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November Update – Simplifying

November 5, 2019



This is a newer type of blog post up on here but after spending the last couple of weeks reviewing, reflecting and contemplating on what 2019 was like and where I want to go in 2020, my goals have actually shifted a little from what I have focused on in the past. Also, in complete honesty, a lot of these changes were a direct result from feeling completely overwhelmed and a lot of anxiety and wanting to make a permanent and lasting change for the better! The last few weeks have seen me simplifying in almost every aspect of my life and work which has yielded some really great results, a lot more margin, rest, peace and calm in my life and is something that I really want to carry forward into next year! I think a lot of this had kinda been stirring up inside me but reading When Less Becomes More articulated everything I was feeling in an incredibly beautiful way and got me to ACT! Also in an attempt to make this a simple process, all pictures are taken and edited by my iPhone!

Here’s a look at some changes that I’ve made:

1. This might seem counter intuitive to simplifying but I actually switched to using two different planners rather than one to task both business and life stuff.

I found myself getting very overwhelmed with seeing both business tasks and then cramming life tasks into the margin and have a VERY full planner each day trying to house all my thoughts. I ended up purchasing a weekly planner and have found this SO helpful to distinguish between work and life, give myself some boundaries and work life balance by not getting distracted by life tasks while working or work tasks while doing life! In doing so, my work planner became simplified and focused on exactly what needed to get done and it has been SO refreshing having more SPACE to see and breathe.

My life planner now houses my meals for the day, daily tasks / chores that need to be completed around the house, fun activities, and all my non-business related to-do’s and serves as a dumping ground for random tasks/ideas!


2. If you guys haven’t heard of them, first look into Powersheets, which is an incredible and fun goal setting tool!

I used them for the first time last year and really loved the holistic view it gives you at life to think through more than just goals for work! I started sticking my monthly list (which houses monthly / weekly / daily goals all organized nicely on one sheet!) into my weekly planner making it easy to keep them top of mind! In 2019 I would use this list to keep track of both life and business goals but for 2020 I have decided to use it to only track heart-based goals as to allow them just as much space and attention in my life as business goals! I found myself stressing over immediate monthly business goals and focusing more heavily on them throughout the year countering against the entire purpose of the Powersheets to help you work on goals that will truly matter to you when you’re 80!



I took some time to really declutter almost every aspect of my life! I’ve been fairly good about doing this throughout the year but I found that a fall haul made a MASSIVE impact. This ranged from decluttering business tasks & goals and really honing in on a few impactful ones, to decluttering my desk, donating old books thats I’ve read and accumulated, my social media / subscriptions, cleaning out my car & trunk, donating old shoes and old clothes that I haven’t worn in a while. It’s also curbed my spending a little bit watching how easy it is to buy things only to watch them accumulate and not be used!

The biggest task and payoff, however, has been decluttering our kitchen utensils. I’ve gotten into the routine of running our dishes two times each day which has massively helped with our sink situation. However, this month I cleaned out some duplicate kitchen utensils, pots and pans and made it a conscious effort to declutter and simplify the kitchen space in general which has really changed the way our kitchen not only looks but feels!! It’s so much more open, bright, light, and simple and it seems to have changed how living in it feels as well. This I think really influenced my mom to further declutter the pantry and even her own bedroom and I wish I had before and after pictures to show you how much of a difference it’s made!


Thought these little GIFs would be fun! Definitely a first time including them in a blog post 🙂

A look inside Powersheets

If you have any questions about how I plan out my months/weeks/days or would love to learn more about my system for it, feel free to reach out or comment below!

If you enjoyed this post, follow along on Instagram and binge read these as well!

How I Use Google Calendar in my Life & Business

How I Use Trello For Life & Business

My Weekly Business Routine


If you’re looking for a personalized plan of action to takes you from overwhelmed & stressed for time to running a systemized business that you love & allows time for what matters most, feel free to hop on the waitlist below!

This is for photographers who are looking for a customized one-on-one photography mentoring session that includes a two-hour video call or in-person coffee date to work through a pain point or build a sustainable business strategy for 2020.

Each mentoring session will come with a personalized blueprint of action items to help solve your biggest pain point and time during our session to start implementing these strategies to help take you from stressed for inquiries to completely booked in 2020!

Topics that can be covered during these personalized one-on-one intensives are:

  • photographing & editing
  • client workflows & communication
  • organizing the backend of your business
  • your marketing strategy
  • or a fully customized session to best fit your business!

If you have any questions at all, please feel free to reach out to me at manalisontakkephotography@gmail.com to see if this would be a good fit for you at this time!

Submit your email below to get on the waiting list to learn when the first spots open up! This will also automatically you enter into the giveaway for an Emily Ley 2020 Dapperdesk Planner!

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  1. This line made me really excited for you: “The last few weeks have seen me simplifying in almost every aspect of my life and work which has yielded some really great results, a lot more margin, rest, peace and calm in my life and is something that I really want to carry forward into next year.” Setting those strong intentions now will make 2020 way less overwhelming and much more simplified for you!

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