October and December are my busy season for photography. There are fall sessions and holiday sessions and parties and preparations for Christmas(I wanna sleep just writing this.) When January sneaks up and surprises me each year, it’s time for a little hibernation and re-examination. If you are time blind like me, meaning you struggle to grasp how you are allotting your time and resources, I have some tips that might help you refocus your time for the new year.
Prioritize What Matters Most
Before I rush into the new year with excitement, I take time to review my previous year and look at the goals from then. I look at what worked and what didn’t. Then I look at my priorities and decide if there are some I need to let go of or improve. I always prioritize my relationship with God, my husband and baby, and finally my work and community. Prioritizing helps me to set boundaries so that I can enjoy these aspects of my life. Failing to examine and reset boundaries can turn healthy friends and experiences into bitter relationships built on obligation. So I make sure my new goals help me to prioritize my energy and care in the right ways. This practically looks like not scheduling work during family time and making time for day-to-day connection with my loved ones even if I have to schedule it. The book that helped me do this was Take Back Your Time by Christy Wright. If you find yourself always feeling short on time it’s worth a read.
Clocks and Calendars
I am time blind! If I don’t have a clock in front of me or write down the intentions I forget. Often this causes more stress because it feels as if I am always behind. So this year I bought more calendars! I have a daily planner, and a monthly calendar on my wall, and added a yearly calendar as well. This will help me better see everything coming! I also will be getting out my digital clocks, watch, and timers to help me stay aware of the time at all times. Additionally, I carry a notebook where I write down things I need to remember (your memory is not reliable.) Usually, I will fall off wearing my watch or using my calendar so the new year is a perfect time to reset all of this. Here is a list of the items I bought. These aren’t affiliate links I just like this stuff.
This one is hard for me but necessary. I will be working on accountability. This might mean finding a friend to work out with. Reaching out to people who are experienced for advice or using a system like a course to stay on track with learning goals. In addition to asking real people for help, I like some of these tools as well. I have personally used all of them and have had some success in sticking to my goals due to having accountability around them.
Maple: Coordinating home tasks
Noom: Daily accountability for weight loss and healthy eating
Coursera: courses for professional development (apply for financial aid to try it free!)
Linked In: Reach out to experienced professionals and ask to interview them for 15 minutes
Facebook Groups: Yes they may be ancient but you can find some surprisingly helpful people out there willing to share tips on everything. This is my fave as a new mom.
Finding time to play
This is a new goal of mine. I would like to find time to play. I notice I really struggle to see anything that is not productive as necessary. It’s hard to make play a priority I usually wait for a vacation or break but that’s not a good long-term plan. Life is full and I am going to have to learn to stop and breathe right in the middle of it! Otherwise, my body will force me to stop by exhaustion or lose hours of my day to YouTube. I notice when I recognize this is a real need I work hard during productivity time and can bring more creativity to my problem-solving. If you have any ideas of what I can do for fun let me know!!
Resetting is just part of life. It’s a part of the rhythm. I am learning how to be a bit less all-or-nothing and a bit more flexible by understanding this process can’t just happen in January. I need it every day! How do you get back to the norm after the craziness of the holiday season? What have you found helpful? DM me on social media or email bethany@bethanyjphotography.
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