I have often thought about starting a blog for dad's, as it feels like we don't talk about the fact that we are dad's and husbands before anything else. We get up and we go to work, of course, but we have wonderful wives behind us, and awesome little munchkins to squeeze when we get home. As a photographer I work weird hours, and long hours...and most of the photographers I know work very similar hours, it's kind of how things work. How do you balance that? How do you make sure that you don't miss the things that are way more important than pictures? Here's a couple ideas. This applies mostly to photography, but I think most dad's could apply at least one or two of these.
- You make your schedule, your schedule doesn't make you. When I started into full time photography my wife and I sat down and talked about what my schedule would look like. We knew it would be grueling, and wanted to make sure we put boundaries in place before it got too crazy. Something I learned when I was a Real Estate agent was the idea of blocking out time as family appt, you block it just like you would for a client, and you protect it just like you would for a client. After, all they are your most important client! I also try my hardest to set hours during the week, I know that I want to work from say 7-5 and then take the evening to be with my family. This can be really critical when work is crazy, it's so easy to work longer and longer but if you have a time in mind it is helpful.
- PLAN! If you don't know what you're doing during the day you will waste huge amounts of time. I will make check lists of things that need to be accomplished, and I will look at it constantly throughout the day to make sure I am staying on course (Yes, writing this blog was on my list today!). I use Evernote as a way to stay on course and keep track of ideas that I come up with, I sync it to all of my devices so I can always access what I need to be doing and what ideas I have. I am not sponsored by Evernote, but I wouldn't be opposed to the idea (wink, wink).
- Your family should not suffer for your work. I work a lot, sometimes 70 hours in a week, and at this stage in life that is just going to happen. How do I do that and spend time with my family? I work when they are sleeping. I get up before they wake up and I work after they go to bed. This allows me keep long hours and not miss out on seeing them. This might sound crazy, and it is, but it's possible. If you don't drink coffee, you should, that's one of the key ingredients ;) I read an article a while back that said tired minds tend to be more creative...which means I must be super creative!
- Take a day off. I'm not going to lie, this is the one I struggle with. If it wasn't for my wife I probably would work every day without stopping, but let me be the first to say it is not good or healthy to do that. Many studies have shown how good taking one day off to recover is, and I know from personal experience that this is true. Now for the hardest part, taking the day really off. Can you imagine a day where you don't think about work? You don't do work, you don't work on your social media, you don't think about an edit, and the list goes on and on. This is what I mean by a day off: you don't do anything related to work and you allow your mind and body to refresh outside of work. Like I said, I struggle with it, and most creatives do. As a quick aside, if you have an idea on your day off just write it down really quick and then leave it, that way you don't lose it and you can continue you day off. In our family we take Sunday's, but pick a day that works for you and do it...Take heart! It can be done!
- Integrate your family into your work. My kiddos are still pretty little, but they can still come and see me at the studio and they most certainly can have their pictures taken! One of the things that is awesome about being a photographer is that I can have moments during the day where my fam can come and say hello. I can also plan a photo shoot for my kiddos that I will use as a personal project. Most of my clients don't mind meeting my kids, and models are always excited to meet the little cuties :)
I know this is a little bit different from the normal blog, but it's something that has been really relevant for me and I don't feel like a ton of people talk about it. Plus it gives me the opportunity to share a personal project I did with my daughter recently! Go be awesome parents and awesome creatives!