I used to haphazardly go about my day. Whatever was most important at the time was what got done. I’d get to the end of my day with absolutely no idea what I had accomplished. The only thing I was certain of was that I WAS TIRED!
Have you been there? Letting your day run you instead of the other way around? The phone rings. I answered it. Email chimes with a question from a client. Off in that direction I went. A photographer friend needed help designing a marketing piece. I’d drop everything to help.
Finally I got tired of being tired and scatterbrained here at the studio. I knew something had to change, so I made my Every Durn Day List! It’s my very technical title for the list of things I absolutely have to get done to call it a successful day!
Brainstorming, I broke my day up into broad tasks I handle every day. Or tasks that SHOULD be handled everyday!
It’s a priority. It has to come first. If I’m not healthy and feeling good, then I am no good for anybody - my family, myself or my clients. So I try to get a smoothie in every morning so at least I know I am getting in some good nutrients, and I try to do something physical every day. This might not happen in the morning. It just depends on my schedule. I love a good long walk / run in the evenings with a podcast going.
Getting my head straight and staying focused on the big picture is tough for me. I’m not gonna lie. I see something shiny, new and exciting . . . I’m gonna chase after it! So I decided to review my quarterly goals and big picture strategy for the year every morning. This helps me put my blinders on and stay focused towards what I’ve said was important to me.
I heard once before that the smartest thing we could do for our businesses when it comes to social media is to create before we consume. I took that advice to heart and it has made the biggest impact on my business. We have to market EVERY DURN DAY to keep clients rolling in. If we only market during the slow times then there are going to be a whole lot more slow times eventually. By creating before we consume we naturally do what is best for our businesses. When we let other voices in our heads those messages infiltrate our own, and we end up missing the mark. And if you’re anything like me, you get caught up in the good ol’ comparison trap. Ugh. Anybody else?
So before I start scrolling Instagram or Facebook I go ahead and make sure I’ve posted to my own social media for the day. I get them done and out there in the world! Then I can continue on with my happy morning stalking, umm inspiration.
I used to check my voicemail, email, Facebook and Instagram messages first thing each morning and get everything handled. Not bad customer service, huh? No! Not at all. But guess what? None of it was ever really an emergency. By lunch time I was frazzled and lost as to what to do the rest of the day. I am sharpest and most creative first thing in the morning. I need to get my focused work done then because after lunch it can easily go downhill. Maybe that’s just me getting old! But either way, I needed to create a way to get my focused work time done so I simply flipped my schedule. Now I only check voicemail and email after lunch. This one simple thing has been such a game changer for me!
I also try to set aside a little time in the afternoons to nurture relationships. This might mean writing welcome or thank you notes or checking facebook and instagram to see what is going on in the lives of my clients. You can learn a lot that way!
Prep For Tomorrow
A successful morning starts the night before. Have you ever heard that? Well, if not you have now! Believe it because it is so true! Coming into the studio each morning knowing exactly what needs to be done is key for a productive day. Do things always go as planned? Heck no! But at least I have a fighting chance. I set myself up for success in a few different ways. At the end of each work day I will glance over my Google calendar to see what’s coming up. Then I look over my Trello boards and calendar side by side to decide when I can do outstanding tasks. I name my top 3 tasks for the next day and block out time to make those happen. If I get more done, great! If not, that’s ok. I can feel accomplished knowing I got those top 3 done. Be sure to check out this blog post where I talk about how to use Trello for EVERYTHING! I seriously can’t live without it.
Here’s a quick recap on my every day list in my photography business:
Health: Always first!
Drink a smoothie
Move my body (running, yoga, weights, resistance training, etc)
Mindset: Get focused.
Review My Goals / Big Picture Strategy
Review Today's Top 3 List
Time block for something that is going to push my business forward towards one of those goals (1 - 4 hours) - content creation, education, admin day, etc.
Marketing: Create before I consume.
Instagram Story (3 times a day)
Client Communication: Always after lunch.
Return Voicemails / Call Leads
Client / Prospect Engagement (write notecards / check Facebook & Instagram - with intention)
Plan For The Next Day: Set myself up for success tomorrow.
Create Top 3 List
So what’s on your list? Do you have one? What are you doing in your senior photography studio to make each day successful and to keep driving your business forward? I’d love to know! Am I missing something? :)