Work + Life +Balance – ask anyone what they struggle with and many people will say these three things. I quite often think –  is it possible to even achieve these three things in perfect harmony? I think not. People often look at my life now and ask how I do it all. How do I travel and run a Photography business and manage three kids – oh and edit. Do I edit? That’s always the hot question.

First, I try and tell people I didn’t start out my life this way! This has all been a journey that was traveled over 18 years to get where I am today. Now when I started, there wasn’t any social media – which quite honestly robs you of the hours of your day! There wasn’t non stop texting, or DM’s or Instant Messages. People left you alone and if they needed to talk to you they called you! People weren’t stalking your every move. They weren’t publicly judging your Parenting…they did that behind closed doors. 😉 So back in the day, we worked. We worked, began to have a family – one child at a time – and built a Business – one client at a time. I easily go back to those days sometimes but NOT having the phone next to me every second. By NOT being on Facebook every minute. If I text someone I don’t expect a 3 second response time- and if I really need them I will call them. Even with the kids at home, sometimes we will text each other and not get an immediate response. But if we call, we can get the other person on the phone – and that is often that is needed.

Anyone successful person will tell you, you need a few things to thrive.

1 – you need a Day (s) off

2 – you need a Team – to delegate – you can’t do it all

3 – you need quiet time – call it meditation, call it quiet, go for a walk – something to stop the noise

4 – you need to make lists

5 – you need to prioritize

6 – you need to set timelines for delivery to others to manage expectations

7 – you need to take care of your personal health – all that that entails – from eating to sleeping

8 – you need to not always be accessible

9 – you need privacy

10 – you need to set goals

So let’s talk about a few of these things. People ask do I sleep. YES! Yes and oh yes. I love to sleep. Sleep is so essential to everything. Without sleep is Fatigue.

With Fatigue comes doubt, cloudy judgment, and despair. I always say the quote that “Joy comes in the Morning” because if I am having a rough day, I am probably just really tired and overworked and just need a really good nights sleep! The other day I was in bed at 8:30pm! Today I slept in to 9am! Possible? Oh yes. Is it every day? Of course not, I would become a BUM! But you need a regular sleep routine. When I travel, I sleep on planes, trains, Taxis – I can sleep anywhere and I make sure I do. I bring natural sleep aids to help with the jet lag. I am also careful about what I schedule on the return so I can try and rest and catch up.

We sleep trained our children at 3 months old. They are now teenagers and put themselves to bed. They know when they are tired, and they know when their body needs to catch up and rest. They know when they have school deadlines or reports and may need to stay up a bit later. Our house is very quiet at night, it is awesome I love it. I love when all the kids are home having a quiet time. Growing up after dinner we had to go to our rooms and study. If we didn’t have homework we were still in our rooms having quiet time. Quiet time is essential for everyone, and if you aren’t getting it you will see you may start to lose your mind. Sleep – and Quiet time are required so that you can hear the direction of where you are supposed to go. Too much noise and you will get overwhelmed and realize you are overworked, overbooked and just want to get away. But getting away won’t solve anything if you do not change your schedule and your behavior.

So what do you do?

Set a regular bedtime. Imagine someone is telling you your lights have to be off at a certain time every day. Maybe have a weekend exception, but during the week set a time. Be consistent and work under that deadline. You will be amazed at how a regular routine makes all the difference.

Stop working 7 days a week. If you are a Photographer set a shooting schedule and stick to it. When a client calls to book check your shoot schedule – book within that – no exceptions. I have turned down photography jobs on Sundays for this reason.

Are you doing everything? Then you are not delegating. You say you can’t afford to delegate, but the truth is you can’t afford NOT to delegate. You need to do the work that is your life’s purpose. This doesn’t mean editing all night every night. This means finding a way to streamline your shooting for better SOOC (straight out of the camera) images so the editing is minimal and learning Soft Proofing. You can hire an editor or outsource so you can shoot more and make more money. Something has to give because you can not grow alone – you just can’t.

You need to write things down and cross off things when you can get them done. Set aside time for bills, family, and whatever else you need to do.

Run your life like you want it to – and don’t let it run you.

You are in charge.

You set the rules.

If I came to you for help what would you tell me?

If your child came to you and told you they were too busy and needed help with time management what would you tell them?

Now, look in the mirror and tell yourself!!

Tell yourself, you are going to live the life you want, and then manage appropriately.

It can be done – one day at a time, one client at a time.

You have one life – live it well.

Ana Brandt

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