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Time Management – Concentrate

March 4, 2015 in Business Tips, Goal Setting, photography education, Photography Entrepreneurship, Photography Tips, Time Management by admin

Time Management – Concentrate

Today is our last day talking about Rory Vaden’s time management focus funnel from his book “Procrastinate on Purpose”. Today is when you finally have something that you get to do. Yesterday we talked about procrastinating on purpose. And the procrastinate step is a great way to set aside tasks that don’t need to be done right now, so that you can do tasks that do need to get done now. I’m not talking about putting off something that you know you should do. I am talking about doing something that you should do, instead of distracting yourself with something that is not as significant right now. If you ask yourself the question “can I put this off?”, and the answer you get is “no”, then what you have is a task that needs to be done now. Now it is time to concentrate. This is when you turn off the phone, close your email, shut out all distractions, and give yourself a set amount of time to really focus. Focus on that one task… that one significant task that is going to create more time for you tomorrow. Focus on creating your sales system. Or focus on setting up your social media structure. Concentrate on writing the copy for your new book, or whatever it is that is going to make a big impact… long term. If your task is a big one, you may need to schedule many sessions to concentrate. If it is smaller, then you might be able to complete the whole thing in one big chunk of time. But concentrating is about shutting out distractions so that you can get that significant task completed.

Did you know that each and every time you are interrupted, it takes 15 minutes to get yourself back to a true state of focus? Think about how many times during the day you are interrupted. For some of us that means that we never really have a chance to focus on anything. If we have our email setup to notify us every time we get an email, or our Facebook page to signal every message we get, then there is really never a time during the day that we can get real concentrated focused time. What about the buzz of our cell phones? Even on vacation, few of us are willing to be very far away from that little buzz. No wonder we all feel so overwhelmed, and yet still feel like we aren’t getting very far. We have become incredibly impatient these days. We want everything now. And we get it NOW! But we are paying a high price for that. We are paying the price of not being present where we are. The people that are right in front of us get precious little of our attention, while we defer to the email, Facebook and ringing phone.

If we can use Rory Vaden’s focus funnel to eliminate things that don’t serve us, automate things that can be systematized, delegate things that are better handled by someone else, procrastinate on things that we do not need to be doing yet, and concentrate on the things that really matter… our entire lives and businesses can transform. We can get back to spending our lives on things that make a difference, on things that are fulfilling and meaningful. And for me, a chronic driver and over-achiever, maybe even finally find peace. 🙂

Here’s to you and to your peace… today and everyday moving forward.

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by admin

Time Management – Procrastinate or Concentrate

March 3, 2015 in Business Tips, photography education, Photography Entrepreneurship, Time Management by admin

Time Management – Procrastinate or Concentrate

If you have been following my posts on time management and Rory Vaden’s work on the focus funnel, you are going to love the next step. If you have asked yourself, “can I eliminate this?”, “can I automate this?”, and “can I delegate this?”, and you haven’t been able to get the task handled, then you have finally found a task that is all yours to handle. Whew! I bet you thought I was going to have you give everything away didn’t you? Nope… there are some things that are yours to do.

If you have used the focus funnel well, then you have either eliminated or outsourced every task that is not significant to YOU. What do I mean by that? I mean that you were put here on this earth to do something important. There is something that only you can do… some impact that you are uniquely and perfectly qualified to create in the world. THAT thing is what will be significant for your life and your business. And… the tasks that lead to that impact are the ones that will provide the most fulfillment for you. Wow! It may be hard to imagine right now, if you are overwhelmed by all of the tasks on your to do list, but imagine for a moment what life would look like it you were only handling the significant tasks. If you were focusing solely on the things that will make a real difference. How would you feel? Would you feel happy, vibrant, alive and significant? I believe that’s how I would feel. And, that’s why I am using the focus funnel to restructure my thinking and my time management process. I can already feel more freedom and hope. I can already see a light at the end of the “to do” tunnel, as I shift my thinking away from the urgent and important things, and on to the significant ones.

