It's off-season for wedding photographers, but since we've moved to Appleton, I feel like it's been BUSIER than busy season! Holy smokes. I have a million and one things on my to-do list, and feel like I'm running in circles because I don't know what to choose to put on my actual daily to-do list! I know so many people feel like this sometimes, as the world pulls us in so many different directions (I'm especially looking at you, moms!), so today I'm sharing what has been calming me down a little bit when it comes to to-do lists.
1. MIND DUMP.
At a Northeast Wisconsin photographer meet-up earlier this month, someone mentioned mind dumping into a notebook. Everything that's on your mind, all the things you need to do, PUT IT ON PAPER. LET GO OF IT. So much anxiety comes from having all of these thoughts running around our minds. I like to do this every morning as I'm eating breakfast. It's going to look messy, but it's the first step to getting organized.
Based on what you wrote down, find things that you feel are most important, or have the most pressing deadlines. Write down the to-dos that have deadlines quickly approaching. What to-dos are just things you love doing, but are really slowing down your productivity on other things? Find 3 big to-dos for your day, and put them at the top. The other semi-important things can be listed underneath these three things.
You have your three things. Now, make a schedule for your day, and allow yourself to focus on each important to-do for a couple hours at a time. Breaking up your time will not only keep it interesting for you, it'll help you chop off a little bit of each thing & help you feel like you're managing your to-do list more effectively. Here's an example of a schedule:
7-8 Breakfast, coffee, read. Feed the cat.
8-9 Respond to emails, bookkeeping, etc.
9-10:30 Edit Wedding 1
11:30-12:30 Lunch break & MOVE AROUND (seriously, the life of working at home. No movement).
12:30-1:30 Edit Wedding 2's blog images
1:30-2:30 Work on Wedding Magazine
.... and so on!!
This is just an example of how I've split up important to-dos throughout the day. After a couple of days, you'll end up feeling less burdened by the amount of work you have to do for each one, maybe you'll even have things CROSSED OFF, and it'll be all around more enjoyable for you!
What are some ways you like to manage your never-ending to-do list?