I am in the throws of wedding season, like everyone else in this industry, and in the middle of one of my busiest shooting weeks, so far. It’s so easy to get to this point and feel overwhelmed, feel behind (since I have quite a load of editing to catch up on), and feel like I just don’t have enough time. I don’t have enough time to write the blog posts that I want to write, to prepare weddings for the blog, to edit, to send client gifts, to answer emails. Forget about things like working out, reading my Bible, eating well, doing household things. So what happens? I spend all this time telling myself I don’t have time and therefore I feel frantic constantly. Every task I do try to tackle only feels rushed and I easily get distracted by the other things that should be demanding my attention. It’s the opposite of efficient, and the stress isn’t helping anyone. So something has to give. But what?
The reality is, when owning your own business and working in a fast paced industry, there will always be a lot to do. And that’s ok. You can learn to live with and manage that feeling without being stressed by it, or letting it control you. But the biggest shift has to come in our thinking, not in our to-do list.
I saw Perry Holley speak at a conference earlier this summer and he said something really convicting. “A lot of us say we don’t ‘have the time’ to do the things we want to, but the reality is we just don’t make the time.” (Ouch, right?)
You guys, time is not against us. Time is on our side. We’re so used to living in a go-go-go culture and saying “I don’t have time” or “I’m too busy” for things like working out, or reading, or eating better or investing in friendships or your community. Because those things take time, and we say we have none of it. But what’s really the truth? The truth is, everyone has the same number of hours in their day, and there are a lot of successful, fit, generous people out there. So what’s so different about them? They make time for things that are important to them. I’m sure they’re no less busy, no less pressured to tackle a to-do list. But they see time as an asset to be used in their favor, not an enemy. And that right there is the biggest shift in my thinking that I needed.
(Love this print from Lara Casey)
I don’t accomplish everything, everyday, that I want to. And there’s grace for that. No one should try to hold themself to an unrealistic standard of perfection. But when I started making the time to get up a little earlier so I could do things that were important to me: a short work out, some time reading/praying/journaling, a household thing or two, and stopped making the excuse that I have too much work waiting for me, I started feeling way better and more focused when I DO sit down for work. But I have to fight the temptation almost every morning to not skip those things and get right to work. Because if we’re waiting for the moments when we have “nothing on our plate” to make time for important things, it will never come. My business and my clients are so important to me. But if I’m not first learning how to best take care of myself and serve my husband and household, then I’m obviously not going to be as effective as I could be in my business.
Yes, there’s a lot to do. But I choose to view time as an asset, from now on, and to learn to better manage it in my favor. It’s so much easier to work with something when you see it in a positive light, instead of an always-losing battle. So for anyone else finding themselves treading water to just stay afloat in this busy season, you’re not alone. But I hope this shift in focus will encourage you to tackle your to-do lists in a new, empowered way!