So, once a task falls out the bottom of the funnel, and you are clear that it is a task that you must handle yourself, you now have a choice. You can get right to that task… which Rory Vaden calls concentrate… or you can do what you have probably told yourself for years and years that you should never do… Procrastinate (on purpose). Procrastinate has gotten a bad rap. But that is because it carries with it a piece of the definition that I am going to recommend you disregard. There are really two types of procrastination. The one that we most often think about is: putting off something for another time, that you know you should be doing now. That is the type of procrastination that we want to eliminate. If we KNOW that we should be doing something now, then we need to use concentrate to get it done. But… there is a second type of procrastination. Rory Vaden calls it procrastinate on purpose. This is when you put off a task until the last moment that it can be done. And, I don’t mean, AFTER the last moment… like when you pay your bill the day AFTER it is due. That is paying it LATE. I mean, paying your bill on the day it is due, and not before that. There are advantages to procrastinating on things that can wait. Mainly, because things change. Plans change, the market changes, people change their minds. And if you do things EARLY, then you may end up having to do that thing again later, after things have changed. I used to pay my bills early all the time. I was so paranoid that my bill would be late, and I would incur a late fee, that I made sure that as soon as I got my bill, I would go pay it. But after a while I realized that paying them early was silly. That was money that could be invested in something else in the meantime. Why would I want to give it to the electric company before it was due? I wouldn’t. And, you probably wouldn’t either.

So when a task drops through the focus funnel and you are given the option to concentrate (do it now) or procrastinate on purpose… you can ask yourself the question “can I put this off?”

Woo Hoo! What a freeing question. Just think of all the things you can remove from today’s to do list, just by putting them off. And, you know what I have found? A lot of those tasks end up taking care of themselves before I ever get to them.

Here is our Focus Funnel again:

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What things can you add to your procrastinate on purpose list today?

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by admin

Time Management – Delegate

March 2, 2015 in Business Tips, Goal Setting, Photography Entrepreneurship, Photography Marketing Tips, Photography Workflow, Time Management by admin

Time Management – Delegate

Building on our time management techniques from the past three posts, today I want to talk about Rory Vaden’s “Procrastinate on Purpose” step of Delegate. Once you have asked yourself… “can I eliminate this?”, and “can I automate this?”, if your task has not been handled yet, you move to the next stage – delegate. This is when you ask the question… “can I delegate this”? Now, I have to admit, delegate is the hardest step of time management for me. It always has been. For years, decades even, I have struggled with delegating things. Why? Because I did not have, what Rory Vaden calls, the permission of imperfect. I have always felt that, for the tasks that I needed to get done on a daily basis, that I could do it either faster, better or both, than having someone else do the task. I know that sounds ridiculously arrogant, but it was also true. After all, for most of these tasks, I was doing things inside my own business, things that related to systems that I myself had developed. I knew these tasks inside and out. I could practically do them in my sleep. Delegating them seemed like a ludicrous option. Even Rory says I was “right”… which is probably the only reason I was willing to listen to his explanation of why I needed to delegate anyway (LOL).

Rory says that it takes up to 2.5 hours to teach someone how to do a task that takes 5 minutes. YIKES! 2.5 HOURS! No wonder I was thinking I couldn’t afford to delegate anything. That’s a lot of time management! However, I was missing a key ingredient to this thought process. And that was this… once I have taught that person how to do the task, not only can I focus on something else, but they actually get better and better and better at doing the task. This speeds up the efficiency of the task, and ensures that my clients are being handled much more effectively than they were when I myself was doing everything. With someone else handling the time management of these tasks that are less significant to my making an impact on the world, now I can focus on those things that are significant. If you don’t remember from my earlier post, significance is how long something matters. Significant things are things that will matter years down the line. Me answering my phone right now, is not significant years from now. However, me developing a training program for my team to answer the phone effectively and efficiently, will matter years from now. Once I have delegated incoming phone calls to my team, and trained them to do it well, I can move on to the next item on my list that will be significant to my life or my business.

Here is Rory Vaden’s focus funnel again. Notice how each of our first three steps have handled a lot of tasks already. Just you wait until we get to the next stage. You are going to LOVE IT!

