time management | getting personal

"There can be no happiness if the things we believe in are different from the things we do." - Freya Stark

What do you spend your day doing? What does passing time look like in your world?

Lately, for me, passing time has looked a little like riding in the car with my mom and sister while running errands. It also looks like phone calls and text messages to my brother trying to convince him to hang out with me, baking goods to mail to my husband, and singing Disney songs with my nieces at the top of our lungs.

It looks like family. It looks like summertime. It looks like time away from my desk.

I have to admit... something I truly admire in other successful entrepreneurs is their ability to prioritize their lives. And I'll admit that I admire them a bit more when their priorities align with mine. You know. Family first, career second. I love it when it is CLEAR that someone has their priorities in that order, and they make a deliberate effort to keep them in that order.

Seriously admire it.

So... how's this for clear? This is what my calendar looked like last week. The different colored blocks are top priority meetings, session, or appointments. Small pieces of my week that came before my family.

Now... there is a place where the line must be drawn. The line between "family ALWAYS comes first" and "I'm trying to run a business, here." That happened for me this weekend. Once I realized how much was getting piled up here at my desk I started freaking out a bit. Well, my type-A sister loves (almost) nothing more than to PLAN. She sat down with my to-do list and my estimated time-per-project and turned my calendar into this:

Ahhhhh. So... family is gonna have to hold off for about 4 weeks until I am completely caught up here in the office. Then after that! Get this... my sister actually scheduled in daily "family time." She says I should email everyone and tell them that I will be able to hang out between time A and time B every weekday. But that sounds a bit more type-A then I wanna get. :) (I love her intentions, though!)

So what's my point here? A few things!

First... I am REALLY excited to know that I will be absolutely completely caught up on my work in four weeks. If you are a client of mine and you are expecting something from me between now and the next four weeks - you WILL be receiving it between now and the next four weeks! (Unless we are waiting on an outside company to put it together. ;))

Second... I am also very excited to know that by the time my husband returns home, I will have my schedule under control. That means no editing while he's eating dinner alone on the couch. I kid, I never made him do that... but you get my point! My goal is for him to never see me work. I don't see him work - why should he come home to see me working? And the way my schedule has been set up - he won't be seeing me work. So exciting!

And third... I am excited about the peace that I will have when I am away from my desk. No stress hanging over my head about my to-do list, because I know that I will get it all completed by the day it is due. Why? Because it is scheduled!

Imagine that. I know, it's not brain science. But to a creative mind like me... this is a new concept for me... and to think it may actually work (!!) is super, super exciting.

Besides.... LOOK how pretty all those colors are on my calendar! ;)

So tell me, how do you keep your priorities in order?

Liz Cook

Liz Cook is a wedding, birth, and motherhood photographer based in Central Virginia. Her intuition and creative perspective allow her to connect both professionally and personally with her subjects, and thus, her portfolio is saturated with authentic emotion. Whether she's sharing her story with fellow entrepreneurs or enjoying quality time with her husband and two daughters, Liz is both present and passionate about capturing and celebrating life. Her work has been featured by O "Oprah" Magazine, The Huffington Post, The Glitter Guide, Essence Magazine, domino, Rue Magazine, among others.