Newborn Photographer’s ‘Wear Many Hats’, but if you want to be a Success, you must first Learn the Power of Focus!

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12 Aug 2018

Editing Photos, Marketing on Social Media, Administration, Emails, Sales, Doing a Session, Accounting, Purchasing Props, Cleaning the Studio, Paying Bills, Cleaning Props, Purchasing Products, Mailing Products, Cooking Dinner, Taking Kids to School, Going to the Gym, Cleaning the House, Washing the Car, Doing the Shopping, Spending time with Family etc etc etc

With so many hats to wear, how does a newborn photographer decide what they will do first?? Is it the squeaky wheel that gets the grease?? Do you attend to whatever is at the top of your ‘in-tray’? Do you let the latest interruption, telephone call or email dictate what you will do next??

Every day you’re faced with decisions and choices, some big, most small. But they each add up and they each contribute to your role as a Newborn Photographer. Whether you are conscious of them or not, you regularly make choices about what you will do now; what you will do later; what you will delegate and even what you will ignore entirely. You constantly choose between all the competing demands on your time. This means YOU are responsible for how you spend your time, how much you achieve, how stressed and fatigued you feel and ultimately, the quality of your life, the success of your business and the satisfaction that it gives you!

 

Doing What’s Important
“Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least” Goethe

You are constantly required to choose between all the competing demands on your time and these choices can be captured in the

Time Management Matrix.

The Time Management Matrix explains, we spend our time in one of four ways and the two factors that define an activity are –

URGENT and IMPORTANT.

Urgent means it requires immediate attention. It’s NOW! Urgent things act on us. Urgent matters are usually visible. They press on us, they insist on action. They’re usually right in front of us.

Importance on the other hand has to do with results. If something is important, it contributes to your mission, your values, your high priority goals.

In the Time Management Matrix there are four quadrants.

Quadrant 1 is both URGENT & IMPORTANT. It deals with significant results that require immediate attention. An example of something that is Urgent & Important is a crying baby. Most people can’t stand the thought of just allowing a baby to cry! You wouldn’t go to a crying baby and tell them they just have to wait 15minutes until you finish something else! Another activity which is Urgent & Important is a crisis.

We all have some Quadrant 1 activities in our lives! But Quadrant 1 consumes many people. As long as you focus on Quadrant 1, it keeps getting bigger and bigger until it dominates you. It’s like a pounding surf – A huge problem comes and knocks you down and you’re wiped out. You struggle back up only to face another one that knocks you down and slams you to the ground. The result is stress, burnout and fatigue!

There are other people who spend a great deal of time in Quadrant 3 – URGENT & NOT IMPORTANT, thinking they are in Quadrant 1! They spend most of their time reacting to things that are urgent, assuming they are also important. But the reality is that the urgency of these matters is often based on the priorities and expectations of others. People who spend most of their time exclusively in Quadrant 3 are often out of control and reactive.

Quadrant 4 consists of activities which are NEITHER URGENT NOR IMPORTANT. It is often used by people who spend a lot of time in Quadrant 1 to escape.

People who spend time almost exclusively in Quadrants 3 & 4 basically lead irresponsible lives! Effective people stay out of Quadrants 3 & 4 because urgent or not, they are NOT IMPORTANT. They also shrink Quadrant 1 down to size by spending more time in Quadrant 2.

Quadrant 2 is the heart of effective Self Management. It deals with things that are NOT URGENT BUT ARE IMPORTANT!

It deals with things like building relationships, long-range planning, exercising, preparation….All those things we know we need to do, but somehow seldom get around to doing, because they aren’t urgent.

Quadrant 2 are all those activities we SHOULD DO!….”I should go to the gym tonight, I should have a salad sandwich for lunch instead of hot chips and a pie, I should tell my husband/wife/partner/kids I love them more often. People who focus on Quadrant 2 activities lead balanced lives, are in control and effective!

Take some time to think about all the activities you do and which Quadrant they belong to. In which Quadrant are you spending all of your time?

Look at the activities you have listed in Quadrant 2. Activities which are important, some of the deeply important, but not urgent.  Doing these Quadrant 2 activities will make a tremendous positive difference in your life. Your effectiveness will take a quantum leap!

So to be an effective self manager and successful newborn photographer, mother/wife/partner etc…. focus on the “SHOULDS”!!

Kerryn x

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