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What can you delegate inside your business? If you are a photographer, unless you get some sort of fulfillment and enjoyment from retouching your own work… DELEGATE IT! Retouching is time-consuming… and boring. It is tedious! And, it is extremely cheap to delegate! If you don’t already have a source for this, I recommend www.retouchup.com . They are inexpensive, professional, and fast! If you are not happy with what they did on your images, you can have them re-done for FREE. I get most of my images back before 24 hours are up. And… you can try them for FREE. Click HERE if you want to try them out.

There are probably many tasks like this in your business that you can delegate. You can delegate using a virtual assistant. You can delegate SEO, social media, email marketing.

Leave your answer to the question… “What can I delegate in my business?” in the comments below. And, I’ll see you here next time for the last two steps of the focus funnel. 🙂

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by admin

Time Management – Automate

March 1, 2015 in Business Tips, Goal Setting, Time Management, Uncategorized by admin

Time Management – Automate

Using Rory Vaden’s focus funnel (from his book, “Procrastinate on Purpose”), we can see that the next step in his time management model, after eliminate, is automate. If you are unable to eliminate a task, then the next question you want to ask yourself is… “can I automate this?”. What is automating? I see it as creating a system. A system that will allow the task to be performed automatically, and predictably, moving forward. Automating a task, while it may take a while to initially set up, will save you tons of time in the long run. For example, you could automate your initial contact with potential clients. You could create a series of written or video emails that could be used to introduce you and what you stand for to your potential client. These emails would then automate what is currently taking you a lot of time to perform for each potential client individually. Now, am I suggesting that you stop answering the phone, and let the emails do all of the work for you? Not necessarily. But maybe sometimes. For instance, what if you could set up a system, an automated system, that would kick off when a new visitor comes to your web site? What if, when someone goes to your image gallery online, a video plays that introduces you and why you do what you do to your potential client?  Then, what if you could further improve your time management by having an opt in box that collected that person’s email address? What if that email then went into a follow up system, an automated follow up system, that emailed out a new video to your potential clients every few days? You would record the videos once. You would set up the automated system once, and then you would benefit from that automated system every time a new person opted in on your web site. Wouldn’t that save you a lot of time?

But Kate… you say… I don’t have time to set all that up. I am already overwhelmed just trying to keep up with everything I already have to do. The reason why you are having a hard time keeping up, is that you are trying to do everything yourself… one task at a time. Rory Vaden says that multipliers (the people who are able to multiply their time) spend time on things today that will give them more time tomorrow.

Here’s the focus funnel again:

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What can you automate today that will save you time tomorrow?

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by admin

Photography Business Tips – Free Daily Organizer

May 22, 2014 in Business Tips, Goal Setting, Time Management by admin

Today’s photography business tip is to find a tool that you can use to keep yourself organized on a daily basis. You not only need to be able to organize your day to day and short term goals, but you also need a way to keep yourself on track for long term goals. I created my own little system for keeping myself organized that saves me a bunch of time and helps me keep myself on track. It’s so easy to get distracted by things like email and Facebook, especially if you are already overwhelmed by too many tasks, but my little system really helps me stay focused on the important things I need to get done.
I have a treat for you today! Below is a link to download my FREE daily organizer. It will only be online until Saturday, so download it quick… and try it out. And… I would LOVE to get your feedback on how helpful it is for you. Please comment below after you have had a chance to try it out.

This link will only be available until Saturday May 24th, 2014, so don’t delay.

