With fall here and the busy Christmas photography season on us, there are a million things to do and no time to do it. You’re balancing your homes, your business and there is still the job of parenting, which you refuse to fail at, right? How do you get it all done and still balance your family? We’ve got some ideas that may help you, no matter what age and stage your children are in. Here are amazing work from home secrets for photographers.
Babies – The best way to work and have time for your baby, is to get them on a schedule. Once you can rely on a regular schedule with your baby, it is much easier to do your work. The secret lies in preparing your task list ahead of time so that right when the baby goes down for a nap, you are in your office accomplishing the list, not still building it. You’ll be surprised at how much you can accomplish when your tasks are ready and waiting, rather than still needing to be organized. Your focus will be dramatically improved. Also, designate all naptimes to your photography business, the housework can be done with the baby awake.
Toddlers and Preschool Kids – When you have toddlers and preschool aged children, there are times when you need to work beyond just their naps. Try getting them special toys to play with only when Mommy works. It may even be an office type toy, like a little desk, cash machine, or even a camera, anything that makes them feel just like Mommy or Daddy. Another great idea is to put $1.00 into a work jar every time they play quietly while you are working. Tape pictures of a toy they would like or a trip somewhere fun, and let your kids know that every time they are good while you are working, they get to put $1.00 bill into the jar towards that toy or special trip.
School Aged Kids and Teens – It’s a little easier to have work time while the older kids are gone at school (unless you still have some littles at home), but why not involve them in what you are doing? It becomes more of a family project that way, and can bring you together. What about hiring your kids to do your packaging, or to clean your camera, or sort through and organize your props. You can have them assemble marketing material, or even teach them a little editing, depending on the kid, right? Jodi, owner of MCP Actions, has her 9 year old twins Jenna and Ellie help her with her Project 52 and even testing upcoming Lightroom Presets. You can also have a goal jar for this age too. They might be working for bigger and better toys and trips, but they also will understand that Mom needs to work, and there is something they can do to contribute.
So, before your schedule goes haywire and your waving your kids off to give you more time on the computer, prepare some of these systems to make the working from home an easier task. Doing this will give you more focus to achieve your goals while still keeping your kids first.
Amy Fraughton and Amy Swaner are the founders of Photo Business Tools, an online site offering business resources for photographers through blog posts, podcasts and downloadable forms.