Angela Pointon loves creative people. She studied photography, but had a love affair with business and marketing in graduate school. She decided to combine all of it together when she started Steel Toe Images. She inspires photographers and other creative people to kick major butt through her consulting sessions, blog, emails, workshops and her first book (coming soon), called “A Swift Kick In The Pants: Business Smarts For Us Creative Types.” Angela resides just outside Philadelphia. She lives with her amazing architect husband and their two small boys. All of them are vegetarian (yay!), and they rock out to fantastically awesome music from time-to-time (especially on Friday nights).
If your photography business is like most, there is seasonality to it. Meaning, when it rains it pours and when it’s dry it’s a desert.
I know many of you are in your busy season now. Clients are calling, you’re spazzing, you need sleep, you’ve got too much to do.
The great news is: you can bring sanity to every season – busy or slow. How?
You need to create three lists.
I don’t care if your lists are on a blackboard, a scratch pad or in a fancy color-coded excel file… but they have to be written down. This is important. Lists DON’T WORK if they’re in your head. As brilliantly creative as you are, you cannot keep an organized, separated set of three lists in that pretty little head of yours.
So once you figure out where you’re gonna store these lists, you need to create them. The good news is it’s super quick to do.
List #1: What I have to accomplish this week.
Every Monday morning you’re going to spend 15 minutes creating a list of what you HAVE to do that week. You’re going to write approximate time lengths next to each task so that you know how many hours of work you have ahead of you for that week. Add the hours up and make sure it isn’t going to kill you. If it is, see what makes sense to push to next week (or get some help… or a cloning machine).
List #2: What I have to accomplish today.
Each and every morning of the week you’re going to spend 5 minutes creating your list of what you HAVE to accomplish that day. In creating this daily list, you’re taking tasks off of your weekly list and you’re putting them on your to-do list for the day. Your weekly list is becoming shorter day-by-day. How delightful!
List #3: What I have to accomplish when I’m slow.
As you’re driving, in the shower, walking the aisles of the grocery store or talking to friends, you’re always coming up with “wouldn’t it be cool if” ideas of pure fabulousness. Don’t let these sparks of brilliance become dim and never see the light of day. Instead, put them on your “slow time” list so that you can refer to them as business is becoming slower. You can proactively plan to tackle these awesome ideas (using List #1 and List #2 in the same ways) when you have some spare time. Never again will you be waiting for the phone to ring, getting worried and depressed. Instead, you’ll be rocking out by creating something awesome that you thought of to improve your business, your brand, your photos, your service or whatever!
Now look at you! What an awesomely organized and well-managed person you’ve become. All with three simple little lists.