Episode 010 – Time management for photographers


While most photographers complain about never having enough time I have far more spare time than when I had a ‘proper job’. This is despite running Get Pro Photo Club on the side. It’s all down to managing my time effectively and having a profitable business model.

My average day looks like this:

  • Wake up around 8am. I start the day ‘Educating myself’, ‘Strategising’ and ‘Planning my day’ (I call it ESP and it gets me motivated and organised for the day).
  • 9-11am I’m usually doing desk work like marketing, retouching etc.
  • 11-12 noon I walk our dog (usually listening to a podcast or thinking about my business)
  • 12 noon until 1pm is lunch with my wife who also works from home
  • 1-2pm I prep for the afternoon’s appointment.
  • 2-4pm A client appointment
  • 4-6pm I either walk the dog again or my wife does. If she’s walking him then I do a bit more desk work.
  • 6-7.30pm Another client appointment.

That’s a busy day for me. Pretty relaxed huh!?

By managing your time you can enjoy a fun, relaxing and stress-free photography career too.

I’m never rushed and not panicking or running late from back-to-back-to-back appointments.

Photographers complain a lot about clients turning up late or not turning up at all. But in my experience photographers are as bad at time management as their clients.

It’s understandable, though. We want to be photographers so we can enjoy our work and have freedom in our lives.

We don’t want to be too regimented.

Our brains are hard wired to move towards pleasurable things and away from painful ones.

It’s more fun to look at websites about photography gear than it is to write an email newsletter, or blog post.

So we put it off and procrastinate in the same way a child does their homework at the last minute.

Unfortunately children don’t make good business owners and new cameras only reduce our profits, they don’t grow them.

Often the issue isn’t a lack of time, it’s procrastination. We’re scared to do the tough jobs so we seek distractions and pleasure elsewhere.

This website makes that analogy really well…

“Understanding your mind is the key to beating procrastination. To help with this, imagine two people in a boardroom:

  • One is a serious individual who concentrates on the task in hand. This is your (brain’s) prefrontal cortex.
  • The other is an impulsive child with no self-control. This is your (brain’s) limbic system.

You can see the problem. Only one of these characters should be running your business. It’s important to recognise when the limbic system is fighting for the controls. That’s not always easy in a world full of distractions. The first step in beating procrastination is to realise when it’s happening to you.”

I have Attention deficit disorder (ADHD) so I understand how hard it is to stay focused and do the hard, uncomfortable work.

But at some point you have to decide if you want photography to be your hobby or a professional business.

A full time job takes up roughly 37.5 hours a week and your goal is to make photography your full time job.

Now you don’t need to find an extra 37.5 hours in your week immediately;  but clearly time management is critical when launching your own business.

It’s time to put our big boy/girl pants on!

As a photographer you’re generally selling time for money, so managing your time is clearly a top priority.

No time, no business.

You may have to make some sacrifices as you transition to full time photography.

Adding all those extra hours into your week is bound to cause some short term discomfort.

But focus on the goal.

The goal of having a photography career that gives you more time with your friends and family.

That’s what it all boils down to. Time management is about having MORE free time, not less.

So let’s dive in…

Here’s what you’re going to discover in this episode.

  • Why Mari feels like she’s not treated as a professional photographer and what she needs to do about it
  • Is time management your problem or is it procrastination?
  • What to do if an acquaintance you bump into says ‘I didn’t know you were a photographer – I really must get some family photographs done’
  • What to do when you’re waiting to hear back from a client or prospect or business alliance
  • The importance of doing a ‘time audit’ on your life
  • The importance of scheduling
  • Do you need to do certain things on certain days of the week or is it ok to be flexible?
  • The importance of ESP (Education, Strategy and Planning) and how it helps you get more done and the RIGHT things done
  • How to get more done in less time
  • The importance of planning your days and your week
  • The important question you need to ask yourself when you’re not sure what to do next – ‘What thing on my to-do list is going to help make my business the most money’.
  • How to tackle big projects
  • What to do if you get stuck on a project
  • Why creating your branding and business model is both the hardest work and the easiest work. Hard because it takes a lot of thought but easy because you don’t have to ‘put yourself out there’
  • What jobs to do when you’re constantly being interrupted
  • Why having less time can actually be a good thing
  • The simple ‘keystone tasks’ that guarantee your business starts moving forward

Premium content for Get Pro Photo Club Members

  • This week everyone is getting the full episode. However we have an excellent bonus for our members…
  • We’ve uploaded a brand new course to the membership site which explains exactly how I got 32 wedding photography leads in one week. I give you all the emails, including the advert, the emails, what to say… everything!

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