I feel so lucky to work from home; I really do. Being a full time photographer  has been my “dream job” for so long and it is an absolute blast. That being said, it is a LOT of hard work! 

When you are your own boss it can get tricky to stay on task and be productive. It is easier to procrastinate when you don’t have someone looking over your shoulder or telling you what to do.  I happen to be pretty messy, clumsy and unorganized by nature. In high school it was always so hard for me to get my online classes done because there weren’t very strict guidelines and I could go at my own pace. I learned the hard way (unfortunately) that you just cannot be unorganized when it comes to your business.

Here are some things that have helped me to optimize productivity:

  1. going to bed earlier, waking up earlier. this was hard for me because as a photographer i usually don’t have shoots until the evening. so it seemed like there was really no reason to get up early. but, i have found that when i get up earlier i feel so much better and get way more done. 
  1. not your bed!! i was in a horrible habit of waking up, grabbing my laptop and starting to edit/answer emails in bed. this would sometimes go on until late afternoon and i would realize that even though i got stuff done, i was still in my pajamas and i just felt gross. 
  2. when i wake up, get ready and then start working i feel so much more productive
  1. every night before I go to bed, I make a checklist of things I am going to complete the next day. whether it is editing a shoot or two, answering certain emails, or putting together a mood board for an upcoming project.
  2. i try really hard to complete one thing at a time and check it off then move on to the next, rather than working on a bunch of projects at once.
  3. checklists have been CRUCIAL for me. something about writing down your goals for the day and then physically checking them off feels really good. i don’t always complete everything on my list. and if i don’t, i just move the things i didn't complete to the next day’s list.
  4. take things step by step. sometimes, I will have such a huge workload and my checklist seems like it is 5 miles long. being a person that gets overwhelmed easily, I usually just evaluate what five things are most important at that moment and focus on checking those off. Then if I get those things done, I will move on to the other items.
  1. i am a calendar fanatic-i seriously think i look at my calendar 30 times a day. i love having everything written out and i love being able to see what my weeks/months look like. 
  2. i have started making deadlines for myself for when shoots need to be edited by, when i need to post a photo for a company, etc and it has helped me so much to not put things off or get stressed.
  1. as a business owner or an artist, i actually find this hard to do. when you have a 9-5 job you can go home and be done, but when you run your own business, the job never really goes away. i think about photography probably 85% of the time. my mind feels like it is always racing with things i need to get done, emails i need to respond to, shoots I need to plan, etc. it’s hard to take a break! it sounds silly but i really struggle with it. i will find myself lying in bed at 11 PM and itching to get out my computer and work because i feel like there is just so much to do. 
  2. it’s important to take time off to recharge. Leif and i have both tried to be done with work around 6 PM every night, so we can have dinner and spend time together. that has been really awesome because we both used to stay up pretty late editing and working. i also take every Sunday off completely from work which has been nice.
  3. I find that when I'm unorganized/behind on schedule, it is hard for me to enjoy my time off. I will be watching Netflix or out shopping (things that are supposed to be fun) but cant stop thinking about work and the tasks I haven’t completed. If you are in the same boat, give a few of these things a try (setting deadlines, getting on a schedule, etc) and I promise your life will become less hectic!