Do you ever feel like you don’t have enough time in the day, or week for that matter? This week’s Food Blogging 101 post is part 1 in a 3 part series all dedicated to providing insight and tips on how to help YOU maximize your time. I’ll be introducing some key ways I’ve found to be helpful in increasing my efficiency as a food blogger & photographer.
Up until this point I haven’t talked about this much online, but I decided now would be a great time to bring up the fact that I have a full time office job. Exciting, right?? Even though I have dreams of being a full time food blogger, creative director, stylist and photographer, the reality of that is still in process, requiring multiple hours spent working on my blog in addition to those 40 hours at the office. Most of the time, these hours take up every week night evening and the entirety of my weekends.
Being that I do hold a 9-5 job (And actually its 6-4! Way to early, I know!), the very limited time I do have I have found to be very precious. I’ve heard over the years that time is your most valuable asset, but to be honest, I’ve never understood the reality and power behind that statement until this last year. Carrying that truth into content curation is a constant struggle but it’s helped me grow in un imaginable ways.
When I started Portland Fresh last year, little did I know the time commitment it would require of me. Even though the seemingly endless hours I spend a week on curating for this site are labor intensive, it’s brought more fulfillment and joy than I’ve felt before in my life and has been so worth it. I remember telling someone recently that it’s like I’ve found my ‘thing’. Never before have I found something thats made me come alive like this….
I don’t remember what I did with my time and creative energy prior to starting down this journey! I’m so thankful that I took the leap into the food blogging world and I’m so happy to be able to share some of what I’ve learned along the way in this past year.
Slowly but surely I’ve moved towards developing the skills necessary to help alleviate stress and exhaustion to help enable me to keep running towards my goals.
The first thing I did was I cut out the after work TV and/or movie relaxation time.
This sounds simple I know, but have you ever counted up the hours spent during your week that are wasted doing mindless things? I found that if I was going to achieve something, I would need to sacrifice something in return: I would have to make room.
Look for opportunities in your current world to make room for pursuing your passion. Creativity and content curation won’t happen on it’s own without effort or sacrifice.
Last August/September there was still some evening summer light available after I came home from work. For a while I tried shooting one night a week as soon as I got home but I quickly found that this wasn’t an efficient use of my mid week evening. I found that I was extremely rushed simply due to the fact that I had a very limited amount of daylight left before I would start to notice a heavy pixilation in my photos. Often times I hardly even noticed this during the shoot and would find days later when editing the photos that I’d have to toss the last half of the shoot due to lack of quality in my images.
Make sure that you’ve scheduled in ample time for a shoot to allow for more than enough daylight
I also found that my creativity and energy at that time of day was sorely lacking. This makes sense, right? I spent the entire day at the office pouring through numbers and by the time I made it through traffic on my 30 minute commute home, all I wanted to do was eat dinner… not make food, set it up in my staging area, watch it get cold, and race through taking photos before the sun went down. Sounds miserable, right?
Plan your shoots intentionally, when you know you’ll be energized and have the most creative juices flowing.
To solve this problem, I found that weekends were my prime shooting time. I knew that after a long week, if I planned a Saturday morning sleep in to rest up, and additionally set aside some time for a coffee and a morning read, my creativity would be at it’s peak. Not only that, I’d have a full day ahead to accomplish a list of to do’s (more on that below).
Plan your weekends in advance- I found that my weekends were the most valuable time I have.
What I’ve started to do is when the work week is nearing the end, around Thursday or Friday, I’ll start making a list in my calendar of all the things I need to accomplish. From there, I’ll prioritize.
I finally purchased a large calendar that provided plenty of room day to day to make notes as I think of them. This has literally changed my life and helped rid of the STACK of sticky notes at my desk. I’m not kidding… they would all pile up in their beaming bright colors and when I left the office at 4, the stack would come with me, in all of its mess. Do you think I felt overwhelmed? Well of course, and in addition, often times they would get lost or misplaced and there would go all of that brilliant inspiration that hit me.
Find a way to manage your to do list practically
More practical tips ahead in part 2 and 3 of this series on ways to
maximize your time
as a food blogger & photographer including:
How to prioritize the items on your weekend to do list in order of importance
Recommended applications on sorting your ideas and recipes
How to create a backlog of recipes
Practical steps on how to plan 3 recipes to create, style, and shoot, all in one day