How to Make Time for Creativity

How to Make Time for Creativity

description

Use Time Blocking

Time blocking is a magical part of time management for me.  I break my day into blocks of times to focus on certain activities.  For example I don’t check my email all throughout the day.    

When I block out my time at the beginning of the week everything flows a bit better.  I have a template for what most weeks look like that I start from then I build out based on that.  

I schedule blocks of time for working in my business such as client work, writing blog posts, or photographing stock photos.  I also schedule time for working on my business such as looking at my progress towards my goals, creating my new couples guide (coming soon), or updating my website.

Weeks where I work from this plan from the beginning I get twice as much work done.  I’m not wondering what I need to get done throughout the week because it’s already been planned.  If you’re looking for ways to make your weeks run smoother than give time blocking a try.  Decide how you’re going to use your time and be strategic.  

Batch Activities

Do the same activities together.  Ok I already talked about how my blocks of time are structured and batching is how I work within a block of time.  This is what makes me get shtuff done.  

I think batching can be done many different ways.  Some people do themed days.  So Tuesday could be devoted completely to all things social media.  Planning social media posts,

Doing similar business tasks like writing blog posts or preparing blog images together helps me knock out a bunch of work at the same time.  It also keeps my brain on track.  I talk a little bit about why I switched to batching in this post (enter planning post).

Schedule It

This might be obvious after I said I do time blocking and batching, but the next thing I do is I make time for it by putting it into my schedule.  If I don’t have it in my schedule that I’ll make time for being creative then it really doesn’t happen.  

I have to build the time into my schedule.  I’m so busy with all the things that make things move that if I do not put it into my schedule I won’t find the time to get done.  Then once it’s in the schedule I have to get serious about letting me have that space.  Since there are so many things that I need to get done, it can seem like an unnecessary luxury to allow myself the time, but it is so essential.  So I make the time and then hold those times.

Be Prepared

Most things flow best when you’re prepared.  Right?  Isn’t that why Scouts follow that rule.  

I just mean if you want to be able to find time to be creative make sure you already have the supplies you need.  If you want to paint have paints.  If you want to take pictures have items or people to photograph.  If you want to knit have needles.  If you want to write have your journal or computer or typewriter ;) ready.  

This will make it so much easier for you.  Once your time comes you can use that time to play in your creativity.

Make Mental Space

This idea might be a little more woo woo than the other practical ideas above, but I think meditating and journaling really help create space.  When you have time to get thoughts out and clear your mind I believe it completely leaves you open to more creativity.

I have read so many reasons why both activities are beneficial to anyone’s well being but I’ll just share why it’s helpful for me.  If I give myself the actual time to get stuff done, but I’m more concerned about all the things, then it defeats the purpose.  I feel like it gives me more freedom.

My Own Creativity

These were the exact strategies I used to make time for creating my Etsy stock photo shop Palm Dreams.  It was more of a passion project than necessary work.  I had to take make room for it in order to make it happen.  I had to batch tasks to plan it out. I got all of the supplies I was going to use all at once so I could shoot all at one time.

Bonus – Reading

I think one of the best ways to pull on my creativity is through the reading I do.  Two great books that have inspired the creativity in me are Big Magic  and The Artists Way.


Need FREE Stock Photos to Help You Save Time?

FREE Stock Photos to Save You Time in Your Biz

Definitely get on the LIST so you can get access to some FREE stock photos to get you started and save time in your business and life.

 

How and Why You Need to Review Last Year to Plan Your Year

Plan Your Year

A Year in Review

Ok I was hesitant to post this because January has passed, but I think it’s important to plan your year.

I did this work back in January, but I didn’t get around to writing the blog post until now.  I decided it definitely still has value because there might be someone out there who feels like since the beginning of the year has passed they should just move on.

You don’t need to just keep moving in your business.  You can definitely pause.  You can certainly spend time deciding what you really want.

