Well, I think Fall is here! And came in with vengeance! We’ve been picking up the pieces from Hurricane Michael, thankfully my little home didn’t have any damage and we were only without power for a night, but so many around us were not so lucky at all! We are in the throes of busy season with so many seniors from all over the state, including Ocean Isle Beach Senior Pictures. It’s been so much fun this year as most of them, I’ve known since they were little (as they are my sons age). We are still accepting new clients! and have a few sessions available!
During this very busy time, I get asked all the time “how do you do it all?” Well, the truth is I don’t! There is SO much I don’t do. I often feel very discouraged at the end of a day or week because I feel that I’ve achieved so little. The real picture is that I fall somewhere in the middle. I obviously am able to achieve quite a bit as my business is thriving, but there is so much more that I would do if I could. Productivity is something that I focus a lot of attention and resources to. Because I’m busy and I’m a mom and wife and am involved in school and church activities not to mention community service and sports…I have to make sure that I’m productive!
So while I feel I struggle a bit in this area, I also feel that there are several tips that I do that help me stay on track!
1, Prioritize! I look at my tasks at hand for the day, week and month and I make a list of things that HAVE to be done that day! If they don’t, something bad will happen. Here’s my list for today
Fill out and email Micah’s soccer medical form A
Send invoices B
Research campers C
Place album order A
Call D B
Follow up emails A
Thank you notes for Christmas B
Sneak Peek Levi, Caris, B
So you get the idea, those things marked A’s are things that I have to get done. Thankfully, I did! The “B” will most likely become A’s tomorrow and C’s move up. This just helps me make sure that things that I know HAVE to be done…get done and I don’t waist my time trying to figure out where I’m going to start.
2. Gray Time: This is time that I am doing something else but can easily multi-task. For instance, driving…. I make use of my time in the car…I’m in there all the time, so I use voice dictation to write emails and blog post. I also make sure that I use the car time to return phone calls and write my “lists” Another “Gray time” is waiting for kids or for appointments. I make sure that I always have something to do. Whether it’s read a blog post that I needed to read or send an email or even write “thank yous” I make sure that I don’t waste those few moments.
3. Making the Most of My Productive time: So I know that I’m the best and work the best in the morning. Usually from 6-10…I’m super productive. So I try really hard to not schedule things during that time, and to make sure that I’m doing the tasks that I know take the most brain power. It’s when I actually write my blog posts, its when I design albums and when I make sure details of what I do are handled. I feel like I can accomplish so much in that time as long as it’s interrupted.
4. Weekly Review: A friend of mine shared this with me and it has helped tremendously. Every Friday, I take an hour or so and do a review of my past week. I write down all that I accomplished, I dream a bit, I make sure that there are no A’s left, I make a list of things that I have to do the next week, I give myself 3 goals, I write down what I was really good at that week and what I needed to improve on. I list 10 things I’m thankful for and 10 things I need to pray for. I grade myself as a mom, wife, friend and business owner. I make notes about people that I want to reach out to…all of this just helps to see that I really did accomplish things and helps to keep me focused.
5. Dreaming: I’m a creative…I dream! Sometimes, I find myself paralyzed by my big dreams and thought.s So last fall I started implementing dream time…meaning 15-30 min each day when I just dream. I journal, I draw, I visualize all that I want to be. Most of the time this is business oriented, but sometimes it becomes a persona. But I have found by giving myself the freedom to do this every day, it keeps me more focused on my tasks and I don’t mind wander as much. When I do, I just tell myself to wait until tomorrow and using it during dream time! Sometimes, Dreamtime is when I’m driving (see above) and sometimes I do it when drinking my cup of coffee, but I make sure I set aside that time. Some BIG ideas have come from that!
So there are some of my tips for productivity! It’s a never-ending battle I feel and one that I’m always trying to improve!
I’m super excited to share this beautiful young lady’s gallery! I met her on a warm October day at Ocean Isle beach right after Flo and before Michael! Adrianne (our hair and make up artist) styled her hair just as she wears it every day 🙂 I love that my stylists do that…they meet my clients just where they are, keeping it natural and making sure they look like themselves! Taylor was just beautiful and a joy to work with! Good luck as you finish out your senior year!