31. Be more productive and do more in less time

Podcast cover episode 31 "Getting More Done in Less Time" with Ingvild Kolnes.

Time can never be taken back. You either use it wisely or you waste it. Being productive is one of the best traits you can have. Being able to juggle your busy schedule and prioritize your list is quite a skill to learn. Time management is key in making yourself productive. 

What do you think about when I say the word productivity? Are you thinking of how you’re spending your time? Or what you’re getting done? We all have the same number of hours per day. But how we spend that time varies from person to person. That is why it is important to improve your productivity as a photographer.

I don’t know about you, but I often find myself thinking that I don’t have the time to post on Instagram. Yet at the same time, I get notified that I’ve spent over my limit of 40 minutes on Instagram that day. It is quite clear I have the time, but I’m not maximizing it the way it should be.

The hard truth is that you use the time you have for less important things. And these, when repeated, take up much of your time. Sometimes giving yourself less time is the answer. Setting deadlines and dividing up the tasks you have in mind is usually a good idea.

It’s not a matter of just doing things. you want to make sure you’re doing the right things. This is what we call maximizing productivity. This is covered in detail in the Sustainable Photography Program, and here is an outline.

1. Start by figuring out what you actually want.

What will make the biggest difference for you this year? Let’s say you want to book 10 high-end clients. Then you must write down all the ideas that will push you in the right direction. When you’re planning out your month, week or day, make sure that you prioritize the tasks. It is doing things that will get you there. There’s no point in filling your calendar with stuff that’s just keeping you busy and not getting you where you want to be. Set your goals according to what you desire. You can listen to episode 13 for more details on how to set the right goals.

2. Divide your tasks into tiny pieces.

Instead of having one big vague task on your list, make it specific. That way you can do them one at a time, even if you only had a few minutes to spare. Without it getting in the way of all the other things you have to do. In one week you can accomplish so much! That will free up tons of mental and physical space. This will help you improve your productivity as a photographer.

Let’s use blog posts and podcast episodes as an example. Instead of sitting down intending to publish a blog post or episode from scratch, start by writing a list of all the topics you can imagine that will be helpful for your audience. Prioritize the topics and create a schedule. Let’s say you’ve decided on the next five posts. Here is a to-do list:

  • Research the topics
  • Outline the posts
  • Write a rough draft
  • Proofread
  • Add to your blog platform
  • Rename and add photos
  • Format the post
  • Schedule the post

These are all separate tasks, and by doing them in bulk, you’ll be done before you know it. 

3. One task at a time.

You’re so much more productive when you do one kind of task at a time, instead of switching between different tasks. That’s why writing and scheduling one blog post in one go will take a lot longer.  If you do all research in one, then all writing in one go, and another set, things will be easier to manage. This will definitely improve your productivity.

4. Focus on things that can give you a bit of a boost.

Get yourself inspired by doing better. It can be getting dressed in nice clothes, exercising, or eating well. It can also be a form of self-care. Do you work better in the morning or the evening? Check in with yourself, and do what works for you, and not what someone tells you is better. For more details on self-care, listen to podcast episode 22 with Jen Wille.

5. Set yourself up for success.

If you always find yourself with too many unfinished things on your list, figure out why. Is it because you don’t have enough time, are the tasks too hard, do you not like doing them so you procrastinate? Or maybe you’re uninspired? This can be solved if you have fewer and smaller things on your to-do list so you finish them. If you find a pattern in the things you don’t do, that’s a clear sign to either stop doing them and just outsource or automate. Learning how to get better at it can also help. Be careful that you’re not adding more things to your plate. Lessen your burden by getting help instead of doing them yourself.

6. Outsource

Outsourcing can also help you free up your time so you can focus on the things that you’re best at. Do you spend way too long editing? Or is bookkeeping making you frustrated? Get help! You’re only wasting time if you focus on figuring things out on your own, instead of paying someone to help you. To save time and effort, have someone to mentor or help you. Remember that you also lose profit when you make yourself busy doing things that can be outsourced. This is also a good way to improve your productivity as a photographer.

Check out our episode 24 with Jan Madigan on outsourcing.

Episode 24

We are all different in how we manage time. Maybe a to-do list can help you. There is such a thing as decision fatigue. This happens when you have used up the number of decisions you’re able to make in a day. That’s why deciding what to have for dinner in the afternoon can be such a pain. So if you can create your plans ahead of time, that will make things so much easier. You just tick off one checkbox at a time.

Being productive is when you can focus more on the things that matter. This benefits your photography business and your mental and social life as well. To sum it up, here are a few pointers:

  • Figure out what you want.
  • Plan out your year, month, week, and day.
  • Divide up your tasks into tiny pieces.
  • Find out what you can outsource or automate.
  • Just go and do it!

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Podcast cover episode 31 "Getting More Done in Less Time" with Ingvild Kolnes.
Sustainable Photography
31. Be more productive and do more in less time

hi, i'm ingvild

This podcast is all about education and inspiration for photographers. A sustainable business is profitable and lasting. Instead of short-term wins you want to make sure you’re doing things that matter. Both to yourself, and to create the business you want. The goal of this podcast is that it will help you build and structure your business around your life, instead of the other way around.