Every year I take time at the end pause and reflect on previous year.  I figure out what worked and what didn’t work so that I can know which direction I want to go for the next year.  I really enjoy planning and reflecting so when it comes to the end of  year planning for the next excites me.

When I take time to do this it reminds me of all that I have accomplished, what I can be grateful for, and where I can get so much better. This process allows me to give myself grace and not have to be so perfect.

If you want to do your own year in review you can catch my quick planning sheet at the end of the post to get an idea of what you can do.

Why You Need to Reflect on Last Year

Reflection is a completely cathartic process.  I think we are better able to let go of crap when we take the time to let go of stuff we weren’t in love with from the previous year, or on the flip side if you had a frickin amazing year then you need to pat yourself on the back.  

If you’re anything like me then you don’t take nearly enough time to tell yourself that you are amazing, and you’re doing well!  This process makes you do that.

A year in a review can also be a great way to figure out what  worked in your business and what you should keep doing.  When you catalog what you did well then you know what processes or launches or products or services you want to keep.  If you don’t take the time to really look at the metrics then you might not have a really good picture of what you and your business needs.

Maybe you need to figure out what makes you feel like crap in your business because whatever that is needs to go.  

It also helps focus in on what can be improved.  It helps gives perspective and context when setting goals for 2017.

What to do and What questions to Ask

A great place to start is by looking back at the previous year and figuring out what went well and what you can work on.  Reflecting on it with simple questions like what went well and what could have improved?  It’s great to be able to figure out what you can actually celebrate about the work that you do.  

Once you’ve spent time thinking about the previous year it makes it that much easier to set goals for the next year.  Knowing what didn’t work the way you wanted can help you decide which area to focus on for goals.  

Don’t forget to get your planning sheet below.  It has some quick questions to get you started for your planning.

My 2016 Year in Review

Business Highlights:

I photographed some amazing weddings!  It is such a privilege to be a part of each couple’s wedding day.  It brings me so much joy to share in one of the most amazing days of a couple’s life.  Check out one of the gorgeous days here.

Planned & Created Palm Dreams Stock Photography!  This one had been on my heart for a while.  It took me more months than I wanted to plan, create, and shoot but I was darn proud of myself for finishing for the launch.  I have a smaller launch of new stock photos coming this month but you can always check out the shop here.  If you want to know full story behind the “why?” of my business you can check it out here.

Photo Course:  I started planning my photography course for creatives.  It’s going to be a course to help plan, style, and shoot photos your business and blog.  It’s still in the beginning stages but I’m super excited about it.  Right now it is only an outline of photo knowledge but I can’t wait to share more with the world.  If you want to be the first to get the FREE email course that will be a quick guide to getting started with photos you can sign up here.

What Worked and What Needs to Change

How Time was Spent

I was able to spend time working in and on my business. I’m still completely figuring this out but I know when I plan for time to work on my business then it’s much more likely to happen.  

I know this seems like a no brainer.  Of course it works better if it’s scheduled, but I kept having vague plans to get it done and not necessarily knocking it out because I was busy with client work.  

Now I just take time at the beginning of the week to plan when are the times that I’ll spend working on business, and I hold these times to be sacred. This process is amazing, and so simple!  It actually feels like I’m moving forward and I’m not only accomplishing items on a checklist!

Blogging

Last year I tried to blog more frequently.  This is still a work in progress.  There are so many weddings that aren’t on the blog yet as well as straight knowledge that I want to share.  So for this year I’ve created a writing schedule so that I can make sure that I get it done. There’s already been an improvement from this time last year.  

I’ve decided along with sharing work I also want to share educational pieces that will benefit other business owners who read them.  I want to make sure that the posts that are shared actually will help.  So You’ll be seeing more epic posts  that are packed with info!

Social Media Plans

Social Media didn’t really happen in 2016.  I mean it did, but just not as well as could have in my business!   I wasn’t using it nearly enough.

