in breaks. I take a lunch break, I take breaks after tasks are done. Make sure those brakes aren’t too lengthy. Usually the 5 to 10 minutes except for a lunch break which is a bit longer, around 30 minutes to an hour.
5- This is a quick little bonus tip. And it’s a little bit more specific. In the past I’ve had set tasks for certain days. For example: on Tuesdays generally I do most of the editing I need to get done. And then on Thursdays I do a lot more marketing work. I don’t necessarily hold myself too hard to the schedule, but it is helpful for me to know on Tuesdays that I’m editing and on Thursdays that I am doing other things for my business.
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Rachel Howden Photography is a photography mentor in the San Francisco Bay Area who specializes in family, newborn, baby, motherhood, and maternity photography in the Bay Area. Including Livermore, Oakland, Walnut Creek, San Francisco, San Mateo, Palo Alto, San Jose, Fremont, and Pleasanton. Mentorships are not limited to being in person and can be done virtually as well. This post focuses on Rachel as an educator for other photographers. Rachel loves helping other photographers learn film photography, balancing motherhood and business, and finding your why and purpose in your business. She helps photographers build rhythms and techniques to have a successful business filled with contentment and joy (and profit, of course). She also enjoys helping provide education for photographers.
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