If we are anything alike, I would say time management could be one of our biggest issues! As a creative, I don’t naturally want to stick to time limits, I just want to enjoy the process and be a bit of a perfectionist. But is that good for my business? Probably not! Now please don’t get me wrong, I am not asking you to change your personality or your natural creative flow. Because you need that, to be you! I don’t want to disrupt your creative process, but I do want to fine-tune it and in turn hopefully maximise your time!
I learned a lot when starting up in my photography business. After a shoot, I would spend days and days editing photos to perfection! I would experiment with up to 3 different edited versions of the same image to give myself options, to give the client options and to show off all that I can do with the wonders of Photoshop! But I soon came to realise that if I spent this long to edit a shoot, I couldn’t realistically do many shoots. So I made a plan to maximise my time so I can realistically fit more photoshoots into my diary! This meant dramatically cutting down my editing time, which was actually really helpful! It meant I really developed a distinct style in my photographs, I learnt more about how to get things right ‘in camera’ and relied less on the use of Photoshop after the shoot.
I am certain this process has actually led to my distinct Lorah Kelly style that is recognised in my photographs today! (Yay!) Did I ‘curb my creativity’? Absolutely not! In fact, I was able to learn to be not only creative but actually very skilled in what I did. Did I maximise my time? Definitely! By only allowing myself to edit for a certain amount of time, I was able to fit more into my week, more time to be more creative!
So what can you do in your business to maximise your time?
Are there areas that you just spend far too much time on? How can you cut that down? A great tool to find out how much time you are really spending on tasks is a timesheet! This can be in the form of a spreadsheet, a chart, a pinboard – anything your creative mind can come up with! The idea is to track what you are spending time on during the day. Stop every hour and record what you have done. If you really want to get into details, stop every 15 mins! Record what you have done and then at the end of the week, you can look at it and have a realistic viewpoint of how you spend your time.
Could this be your timesheet?
The next thing to do is make an action plan! What are you spending too much time on? How can you spend less time on this? What can you do to add more time to your day? There is so much I can day, but perhaps I’ll leave it for another blog post 😉 So this week, record your time. I would be very interested to see how you all spend your time! If you would like an outsiders perspective, post your timesheet in one of our social media groups and see if we can all brainstorm ideas together 🙂
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