So this year I decided to not put as much pressure on getting it perfect.  My big change for this is scheduling time to plan it out.  This way I’m not trying to figure it out every day.   I need to have space to get it done.  This also allows me to be more thoughtful and strategic with what I decide to write.

Using Batching

The last thing that I decided to change for this year is how I use batching.  Last year I was using this to help me get through projects, but I think I could use it even more efficiently to get stuff done.  Since multitasking isn’t really an effective way to get things done I need to have a better way to be productive.

Ok so onto how I’m using batching.  I’ve sectioned off every day into concentrations so that I can get things done in a timely manner.  I just implemented it and I’m already seeing an improvement.  Seriously try it.  

Family Time

This one is a little personal, but I think it made me an even more joyful person.  I spent more time with family last year.  I believe being able to prioritize family so often made me a better photographer.  I’m better able to facilitate relationships and engage with couple’s family when I’m connected to my own family.  So in 2017 this will continue!

 


Get Your FREE New Year Planning Sheet!

Planning for the New Year in BusinessIf you’re looking for a quick way to plan than girl I’ve got you covered!

This quick sheet only has a few questions to get you started on planning a great year.   

It will only take 15-25 minutes quick planning to get all your ideas down and get a fast start to making it all happen.

Go plan your heart out!

 

 

The 3 Step Guide to Use Styled Stock Photos in Your Business

Have you ever finished writing a blog post and then wondered how you’re going to make a graphic to go with it?  I get it.  You already know visuals are so important to getting your business noticed, but trying to figure out which image to use and how you want it too look gets frustrating!  

You know photos and graphics help make your business stand out and share a little bit more about what’s important, but inventing new ideas with each post is a lot of work.  I think we get stuck in overwhelm so easily when we’re the one’s running every part of our business.

It’s so easy to get stuck because you’re not sure where to find great photos.  Then once you have beautiful photos, you still need to figure out what to do with them.

Every one of your posts deserves to shine completely on it’s own.  Each one deserves to get found by your people so they can share in the awesome value you have.

Great stock images can begin to add the needed loveliness to your posts that you need to stand out ;)

Why Use Stock Photos

Let’s get real honest right here.  I think we all spend time looking at other people’s gorgeous brands.  You know the ladies who have it all together.  The one’s whose site always look fabulous.  

One way to try to build a gorgeous brand is to do it yourself but this so often leads to feeling stuck.  Another way (and it makes it a lot easier) is by using stock photos.  

When you use stock photography on your website it adds a consistent look to your brand. Having a consistent style helps make your brand recognizable.

People will see your work and automatically know who to associate it with!  We all want to have some know like and trust factor and stock photography does just that.

The other reason why you want to have some amazing photos on your site is it also makes your brand look more professional.  When your photos look like they’re well styled then people automatically assume you’ve got it together.

Brands that have well styled graphics and photos look like they’re a real business.  You don’t want to look like your brand isn’t but together.

The last great reason to use stock photos is that using a stock image will help gain that consistency across all the platforms your on.  When you’re using the same style images and graphics on every blog post and every social media post then people are going to start to recognize your brand.

The Three Steps

#1 Decide where you’re using it

This one can seem a little basic.  I know, but it’s really essential.  You need to know exactly how you want to use the photo.  It’s like just about everything in business.  When you’re clear on what you’re trying to do then you’re able to move forward the right way.  It happens kind of the same way with your photos.  Every platform has its own particular sizing constraints and when they’re not followed the image can look off!  So once you know where you’re going to use it you can figure out the appropriate size and crop for each image.

Knowing where you’re posting will also help you decide how much white space you might need for text overlays or if you want any white space at all.   If you decide to crop the photo you’ll know how stylistically decide.  (I made a quick cheat sheet to find the correct sizes for social media platforms.  Download it now so you don’t have to stress about trying to find it)

Knowing where you’re using the image can also help you decide what images you want to use.  Maybe you have a certain feel to your instagram, then you’ll probably want to use the image that fits that vibe.   So keep this in mind when you’re choosing.

