We previously touched on the difficulties some photographers face when their passion for photography becomes a monotonous grind leading to potential burnout. One of the facets we noted concerned not overthinking things, and occupying your mind with other interests, pursuits, hobbies and those around us who we care about. When it comes to managing one’s personal life, how can one strike the right balance with their photography career?
With our constant connection to technology via smartphones, we’re often tempted to feel as though we need to monitor and reply to every email that comes our way as soon as it is received. This might seem like a logical approach, but it’s not necessarily the most efficient – particularly when you are in the middle of something else and trying to manage multiple tasks at the one time. What’s more, it can also creep into your personal life where you find yourself on your phone at dinner, or dividing attention away from family and friends.
Therefore, set aside periods of the day which you block out to specifically address and respond to emails and other similar administrative tasks. If you’re unable to resist that temptation, turn off syncing features on your phone to avoid receiving notifications, or even look into hiring a freelance admin assistant to help ease the burden. You’ll also set straight any expectations among clients that you are immediately contactable.
Create a ‘Weekend’
It’s no surprise that photographers are rarely afforded the luxury of having time off on both a Saturday and Sunday. If you’re in this position, it may be wise to structure your rates such that weekends are priced at a premium. While photographers might therefore not be able to enjoy a ‘traditional’ weekend, it’s important to have that time off to unwind, mentally recharge and enjoy the company of others without discussing work-related matters. If you have to, set aside two separate days during the week where your workload is generally lighter, or adopt a flexible work schedule. Ideally however, look to combine two consecutive days like a Monday and Tuesday, or Wednesday and Thursday.
Leave your Camera Behind
How many times has an impromptu event put you in a position where you feel obliged to become a photographer for the occasion? Sure, you might want to help you friends and family from time to time with some great shots, but you need to have a firm line between your time as a photographer and your spare time taking in the moments like everyone else around you. Push back and create your own boundaries where you feel they will be beneficial for your work-life balance.
Disconnect, Treat the Mind, Body and Soul
Step away from the computer and all things electronic. Renew old acquaintances, read a book, try new restaurants or bars, take up new hobbies, and exercise. Aim to keep your office hours to a specific weekly total. If you happen to exceed this, offset it the following week and treat yourself to extra time off.
Another area often overlooked is the importance of eating well while on the job. Make sure you’re not skipping meals or skimping on what you eat. If you don’t take care of your body, you’ll find yourself losing concentration and struggling to keep up your energy throughout the day. At this point efficiency goes out the window and you can expect to have difficulty meeting your deadlines or feeling enthusiastic about what you’re doing.