I am always curious about how full time or part time photographers find balance in their personal time because they may feel like they could ALWAYS be at the computer editing or doing another project. I just know that’s how I felt when I was doing my masters, sometimes it consumed me and I had a hard time breaking away and feeling free of it while I was at home and the laptop was there, accessible :)
I love this question because it’s a topic that’s on my mind often, and it’s been a continual process to find the answer.
Sometimes I struggle with feeling like I always need to be doing, as though I’ll never reach the point where it’s enough. There’s a feeling of inadequacy that I often need to remind myself to let go of. Otherwise, there’s never enough blogging, tweeting, facebooking, instagramming, etc. Yes, I could ALWAYS be at the computer, or my mind could always be there, making me feel guilty when I shut my computer off.
Over time, I’ve come to realize a few things that are necessary in helping me attain that balance:
Setting boundaries: saying no to work on Sundays (except for Sunday weddings, it’s a church & family day), and by calling it a day by suppertime, especially when Shane is home and not away flying for work. When I don’t switch off work in the evening, I’ll often end up dreaming it all night, which does not make for a restful sleep. Not good!
Removing myself from the distractions at home if need be (if I let myself, I can always find things to clean, cook, wash…) by taking my laptop to a coffee shop to write emails or blog posts.
Keeping my laptop in the office/keeping work in the office, as opposed to the living area or bedroom. I can shut the door when I’m done and not be distracted by my laptop…and that one more email I want to write.
Setting up a daily to-do list for the week ahead…one that isn’t completely unattainable, so that I can check off most (if not all) items and feel like I was productive at the end of each day. Helps to switch my brain off.
Outsourcing my editing (big one!). With weddings each weekend, the struggle to keep my head above water would be a constant one during the summer. I recently decided to outsource to Photographer’s Edit and was amazed when it took less than 48 hours to receive the edits to a wedding I uploaded! This meant that while my clients were still on their honeymoon, I was uploading their wedding photos to their Pass gallery, and upon their arrival home, they were greeted by an email from me with the link to their complete collection.
It’s my hope that by aiming to achieve balance, I can better serve my clients. It means I get to spend quality time with the ones I love, it means I can work towards being a better wife/daughter/sister/friend, and come back to work hopefully refreshed. It’s not an easy thing to juggle and there’s always that little question in the back of my mind: am I doing enough? But perhaps that question is better left for another blog post, for another day…
Feel free to share your thoughts below on the subject :) Happy Wednesday!