The current season we're in is my first real busy few months. The Spring and Summer had it's busy moments for sure, but they were nothing like what I'm currently in. Back to back double header weekends, getting my Spring 2016 brides up to date with their proposals, editorial shoots, and other events have made for a whirlwind of a month and though October is a bit slower, we're in the midst of busy season and I've struggled to keep balance. I knew this heading into September so I took precautions, set boundaries, and jumped in. I thought I would share the 5 things that are helping me kick busy season's butt and keeping me sane.
1. Limiting Social Media Use.
It's no secret that I love social media and it's been come invaluable to my business, Booking brides that find me via Instagram or Facebook is my favorite thing. Because it's so important to running my business, I have to keep it up to date with daily postings. I've started to become aware however of just how much I'm on it and honestly, it's too much. This season I've made it a point to be more in the moment instead of thinking about my Instagram feed or "brand worthy" photos. I challenged myself a few months a go to put the phone down at 6pm everyday and leave it downstairs when I go to bed. (I'm the one watching dog videos before I fall asleep...not healthy) and the results were glorious. I felt better, more rested, and started to care less about the little square world we get wrapped up in. So this busy season, I wanted to go back to that. And gosh has it helped me stay on task and be more productive. It's no secret that the key is balance and it takes some time to find yours.
2. Sticking to work hours.
Having office hours is a wonderful thing and they have been imperative this season. Monday through Thursday 9:30-4:30 is when I am emailing, working on collaborations, prepping for upcoming weddings with invoices and proposals. Fridays are for all things wedding prep during an event week and on non-event weeks are used for my creativity and for intentional One Sweet Day in May time. Planning out future months and business plans. It ends my week on such a high note to have a day just for my little business. My office hours provide much needed balance during the busy season. Once the end of day comes, the computer and phone get put down and I get to enjoy me time or family time knowing that I used the hours of that day to love on my clients and be as productive as possible even with all the crazy happening around me.
This! This my friends has been my life saver. Remember when I introduced you to Caroline? She has become such an important part of One Sweet Day in May and takes care of the little things so I don't have to worry about them. Those pesky things like SEO and updating my portfolio are no longer on a list that never gets done. And the organizing of pin boards that Caroline has taken over now has made Pinterest one of my top 5 referrers to my blog/website in just the two weeks Caroline's been working on it. Amazing! And the best part, I don't have to spend time on it. Getting a part time assistant was scary, but after some price restructuring and business plans for 2016, I learned I can afford to have a team member. And gosh do I love that while I'm spending my time on my clients and weddings all that little stuff is getting done too.
4. Date Nights and the little things.
I'm a little things kind of girl. Always have been. I'd rather have take out on the couch with my guy and a good movie over a fancy 4 course dinner any night. In fact, that sounds perfect for tonight on this rainy and cold day. If you have any movie reqs send them my way! Getting back on topic though, In this season of busy, I live for the little things, The random jump in the car and go for frozen yogurt, or trip to the dog park with the pups little things. Chris and I have had a once a week date night since the very first week we met and it's something that is very important to us and to be honest it still me gives butterflies the morning of. So silly, but I just love our night together and it's what fuels me during the crazy times. It usually consists of pizza at our fave local place and a movie, mini golf, or other activity, nothing crazy. Looking at my week on a Monday and seeing what a whirlwind it's going to be (these double header weekends are not for the weak) makes me so excited for date night. Chris has a strict no phones rule and as much as I act annoyed by it, I love that he cares so much about our night. These things are what complete my life and are what I need during the busy season. Whether it's a Sunday drive to Charlottesville, a Thursday sushi girl's night, or a dollar movie double date at the Byrd downtown, the little things keep me sane.
5. Saying No.
This is hard y'all. So hard, but it's becoming easier. Maybe it's turning 30 or that I really don't have the time for all the things, but I've said the word no more the last 2 months than probably ever in my life. Hah. And you know what? Kind of like leaving my phone downstairs at night, it's so relieving. I've turned down my fair share of collaborations this Fall and saying no has given me the time to be a smarter business lady and allowed me to focus solely on the future of One Sweet Day in May and my all important brides. I've read recently that the secret to creativity is saying no and I full heartedly agree. It's scary and you have to be smart about it, but saying no has been so freeing.