The Business of Boudoir »

The Art of Life/Work Balance

Your shoot schedule is pleasantly full, which means so is your “to edit” list. Then there’s your album design, client consultations, product sales, bookkeeping, equipment maintenance, studio maintenance…and the list goes on.

On top of that, your kids have to go to soccer practice, swim lessons, and play dates. You’re trying out that new “meal planning” concept because someone somewhere with entirely too much time on their hands posted their entire year of meals on Pinterest. You need to pay SOME sort of attention to your spouse to stay, you know, married (happily).

You’ve been working so hard on your yoga practice….because NAMASTE, damnit, you deserve and NEED that 90 minutes of OM a week with all that you juggle. Not to mention how much time it takes you to do daily activities such as shower, brush your teeth, clean up the house, run errands, answer emails, etc etc et-freaking-cetera.

Regardless of what you’ve got going on in your personal life, kids or no kids, spouse or pets…the business of boudoir photography is a crazy one! More likely than not, it’s become exhausting, overwhelming, and anxiety-filled for you. So, clearly you need to master the art of “BALANCE”. Have you heard of it? It’s this movement that has been sweeping the nation one fluffy Huff Post article at a time. People ask me ALL the time how I balance it all so gracefully. The answer: I don’t. Not at all. Something always suffers.

I decided that balance is bullsh*t.

clickchickboudoir_artofbalancePINWhile I came to this conclusion on my own long before anyone else EVER realized it (total sarcasm), I recently started reading a book that reiterated that my quest for perfect balance was perfectly useless. (It’s a solid read, y’all. It’s called “The ONE Thing: The surprisingly simple truth behind extraordinary results” written by Gary Keller.) The quote that made me do a slow-clap as I was “processing” in the salon chair for what felt like a lifetime (#blondegirlproblems) was this:

The truth is, balance is bunk. It is an unattainable pipe dream…the quest for balance between work and life, as we’ve come to think of it, isn’t just a losing proposition; it’s a hurtful, destructive one.” ~Keith Hammonds

The hard lesson I’ve learned over the last several years running my business, being a mom, and attempting to be a well-rounded human being, is that something is always being unfairly neglected. When I’m really on top of all things business, I probably haven’t been spending as much quality time with my family as I should. When I’m dedicating the proper amount of attention to my kids AND I’m doing a decent job keeping up with emails and editing, I probably haven’t showered in 2 days and I look like Shrek. I’m constantly plagued with guilt about the one thing that I’m neglecting, regardless of what that is at the moment.

I’m guessing that most of you can relate. So what’s the solution? Keep trying to do it all anyways? Keep multitasking? Throw in the towel on trying to do anything at all? We have this need as human beings to figure it all out…when, really, the answer is often a little more indirect and SIMPLE than we could have imagined:  Do ONE thing.  Make a conscious effort to focus 100 percent of your attention on what you’re doing at any given time. That sounds so simple … and it is. REALLY think about that, though.

When’s the last time you DIDN’T multitask? Are you reading this blog while simultaneously painting your nails? Watching CreativeLIVE? Playing Legos with your son? If so, I’m willing to bet that you’re half-assing every single task.

“Multitasking is merely the opportunity to screw up more than one thing at a time.” ~Steve Uzzell

If you’re editing … edit. Shut down the email, close your web browsers. Turn off your phone. Close the office door. Just edit.

If you’re driving … drive. Don’t eat your breakfast. Don’t check to see how many people “liked” your last Instagram of the cloud shaped like a pig while sitting at a red light (and definitely not while you’re driving!).

If you’re eating breakfast … eat. Don’t check your emails. Don’t load the dishwasher.

It takes constant effort to “monotask”. We have trained ourselves for our entire lives to kill two birds with one stone, so to speak. And now, it will take some time to re-train ourselves to knock it off. Be present. Do one thing. Go ahead, give it a shot for a DAY, to start! I think you’ll be surprised how productive you become and how at peace you feel with the fact that perfect balance is bullsh*t!

  • August 12, 2014 - 3:18 PM

    Heather Walker - LOVE THIS! Thanks for writing. I am the queen of multi tasking, which usually leads to me spilling my drink… sounds funny, but I am usually balancing 10 things while I carry a drink… since I don’t want to walk through and get the drink AFTER I carry a load upstairs, or carry all my stuff the car….. hahaha…. I would rather do it all and spill a drink down my shirt, at least once a week!

    That is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to downfalls of multi-tasking!! I really love this article. I never do one thing at a time!! As I sat down to edit, I decided to read this article! hahaReplyCancel

  • September 6, 2014 - 11:54 AM

    Kara Trombetta - So glad you enjoyed it Heather! I, too, used to be guilty of spilling many-a-drink! Haha 😉ReplyCancel

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