This summer has been all about preparation for me. I have not scheduled many long trips so I can get ready for several trips and projects I have coming up this fall. Between September and November I will be leading four photo workshops, recording some new Lightroom training videos AND getting a new podcast on the air!. I know that I can easily get overwhelmed and fall behind if I am organized not once my travel schedule gets rolling.
I have also been studying a lot about productivity and time management lately. The research I’ve done on that front will (hopefully!) help me keep everything running smoothly when the chaos starts next month!
Here are five things I’m doing to stay organized this Fall:
- Organizing my time off to maximize the time I get to spend with my family. I will be on the road a lot, and want to make sure I can see my wife and kids when I’m in town. Just as you need to plan time to get your work done, it is also important to schedule some time off!
- Putting together an editorial calendar. I have been “meaning” to do this for a while and I have finally made time for it. An editorial calendar is a way for me to schedule and keep track of my writing, podcasting, email newsletters, and any other content I need to produce. There is an excellent article about the how and why of setting this up over at the Blog Marketing Academy.
- Getting my trips organized using Mail folders. I started doing this a couple of years ago, and it has definitely cut down on my travel stress. I Use Apple Mail on my desktop, but I would imagine you can do this with any email client. I simply create a new mailbox folder in my iCloud account for each trip I have coming up. Then when I get an email that pertains to that trip I simply drag it into the corresponding folder. No matter what email address the message comes to it is saved in this folder in my iCloud account and I can access it on any device. I do this with reservations and confirmation emails, as well as correspondence I might get from clients and workshop guests. I know I can go to one place to find everything I need for each trip.
- Making gear lists for each trip. I will be taking a much different selection of equipment with me for a fifteen day trip to Costa Rica than I will for a three day workshop in Arizona. Taking the time to list the gear that I need for each trip is another way to lower the stress level when traveling. When you are preparing for a photo trip you might even want to print out a list of gear you will need so you can keep it in your camera bag. This will help make sure you don’t leave anything important at home OR on location.
- Preparing class materials and blog posts. Of course I always prepare materials for classes and workshops in advance, but I am working on adding blog posts to the mix. Since I don’t do a lot of news reporting on my site I can plan out my blog posts in advance. I’m finding that many of my course materials make excellent ideas for corresponding blog posts. for me this is a way to kill two birds with one stone and maximize my productivity.
I hope that my interest in increasing my own productivity will provide useful to you a little bit in your own work.
There are still spots left for my New York City Photo Adventure in October. I’m looking forward to this new workshop led my me and my colleague Rick Gerrity. Check out my Events page for my full schedule.
Stay tuned for more information about my new podcast very soon!