Biz Hero Kayla from Spink Studio!

Today's Biz Hero is Kayla from Spink Studio! She is such a fun and classy business woman and when I see her interact with clients and other business women...she's just an inspiration! I KNOW you will find great advice from her guest post today on Developing Balance....enjoy!

Develop Balance

As a full time photographer and designer running my own business, it is so easy to let business overtake your everyday life. Working from 8am to midnight has not been unusual for me who is a little bit of a workaholic. Here are some tips for those of you who own your own business or are thinking about it to help from having your work overtake your life! 

Start the Morning Out Right
I think the way you start your day is super important! Just like they say to eat a good, healthy breakfast, you got to start your days right, otherwise, it’s crazy and there are things you wanted to do that slipped away! I have really been trying to not jump straight to the computer and check emails first thing! It’s a habit to get right on my computer. But instead I have been trying to get up and make a smoothie or a decent breakfast. (Someone please tell me that having a cup of coffee is not breakfast?!?) I will take a few minutes to read my Bible, pray and think through my to-dos for the day. I will actually put my work out clothes on (committing myself from the start) and I usually try to get my workout in early if I can. Didn’t happen today though! BUT, I still forced myself to the gym! I think in general, just taking care of yourself just makes you a better and more productive person. I know so!

Manage The To-Do List
A lot of time it’s easy to feel WAY overwhelmed by my to-do list. I feel like it just slaps me in the face because it is SOOOOOO long sometimes! And it’s easy to get overwhelmed when everything is just floating around in your head! Recently, I started using the computer app, Things again to help me stay organized with my to-dos, especially when there are so many that it is easy to forget! I have my Things categorized by “Personal, Spink Studio, Editing, Designing, etc” and at the beginning of the day, I look through the to-do folders and I select the items I want to accomplish for that day. I try to make just that day’s list manageable because it’s SO easy to get overwhelmed by everything! I would totally recommend this app if you don’t have it. It also syncs on your iPad and iPhone, so you can be updating your to-do list on the go. I think the key, is just to assign to yourself what you can finish. That way you feel accomplished each day.

Schedule Your Days
I know a lot of people recommend scheduling certain things on different days of the week. I don’t have my days of the week really scheduled out, but a lot of the time, I do end up doing this because you can be more productive if you aren’t jumping between different types of projects. For example, usually Monday, I have a lot of emails or Facebook messages to respond to from the week, so that’s my email and catch up day. One day will be my designing day, another I will try to do a bunch of editing and blogging. I try to schedule any meetings or errands just on one day, so it’s my running around day. And a lot of times, Fridays are my bills, bank, paperwork and wrap up day. I think it helps when you get your brain in one “mode” and just do that for the day instead of hopping around. I have to admit that I totally fall for the distractions of email, Facebook and texts throughout the day! I know there are some people that turn their email off after a certain time of the day and I think that is so smart! Think through your days and either schedule things on certain days or also schedule certain hours in your day for various activities. 

Give Yourself Time Off
I am probably the biggest offender of this one! Because, a) I love my job and b) I love to please people. I am really learning to say “no.” When you are self-employed, it’s hard not to take every job that comes your way because you want to make that money. But I have been realizing that saying “yes” to things I won’t enjoy or that will make me miss out of other things aren’t worth what they are going to pay. For example, I REALLY wanted to go on our annual girl’s trip to the hill country and I ended up turning down three different weddings because I knew I would be bummed if I didn’t go! Granted, I still worked and shot a bridal session while I was down there, but it was WAY fun! Last year, I finally starting enforcing my “no work on Sunday” rule! It was just ridiculous that I was working on Sunday and now I can finally enjoy Sunday as a relax day like the majority of the working world does! This year, I won’t be booking any work on Saturdays besides our weddings which take up the majority of my Saturdays already. Not that I don’t LOVE shooting weddings (cause I do!), but it is so nice to have a full weekend off like most of the working world! I am also trying to be better about enjoying our vacation time and not stressing so much with work and enjoy that time with family and friends. Clint and I seriously need to schedule a non-working beach vacation for later this year just to rejuvenate, disconnect (this part is important! Stupid iPhones!) and enjoy this time in our lives!

Do Something For Yourself
Since my job is basically a hobby turned job, I lost that feeling of having a hobby where you can do something totally freely without any pressure to preform for someone. I used to scrapbook A LOT and that was my creative outlet that I did just for me. I feel like as a creative professional, you need to have that unpressed creative outlet to get re-inspired! I love to make cards when I have time. I also just recently took a painting class in Dallas because it has always been something I wanted to do, but haven’t spent the time developing it! I also bought a film Holga, just to play and take random photos for ME…that don’t have to be edited! LOVE that! I know some people also like to cook, read or play sports or do other things just for them that are fun! I’ve been trying to give myself time to enjoy doing the things I love instead of feeling like I need to be working 24/7! The majority of the time, I work 12-14 hour days just to stay on top of everything since I am a one-person-show and it can be really stressful. I need to make the time to back away from the computer and enjoy life and my passion for all things creative!

These are just some things that I have been trying to find balance in and it really is a daily struggle to balance life and work. But the worst thing you can do it get burnt out doing what you love! Develop a good balance and you will be happy!

Put This To Use:
1. Start your mornings out right. Make the bed, workout, eat breakfast, walk the dog, etc!
2. Find a way to organize the to-do list and make manageable goals for each day.
3. Schedule certain tasks for certain days.
4. Force yourself to take some time off. Learn to say “no” to stuff you don’t enjoy!
5. Find some fun new creative hobbies! Take a class, have a craft night with a friend and enjoy the creative process!

I hope this article was inspiring and helpful for you! Make sure to check out my other topics in my "Starting a Freelance Business" series on my blog!
1. Know Your Market
2. Know Your Competition
3. Know Your Stuff
4. Build a Brand
5. Develop Correct Pricing
6. Target Your Market
7. Smart Advertising
8. Create a Unique Experience
9. Keep Improving
10. Develop Balance

Learn more about Kayla Barker of Spink Studio by visiting her website, her blog and become a fan on Facebook!

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