Yesterday was one of those days. It started off so good. It was so good to be back home, back to my normal routine, I was basically skipping around the barn that morning (well not really but you know what I mean), loving the cool and fresh fall air, and just so excited to knock out my to do list for the day. I got back to the office, started chipping away, and as usual, got distracted here, and got distracted there.
There’s been so many times I’ve told myself I need to make myself a daily schedule and really stick to it. Office hours start at X time, check email only twice a day at X times, lunch break at X time, etc. I’ve even read (and know from experience!) that we are most productive in 90-minute groupings of time. So one day I made my list, and powered through it for 90 minutes, stopping at the 90 minutes no matter where I was. Then I’d take 30 minutes to do whatever I wanted around the house, and start the next 90 minutes. SO PRODUCTIVE. But it didn’t stick.
So even though I have a rough schedule each day (barn in the morning, errands/short lunch break mid-day, barn in the evening), I kind of arbitrarily pick and choose what I’m going to do in between…and it just doesn’t work. Too often, at the end of each day, I feel like I got nothing done, even though I may have gotten a fair amount done. Too often, I get SO involved in something really important at the END of the day, and then can’t stop and if I do, it consumes me for the rest of the evening, thinking about what I should change or do differently first thing in the morning. Too often, I’m checking my work email, Facebook, etc. during parts of the day that I just shouldn’t be. First thing in the morning. Last thing before bed. It’s just so unhealthy.
Yesterday was just a bad day. I felt like I got nothing done, I spent all day looking at my bank accounts, adding up this, taking out that, looking at my calendar, looking at my giant to do list, looking at other photographers Facebook pages and blogs. Yup, I admit it, I am so guilty of comparing myself to others way too often. It needs to stop. It’s just awful for my confidence and when I see all these jubilant Facebook posts about “such fun clients,” “another amazing wedding,” or “getting ready for ANOTHER great session!” I wonder what I’m doing wrong that I’m not shouting from the rooftops about all of my amazing clients, sessions, and weddings. Really though, that’s not exactly my style, but it still makes me wonder what so and so photographer may be doing that’s so much better than me and why they need to share it with the world over. And over. And over. Who knows? WHO CARES is what I need to be thinking.
So last night I was lying in bed, looking at my phone, and I randomly searched for a video I’ve been WAITING to be released forever on YouTube, and it was there! A video about ME, and my pet photography! I watched it, felt so proud and so excited, and then… I read the comments. More not-so-nice and critical comments than nice comments. And just like that, my mini moment of feeling so much better was gone. And then I was just embarrassed, so I buried my head on my pillow and threw my phone on my nightstand while a flurry of negative thoughts completely took over my mind. After tossing and turning for a while out of frustration and anger, I picked up my phone, reminded myself that the harsh reality is that I just can’t make everyone happy, but I damn sure can start by making myself happier…so I deleted work email off of it, deleted Facebook off of it, and this morning, I un-liked just about all photographer’s Facebook pages, and installed a productivity extension on Google Chrome to allow me only a certain amount of time each day on the websites that suck the most of my time. Hello positive changes!
I need to get back to where I was before my business took over my life. The work/life separation is currently non-existent, and rather than comparing myself to others all the time, second guessing myself, and still having work on my mind after 5PM, I should be riding, spending time with my family, or -gasp- shooting for me. Can’t remember the last time I did that and ENJOYED it! Things have got to change.
So here’s to taking something bad, and making it good. Here’s to cutting WAY back on other photographers blogs and instead reading more of what inspires me… Emily Ley, Lara Casey, design blogs, and books. Here’s to way less time with my eyes glued to my iPhone screen, and here’s to only checking work email on the computer. Whoa! Most of all, here’s to ME being ME, being proud of my business and where I’ve come, and embracing these bad days because if it means my skin gets even just a little thicker, then it’s worth it.
Hi! I’m Brittani, and I’m a South Carolina and Georgia wedding and portrait photographer. I’m also a wife, bonus mom, animal lover, and passionate about creating real, timeless, and romantic images that tell a story and are full of life. I’m inspired by light, love, the outdoors, and adventures with my family. Feel free to browse the blog to see more of my work, learn a bit about my life, and don’t hesitate to send me a note if you’d like to chat!