Here at ShootDotEdit, we love to provide you with helpful resources for your photography business. We also know that there are certain tasks you work with which are not all that exciting. To help you beat procrastination in your business, and be productive every day, Virginia wedding photographer Katelyn James is sharing how she motivates herself in her business.
Anyone have days where you get a TON done and then other days that feel like a complete loss? That happens to me… but I think I’ve figured out WHY! I’ve had a realization recently that has totally made me re-think the way I get stuff DONE in the office.
Sometimes we have what we call “Stay at Home Days,” where we work from home. I’ve found that some of those days are not as productive as others. And then sometimes, I have days where I get so much done, and I have no idea why. It’s literally like something trips in my brain and it’s like, “you’re going to kill it today,” and then there’s other days that are like, “nope, today you should just give up now.”
I realized this is what was happening: there are two different types of tasks in my business. There are maintaining tasks and growing tasks. Maintaining tasks are ones I have to do over and over again just to maintain the current state of my business. Some examples would be blogging or writing emails. In my mind, I don’t view writing emails as pushing my business forward. I don’t feel like I’m moving and shaking the industry when I’m writing emails. So when I have a maintaining task in front of me, I normally lose a lot of my motivation.
Growing tasks are ones that actually make me feel like I did something really great for my business; something I wanted to do for a really long time and it’s going make a really big difference, or it’s going to help somebody, or make my website look really awesome. So, growing tasks for me are all the awesome things I never get to because I’m stuck on the maintaining list. And, sometimes when I know the maintaining list is so long, I shy away from getting it done because I’m not motivated. So, I realize that I tend to get more done if I have some maintaining items that I’m doing, knowing that if I finish them, I get to do a growing task.
For example, it could be, “Okay Katelyn, if you get through your inbox before 10am, from 10-1 you get to work on that eBook you’ve been so excited about for 6 months and still haven’t done yet.” I’ve started to realize that if I can look at my life and look at my business and think about what I view as maintaining versus growing, then I have a better chance at being productive because I am going to schedule my day where I get to do a little bit of both. It’s kind of a happy balance.
Here are some things you should pay attention to on this journey to productivity:
Identify What Slows You Down
Identify those things that slow you down and that really create those days where you feel like you really didn’t get anything done. Identify what tasks slow you down and then what tasks fire you up. An example of my own life would is we just did the KJ Education website. I did it myself, I designed it. And once I started doing it, I finished it in 48 hours. How can I do that in 48 hours but yet it takes me 2 days to get my inbox cleared out? It’s because that website is a growing task. It’s something that grew my business and made me feel like I really did something and I was really motivated. Emails, not so much.
Divide Growing and Maintaining Tasks
Divide up these tasks into what are growing and maintaining tasks. So, I’d go through your workload. It could be that blogging for you is not maintaining, it’s growing. Maybe it’s not a normal part of your daily rhythm, and so whenever you get a blog post done, you feel like you’ve accomplished something. But, it could also be that recording mileage or writing emails bogs you down. If you label them at growing or maintaining, you can create a healthy balance for your days.
Find a Healthy Balance
Once you know what your tasks are divided up into, the two categories, then you can make sure every day you are doing a little of both. Because when you do a little bit of both, at least in my life I’ve found this to be true, you end up feeling more motivated to work toward the growing tasks. You end your day feeling like, “I got something done off of the big list and off of the normal maintaining list.”
I hope this is helpful. I think putting names to it and really recognizing what is happening in our office life is really going to help us get to a place where we can have more productive work days. And that’s what we all want, right?
Constantly focusing on ways to be more productive can help you accomplish tasks and move on to more important projects. Discover how to quickly finish both your growing and maintaining tasks with our Guide, 27 Ridiculously Simple Hacks to Transform Your Wedding Photography Business!