Time hacks. Like life hacks, but REALLY specific to how you spend your time during the day.
The internet is littered with hacks of all sorts for using the bread tag tab to fix your flip-flops (it works), to hacking your kids popsicle with a cupcake liner (apparently, it works). The hacks I come across most often are obviously more photography related– how to get a good workflow down, how to fit those blogs in, how to deliver sessions in just 2 weeks, and other hacks that sound almost too good to be true.
When reading all the hacks that exist in the world that sell their promise of making your life better, it’s important to understand that what works for one person might not work for you. It’s also important to just try! Change can sometimes feel like one step forward and two steps back, BUT, once you’re in a groove, the hack can make you feel like you’re suddenly 10 steps ahead and totally unstoppable.
Below are the time hacks that ACTUALLY work. These are the time hacks I set in place so I can keep up with my work, don’t forget about sessions or miss deadlines, and so I am constantly moving forward with the things that need to be crossed off the to-do list!
Below are my GOLDEN RULES of time hacks. Implement these and you’re gold, baby, solid gold.
When you schedule the session, schedule time to edit it in your calendar.
This is a little trickier for weddings as I rarely edit a whole wedding in one sitting so I’ll schedule 2 or 3 blocks of time to edit and then adapt those plans as I’m getting through it. For portrait sessions, I know I need about an hour to edit a regular portrait session unless I know there will be more advanced retouching. When I schedule the session and put it in my calendar, I also schedule in my calendar a time that I’m going to edit. This helps me get work done more efficiently so that in the evenings I can spend time with my family without guilt.
ALWAYS cull photos from the session (or wedding) within 24 hours of the shoot.
If I know a session is culled and ready for me to sit down and edit, I am 99% more likely to be able to sit down and edit a few of them in the few minutes I can spare right then.
Split up photos into manageable chunks.
This works well for weddings, but I do it with all of my sessions! For weddings, I split photos up into folders in Lightroom by type – Getting ready, first look, family formals/group shots, couples portraits, reception, etc. If I know that there’s a folder of 50 images waiting for me that I could edit in 20 minutes, I’ll be much more likely to quickly bang them out when I have 20 minutes during the day than if I know I have 2,000 images from a wedding to go through. Even just writing ‘2,000 images’ sounds daunting. 50 sounds like it’s NBD!
Write the blog post within 24 hours of the session.
I may not actually PUBLISH the session for 6 months, but at least go ahead and make the template of the blog on your website and write the text of the blog post while the details are still fresh. That way, whenever you’re finished editing the photos, all you have to do is drop them into the blog post and hit publish! Voila!
Plan in your day the time that you will NOT work.
For me, I know that from the time my son wakes up until around 10:30 AM is our morning time together. Then I’ll power up my computer and start working on admin kinds of things – responding to inquiries, answering emails, making invoices, etc. until lunch time. Lunchtime is, again, time for just me and my son. The other time I schedule NO work at all is the time between when my husband gets home from work and about 9:30 PM. That time is for my family as it’s the only time all three of us are together all day. After that 9:30 PM mark, I often will spend another hour editing before going to bed and doing it all again the next day.
These 5 simple time hacks can drastically improve your workflow AND, perk, they require no extra equipment or fancy programs– just YOU and your own time management skills, dedication, and willingness to try out something new!
Give these hacks a whirl and let me know what you think!
And, share with me what time hacks you have that make a world of a difference in your business!