Hi there, I'm Manali! A wedding photographer & educator serving Charlottesville VA & DC. Click through for all my favorites from recent sessions, adventures and travels, as well as tips & tricks for clients! Grab a cup of coffee, relax, and feel free to connect with me elsewhere as well! Cheers to you!
Manali is a wedding photographer & educator based out of Charlottesville, VA. When she's not making couples laugh or teaching other photographers how to save time & grow their business, you can find her at a vineyard with wine & cheese in hand with her friends & fam!
Trying to do ALL the things on Monday and feeling super overwhelmed with everything that had to happen that week. When I didn’t know WHEN to do everything my brain believed that everything had to happen Monday through Tuesday which is physically IMPOSSIBLE guys!! You’re wearing ALL the hats in the business by yourself. You not only have to take care of all the tasks but also figure out WHEN you’re going to do each one to get it all done!
A NEW WAY OF TACKLING ALL THOSE TASKS
Imagine if your brain knew you when you were going to take care of EACH part of your business on a weekly basis! If your brain had a compartmentalized time for everything to happen and get done. Helps ease the mental clutter building up at the beginning of the week and takes the pressure off your brain to figure out when you’re going to get all the things done on a daily basis. That’s a serious mental load off RIGHT there! You would have a routine to each week that your brain could trust and mental peace and calm back instead of feeling like you’re a chicken running around with your head off. I hate that analogy but that’s seriously how I felt!
LET’S GET STARTED ON HOW TO ADOPT SOME ROUTINES IN YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS:
1. Setting a loose weekly batch schedule
First things first, write out ALL the tasks that you do in your business onto sticky notes!
Now group them based off of general categories, here’s some to get your wheels turning:
Client communication / backend work
Now assign these categories to specific days & time blocks during your designated office hours! Now if your time block for Marketing is Friday mornings, you’re going to use that time to SOLELY work on marketing tasks only!!
This might take some tweaking to make work for you but something that I’ve found that’s helpful as a photographer is setting boundaries around when you’ll take portrait shoots so that you can follow your batch week structure MOST times and get your clients their images back faster since your shoots fall on your first client workday and your editing falls on your second client designated day!
We’re going to take care of your marketing on Mondays, client work / shoots/ editing on Tuesdays & Wednesdays, client meetings & business projects YOU want to work on Thursdays and Friday as an overflow. Make sure to set a batch schedule that works for you!
2. Loose daily working schedule
Make sure to schedule time in for daily tasks like taking care of emails, interacting on social or anything that needs a little bit of attention every day! I roll all of these tasks up into what I call my Power Hour and knock off these daily tasks plus anything that shows up on my to-do list throughout the day from 4:30 to 5:30 PM!
This way I don’t get stuck completing these tasks or prioritize them over my main 1-3 BIG tasks that I schedule out for the day! These priority tasks get slotted to one of 3 time blocks: 10 -12, 1 – 3 or 3 – 4:30 PM.
They get either three colored dot stickers OR a big flag sticker in my planner and are the TOP THREE tasks on my to-do list each day! My friend Becca tends to schedule them out in her Google Calendar instead since she’s a fan of getting notifications to keep her on track! Do whatever works for YOU!
Bonus Tip: Setting a timer to knock out these tasks and make a fun game out of it! Toggl, the time-keeping app has a built-in timer that can help with this!
And a fun way of rewarding myself? If I knock out my big three tasks and my power hour early, I let myself call it a day and step AWAY from my computer as a treat!
3. Re-evaluating your system every couple of months
Building a beautiful business takes a LOT of refinement! Make sure to check in on how you’re tackling all those tasks from a holistic perspective every couple of months!
We want to make sure it’s working for your CURRENT state of life! Things change so give yourself the flexibility to tweak things if they can be done more efficiently or in a way that’ll save you more brainspace.
I recently evaluated how I was organizing my weekly tasks in Asana and realized that I could snowball all of my maintenance tasks into ONE checklist instead of recurring ones for EACH day which was just overwhelming me!
Similarly, every couple of months I’ll run through my portrait workflow, wedding workflow, marketing workflow & monthly duty day checklists to see if there’s anything missing or even anything that I can further streamline or heck even eliminate altogether!
Our systems should be flexible enough to match our current season of life and grow and evolve WITH us. Not be rigid structures that make our life harder!
READY TO START ADOPTING A CEO MINDSET IN YOUR OWN BIZ?
If you’re wondering when I do everything from answering emails, scheduling all of my marketing, prepping for sessions & post-processing then check out the Resources Vault which has my schedules (daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly & annually) as well as my entire workflows for weddings and portraits from inquiry to gallery delivery. More of a visual learner? Be sure to watch the totally-free masterclass!