Productivity for Profit with Christine Yodsukar
Let’s take a trip down memory lane. There I am in 2014, waking up whenever I felt like it, going to the gym, then coming home and working for 12 hours on my photography business. I was creating wedding day timelines, emailing everyone under the sun, editing engagement sessions, writing blog posts. Did I take breaks? Sure. Breaks for meetings about projects we were working on. Breaks to call a client. So many breaks. Can you hear my sarcasm? I was working 12 hours a day, every day. My husband and I had built a six-figure photography business, and I thought that the way I worked was the reason.
Back to present day, we have the same revenue, except I work only five and a half hours a day. How on earth did I go from working 12 hours a day to this, and still make the same amount of money? The funny answer is that I had a baby. The real answer is that I became more productive.
Becoming more productive means becoming more profitable. One option is to do the same number of activities but in less time. Let’s say your time is worth $100 per hour and you make $1,200 for 12 hours of work. If you do the same amount of work in less time, you are now making the same amount of money but doing it in six hours a day instead of 12. Instead of your time being worth $100 per hour, it is now worth $200 per hour. The dollar value of your hour has just doubled.
Another option is, instead of sipping on a margarita with those six hours you saved—or in my case, enjoying one-on-one time with my two-year-old son—you now add more revenue-building activities into those remaining hours. Instead of making $1,200 for 12 hours of work, you are now making $2,400 for those 12 hours of work because you increased the dollar value of your hour to $200 and then smashed that full 12 hours of work.
Whether you want to make more money to take care of your family or you want to get your work done in less time so you have more time to do other important things, productivity tweaks can help you get there.
Scheduling Your Day
I recently saw a video by a man named Jay Shetty in which he poses this question: “What would you do if each day you were given $86,400, and if you didn’t use it, you lost it?” You immediately think about what you would do with all that money. Here’s the punchline: That figure, 86,400, is not dollars, it’s seconds. That is how many seconds we have every single day. Everyone has the same amount, and everyone can choose to do with it as they wish.
With this in mind, we have to schedule our days to allow us to be productive and profitable. We need to know what we are doing before we can do it better. The first thing you need to do to schedule your day is write down the must-haves.
High Performance Coach Brendon Burchard, author of New York Times Bestseller High Performance Habits, talks about needing at least three 50-minute work time blocks in your day. If you have less than three, it will be hard to take your business anywhere. The 50 minutes for each time block allows you 10 minutes of transition time between activities. I’ve found this to be extremely important in letting my mind reset when I finish one thing before moving on to the other, which makes me better at the next activity.
Next, you want to include time for your health and wellbeing, both physically and mentally. This includes eating, exercise and time for quieting your mind. For quieting the mind, I prefer meditation. A simple 20 minutes a day makes me feel like I’ve just uncovered some of life’s greatest secrets; at the very least, I’m able to let go of worries and fears I’ve gathered up that day.
Some of my coaching clients prefer Bible time or just sitting in silence with a cup of coffee. We often overlook this time for quieting of our minds, but this is when we gain that all-important clarity. And how many times have we forgotten to eat? Too many. That is why I schedule six times a day to eat, so I never forget. And lastly, we need to exercise every single day. I admit that this is the first thing to go when I’ve let myself feel overwhelmed and stressed, because it’s just so easy to not go to the gym. Studies have shown, however, that exercise releases serotonin, the feel-good chemical, which reduces stress, anxiety and depression. We could all use less stress.
Now that you have some of the things you need in your day to be the best business person you can be, schedule them however works best for you. I plan my day with alarms so I never miss something I am supposed to be doing. Check out this free tool to help you schedule your day at https://www.theyodsukars.com/how-to-schedule-your-day-to-achieve-anything-you-want.
Tools to Help
Now that you know what you’re doing each day, you have to do these things in a much more productive manner.
I use Trello more than any other productivity tool. It is like a series of virtual whiteboards with as many boards as you want, as many teams as you want, and layers and layers of information within. I use Trello with my Photo Project Board. Every qualified lead we get is entered into this board on a list called Inquiries. This list contains areas for that card to move through: Schedule Session, Confirm Hair and Makeup, Send Booking Email to Client and so on. After Inquiries, they move into the Discovery Call list, Photographing, Backing Up Cards, etc. Within each client’s card, I keep notes about them and their session or artwork that I don’t want to forget.
I also have Trello boards for our video branding clients, allowing them to drop ideas they have into our Swipe File list if they see something that inspires them that they want to share. There are even boards for my Blogging, Social Media and Speaking. Trello keeps me organized and connected with my team.
Another amazing tool for productivity is Buffer, which allows you to take one of your 50-minute time blocks in your new daily schedule and create a week’s worth of Facebook posts all at once and schedule them for throughout the week. No longer do you have to scramble each day as you remember that you didn’t post anything that day and have no idea what to post. With Buffer, you can take your time, create well-thought-out and strategic content, and schedule it all.
The tool I use the most for client work is the software I use to design and sell my artwork to my clients. Fundy Designer allows me to design a wedding album in 20 minutes or less. I also design wall art for my clients that I can then reveal to them in their Design Consultation within the same software. Design Software is a must for any photographer. Now you’re not spending hours in Photoshop creating your albums and artwork.
The last tool for productivity that I want to share with you is Boomerang for Gmail. I used it every day when my son was brand new because I was up in the middle of the night more than I was during the day. Boomerang allows you to schedule when an email will be sent. Even though I was writing and responding to emails at 2:00 and 3:00 a.m., I could schedule them to be sent at 7:15 a.m. while I was sound asleep trying to catch up from being up all night. I love this tool because it allows me to keep that level of professionalism by sending emails during working hours when my actual work schedule isn’t normal at all.