#2 Crop or Resize

Ok this is where I start to get a little techy.  You’re going to want to crop or resize your image to fit the places you’re using it.  If you’re using it on your blog it’s not going to be the same size as on your instagram or facebook page.  So make sure you’re getting images together ahead of time.

When the sizing of your photo is off then it makes it look distorted on social media.  I made a quick cheat sheet with the sizing for major blog graphics and social media.  Download it now so you have it to go back to whenever you want!  When you have the correct sizing then you know exactly how you’re presenting your brand.  It also helps to have all these images and graphics ready right when you post goes live.

The Three Steps to Getting the Most from Stock Photos

#3  Find the Right Editing Platform to Overlay Text

There are some really awesome ways to use stock photos in your business.  One of the best ways is to share more such as in a blog post, or social media post.  Most times when I do this I put text directly on the image.  There are several different tools you can use to do this.  

The tool that I use all the time is Photoshop.  It has everything I need and complete flexibility of design, which can be amazing!  I like it because I can edit photos as well as add graphic elements.  It has a 30 day free trial so you could always try it out and then see what else is out there if you don’t love it.  

If you don’t necessarily have the skills to tackle that mother of a program than I think Canva is an awesome alternative tool.  It’s really intuitive and has great user functionality.  The best part is it’s free.  There are more capabilities if you choose to get a paid version.  I don’t currently use it, but I have tried it in the past.

One more tool (because amazing things travel in threes ;) that could be amazing for tackling your images is picmonkey.  I say could be because I haven’t really used it consistently, but I know that it has the ability to add text overlay.


Want to get the FREE Social Media Sizing Cheat Sheet?

Free Social Media Sizing Cheat Sheet

Sweet you’ll no longer need to worry about figuring out what the right size for Instagram, Facebook or whatever is because I’ve got you covered.

The Social Media Sizing Cheat Sheet was made to make it so much easier to figure out what the correct size is for where you’re posting.

No more weird shaped images because they’re not the correct size for the platform you’re on!

I love when things get easier!

 

How to Use Elegant Winter Wedding Colors

 

How to Use Elegant Winter Wedding Colors

How to Use Elegant Winter Wedding Colors

Winter weddings are always so beautiful.  The contrast between elegant wedding colors with the bare trees is instantly breathtaking.  One of my favorite ways to use elegant winter colors is using deep wine colors. Florals with wine colors look classically beautiful and add a elegance to the whole day.

No matter how you decide to plan your day it’s important to know what you want.  Do not let the allure and fun of Pinterest take over your day.  It’s completely your day and it’s important that it means much to you, so having an idea of your own style and the style for your wedding can help ensure a more focused day.  Here are a few tips on how to use elegant wedding colors.

Keep it Simple

A gorgeous winter wine color wedding is bold and beautiful, but if the whole wedding is filled with the color it can feel heavy.  You don’t want the day feel as though it’s wedding color throw up.  Every detail does not need to be in your color that’s what accents are for.  Choose coordinating colors that accent the color and add a new dimension.  This will give the deep winter color more pop during the day.

Venue 

Once you know your venue this can help you decide if choosing a elegant winter color works for your wedding location.  Having a venue with a lot neutral colors can make it easier to choose colors, but this isn’t the case for every wedding location.  Sometimes once you know your venue you’ll know how you want to use an elegant wine color.  If the space is already really dark you might not want to incorporate dark linens or too many heavy dark florals.   

Florals

Flowers are one of the best ways to add color and pop to your wedding day.  It’s also really great for adding dimension to your wedding day details.  By adding lighter color florals with the deep wine color it lighten ups the whole day.

Details that Coordinate

This goes with adding florals that make the day pop.  The details should coordinate but not necessarily match.   Too much matching can be boring and not as interesting.  Having details that coordinate throughout the day helps tell a story and keeps the day consistent.  


Want to know how to LOVE your wedding photos.

Get the FREE guide below!

1 2 3 4 5 19