When we think about burnout, we tend to think about highly successful businessmen working many hours in their downtown office, not a work-from-home photographer… but this is definitely not the case and I found out the hard way!
Let’s look at the life of a lot of us photographers….
Photographers are running multiple shoots in a week, editing, album design, blogs, Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Insta-stories, website maintenance, client management, vendor relationships, and the list goes on and on… are you exhausted yet?
If that is not exhausting enough, a lot of us are doing photography as an EXTRA job on top of a 9-5 job or being a mom or dad!! All of a sudden, we are squeezing this growing business into our “spare” time!! We thought that this would be an easy business to do on the side, but the amount of hustle and hard work it takes to keep up can be too much and wear us out!
I knew things had to change over these last several years of running on the hamster wheel, so we implemented things like getting assistants, outsourcing, and trying to organize our time, but the list was just still too long. I realized that my checklist was the driving force of my life. I just wanted to be caught up. I kept telling myself, this is just a busy season, in a few months, I’ll be normal. The scary thing was that the busy season lasted years in my business, which meant I lost years of being the person and the mom I wanted to be for my kids. The changes I made throughout the years were good, but they weren’t big enough changes.
Here are 2 things I would have told myself years ago that I hope will help some of you before it is too late:
1) Be OK with doing less
This is hard to do. We want to do it all. We want to keep up with our competition. What are your priorities? Start focusing on the most important.
There never seems to be enough hours in the day and when you have a list that is 20 tasks long for that day, you are setting yourself up to fail and feel unproductive. Have 3 things on your list (easy & hard) and be content.
2) Be STRICT with your work and personal life
This is an area I’ve always tried to do but failed. Especially when I had young kids at home, the work and pleasure lines got crossed a lot. We have found it very helpful to actually go to a coffee shop and work for a few hours. We know that it is work time and we can focus! When you’re home with your family, don’t check your emails or Facebook! In fact, take these apps off your phone. I’ve been able to justify why I should have the email app and Facebook app on my phone because they truly are convenient when I’m out to be able to deal with work things as they come up, but the cost of me grabbing my phone throughout the day constantly checking on them isn’t worth it anymore!
If you can relate to any of this, I encourage you to make 2018 different. Make BIG changes now!!
“The purpose of margin is not to live a life of selfishness, but significance. It is about making time for what matters most. Probably the things you need to add in your life.”
– Rick Warren
– Written by Carissa Kennedy