Remember the rush you would get as a child when it was time to plan for your birthday? It was the event you looked forward to all year and each time there was a special theme to plan for.
Superheros, princesses, sports, and music were just some of the themed birthday parties we personally attended as kids. And with each theme were aspects that made the party congruent and flow together as one experience, from the decorations, to the activities and games played, to the cake, and the take home goodie bags. As adults, the concept of themes has followed us to time stamped events like weddings and anniversaries and we experience similarities we did as kids with decor and overall experience.
A theme is defined as a central idea with an underlying meaning. The reason the parties we attended as kids seemed to run so flawlessly was because everything was based around one central idea. Everything made sense and the flow of the party was supported by all of the pieces that was part of it. This is why we love the concept of theming our workdays to help us become more efficient and productive.
Theming your days is a simple technique that can help you get more done. Most of us have probably experienced overwhelm in our business, waking up each morning knowing that we have so much to do but asking ourselves: What should I work on today? We go through our day re-adjusting and refocusing multiple times throughout, jumping from one unrelated task to another. At the end of the day, we may look back and ask ourselves, "What in the heck did I do all day?"
Theming your workday isn't about saying your going to do something, or creating elaborate plans, or thinking about how you don't feel like doing something. It's about actually doing the work by getting in the zone and mindset because you are focused on a specific theme for an entire day.
Here are the initial steps on how to theme your days in your business:
Establish Your Themes
The first step is to figure out what do you do on a regular basis to run your business. These tasks will create the themes that are most relevant to your business. Here are some examples of tasks that we do in our business:
- Writing blog posts
- Emailing a weekly email to our community
- Meeting clients
- Hosting webinars
- Social Media
From your task list, create themes that are recurring for your business.
Schedule Your Themes
After you have established your themes, it is time to schedule them. Here are our theme days to give you a better understanding of how we structure our days.
Monday: Administrative Day
Mondays are our administrative day, when we do all of our client follow-up, invoicing, and workflow tasks. We utilize 17hats to help keep us on track and start our day by visiting our dashboard to see what tasks need to be completed for each client.
Tuesday: Client Meeting Day
Tuesdays are our client meeting day, when we schedule all of our photography sessions and face to face meetings. We find that when we stack meetings back to back on one day, we are more productive by cutting back travel time or wasting time by jumping from an appointment to another task back to an appointment.
Wednesday: Content Creation Day
Wednesdays are our content creation day, when we write all of our emails to our community, blogs, and social media posts. We create content in batches so we are not pushing ourselves to meet a deadline.
Thursday: Deep Work Day
Thursdays are our deep work day, where we focus on projects that require more brain power and focused thinking. Some examples of deep workdays are when we create a new client workflow on 17hats or write a new course or presentation.
Friday: Learning Day
Fridays are our learning day, where we dedicate our time to our education. We spend this day watching online classes, reading, or listening to podcasts to increase our knowledge. No matter how long you have been in business, you should always be learning!
Of course, as an entrepreneur, things are going to come up that were not planned for and need to be addressed right away. As you get busier in your business, opportunities are going to show up for you. The fantastic thing about theme days is you can address the challenge or opportunity and then get back on track with your theme. Theme days eliminate skipping from one unrelated task to another, which breaks your focus. And the great thing is, if you don't finish all of your theme tasks on that day, you can move it to the following week and pick right back up.
Multi-tasking is an entrepreneur's worst enemy. We put ourselves in overstimulated work environments, which doesn't serve us or our clients. Theme days will get you laser focused in your business, so you can get more done, become more profitable, and give you back one of your most valuable resources, your time.
Links included in this post:
Book: Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport
Need help with your work tasks? Photographer Entrepreneurs Association offers resources like checklists and workflows to save you time and money, so you can focus on giving your clients the best customer experience.
Head over and check out all of the resources the Photographer Entrepreneurs Association has to offer!
- Get your FREE copy of Photography for Profit- Attract Your Perfect Clients Workbook!
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- Come join our Free Facebook Group!
About the Authors:
Paul & Melissa Pruitt are the founders of Photographer Entrepreneurs Association, an online community that provides education, business coaching, and personal development to photographer entrepreneurs. Together they provide support and mentoring and speak nationally on small business solutions. Paul is an expert business and marketing coach with national speaking experience and a published writer with Entrepreneur.com. Melissa is a two time published author (including the Amazon best selling book PROFITographers co-written with Paul), TEDx speaker, and contributor for the Huffington Post. They have a love for travel and helping others grow personally and professionally.