Click HERE to download

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Photography Business Tips – The Pareto Principle – The 80/20 Rule

April 17, 2014 in Business Tips, How to start a photography business, Photography Entrepreneurship, Time Management by admin

Today’s tip is on the Pareto Principle… also known as the 80/20 Rule. The gist of the 80/20 Rule is that 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts. This seems like really bad news at first. OMG! That means I am wasting 80% of my time!
I would say, “Woo Hoo, That means I am wasting 80% of my time!” Afterall, if you can just figure out what the 80% of useless, unproductive activities are, and spend just a little more time on the 20% of highly productive things… then you could increase your productivity on those things by a whopping 16 times. WOW! Wouldn’t that be great!
In your photography business 80% of your income is coming from 20% of your clients. Am I suggesting that you stop working with the 80%, and just serve the 20%. Well… maybe. That’s something you ought to really look at. If you are terribly overwhelmed with things to do, and you are not able to serve ANY of your photography clients well… then shifting your focus to just working with the top 20% might be a really good idea for you.
When I looked at my event photography company, I was doing a lot of marketing events… events that didn’t make us much, if any, income, but took a lot of time. That’s when I decided that rather than doing events to try and get exposure, I would spend all that energy to build a boutique studio business… one that I would love, and that would cater to a totally different type of client. Letting go of those headache events freed me up to pursue becoming a Master Photographer, rather than spending all my time loading and unloading cars with equipment to go to events that didn’t produce any results.
What are your time-wasters? What are your most productive activities? Can you move some from the 80% side to the 20% side? If you can, your photography business could be a lot more successful.
So… here’s to it… Your Success!

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Run a successful photography business – Photography Tips – Get it right in the camera

April 4, 2014 in How to start a photography business, Photography Entrepreneurship, Photography Tips, Time Management by admin

Today’s photography tip is to get it right in the camera.

Just because you CAN fix something in post-production, doesn’t mean that you should. As a matter of fact, it normally means you shouldn’t. Fixing something in Photoshop, after the fact, is not only not usually necessary, but it is also usually much more time consuming. If your client’s hair is out of place, or there is something in the background, then it is much better to fix it during the session. How much you are able to earn from a session is, to a large degree, dependent upon how long you spend editing and retouching the images. So… limiting the amount of retouching needed will increase your profitability. Photography is your craft. If you don’t know how to get a correct exposure, correct white balance and attend to the details of the images you are creating… then go learn. Take a class…. or start watching Creative Live. You are a photographer… not a graphic artist… not a Photoshop Guru. You should be able to get your photographs correct in the camera. Use your software tools to enhance the images and make them perfect, not to get them right to begin with.

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Grow your photography business – Photography & Business Tips – Do that things you have been putting off

March 24, 2014 in Business Tips, Goal Setting, Time Management by admin

If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten. It’s always easier in business to find things to do that you enjoy than to do those things that you know you should be doing. That’s just human nature. But, in your photography business, you have got to discipline yourself to do the things you know you need to do in order to succeed. If you don’t, your photography business is going to continue to produce the results that it always has. Now… if your photography business is bringing you everything that you ever wanted it to… that GREAT! Keep doing what you’re doing. But if it isn’t… get to that thing you know you’ve been putting off, and create a block of time to get it done… and DO IT!

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by gtpkate

Photography Business Tips – Get A Coach!

February 24, 2014 in Business Tips, Goal Setting, Photography Entrepreneurship, Photography Tips, Time Management by gtpkate

If you are struggling with anything in your business or your life, a great way to power through it is to get a coach. Nobody in sports would ever consider going it alone, and in the photography business, you shouldn’t either. Building a photography business requires a lot of skills, many of which you won’t have when you first start out, and you will be much better served by having a mentor or a coach than you will by trying to figure everything out yourself.

What’s your biggest challenge right now in your business or your life? What are you struggling with?

I will be choosing one person’s comment from the comments on this post in the next 72 hours to give out a free 30 minute coaching session with me… One On One to help make a difference in the area you are having the biggest challenge right now. So… What can I help you with… photography?… business?… organization?

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by gtpkate

Photography Business Tips – The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Urgent & Important Quadrants

February 21, 2014 in Business Tips, Goal Setting, Photography Tips, Time Management by gtpkate

Construction-Leadership-Time-Management-Graph-From-Fast-Easy-Accounting-resized-600

Stephen Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has a great time management tool that places items in quadrants based on whether they are important or not and urgent or not. Moving what you focus on in your life and work from items that fall into Quadrants 2 & 4 into quadrant 3, can has a significant impact on your effectiveness and your quality of life.

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