I'm Dolly — a Nashville based branding photographer for small business owners & a systems + workflow educator (and Podcast Host) for creatives who want to be more streamlined and organized with Systems, Workflows & Dubsado. I'm here to help you look awesome (for your photos) & feel great about workflows!
As a working mom, it’s easy to believe that we just don’t have the time. The time for family, the time for personal development, the time for growing our business, the time for relaxing, the time for snuggling, the time for self-care. Our days feel hectic and overwhelming and it seems like the only solution is magically adding hours to our days.
Well, I’m here to let you know that we all have the exact same 168 hours in our week.
But after reading 168 Hours by Laura Vanderkam (a book I highly recommend!), I found that I didn’t really need extra time. Instead, I needed to make more effective use of the time I have.
Laura offers a free resource (that I’ve linked here) that allows you to track your activity, hour by hour, for an entire week. You don’t make any changes to your normal routine, you just make a note of how you spend each hour. I completed this time management worksheet last fall, and let me tell you, the results were astounding.
I felt like I didn’t have time to grow my business. There weren’t enough hours in the day! And then I completed the time tracker and realized I was wasting nearly 15 hours a week. Fifteen hours. I was spending this time binge-watching Netflix and mindlessly scrolling Instagram. This was such an empowering realization because I suddenly had a couple of hours every night to devote to my business that simply hadn’t existed before. I mean, the time was obviously there the whole time, but I just couldn’t see it. I felt like my schedule was completely booked, without a spare second, and I had no idea how to be more productive. Turns out, I just wasn’t managing my time well.
Now some of you are thinking, “But Dolly! I don’t even have time in my day to waste on binge-watching Netflix. I have something scheduled every minute I’m awake.” If that’s you (even after you complete the time management worksheet and look for any “hidden” free hours), then it’s about time you outsourced some of your work. There are so many options for outsourcing, and yes, most of them cost something. But once you reframe your thinking and understand that time (not money) is your most valuable resource, you may not feel as bad about paying for help.
Outsourcing can look like any number of things. Using Clicklist to order your groceries from your computer and picking them up at the curb instead of physically grocery shopping. Paying a house cleaner to come once or twice a month. Hiring a virtual assistant or social media manager to handle some of your business tasks. I outsource some of my blog writing to an awesome copywriter (you can find her here) and free up a few hours a month by taking those tasks off my plate.
So whether you find your extra hours in wasted time throughout your day, by outsourcing certain responsibilities, or a combination of both, you can maximize your 168 hours each week. You can learn how to be more productive, it just takes a little reframing and paying close attention to how you actually spend your time.
And don’t forget—it’s not all work! There should be time for resting, relaxing, and enjoying time with your family. An optimized week isn’t about packing every second full of tasks. It’s about using your time effectively and efficiently so you can enjoy the things you love most!
So…do you believe that you can “create” more time in your schedule? Will you take the challenge of recording what you do for your 168 hours this upcoming week? Believe me, it will be eye-opening and hopefully, it will show you some extra time you DO have so you can either continue to work more on your side-business OR your full-time business as a small business owner!
I hope this has helped encourage you to rethink how you use your 168 hours every week! If this has been helpful, please share this blog with your other small business friends on Facebook or Pinterest, because my goal is to help and encourage as many small business owners as possible! Thanks for reading! Have a wonderful week! Join me next week because I’ll be sharing some of my favorite tools I use for my own business! I cannot wait to share more small business tools with you!
PSA: I know that I am in no way, shape, or form a business coach, so please be certain to seek wise counsel and financial advice from an established source you know and trust when you are making bigger decisions about your small business. But I do hope that my own personal story helps encourage someone today! I am trying my best to use my platform to help encourage other small business owners, so I hope whoever is reading this knows I am rooting for you and that I am giving you an interwebs fist-bump and high five! You’ve got this!
And before I leave, I wanted to share a free resource I use every week in my own business to shape my own week. If you haven’t heard of Trello, you need to jump on the Trello-wagon now! First off, it’s free and secondly, it’s an easy way to start dipping your toes into using “workflows” and systems in your business (and life)! So check out my free download (with video tutorial) here:
Dolly DeLong is a Nashville-based family & branding photographer and a creative business owner who educates on all things Pinterest, Dubsado, Lead Magnets & Email Marketing (aka pretty much all the fun automation stuff centered around those business systems)! Dolly loves serving families, and business owners with her timeless, radiant photography. She loves capturing the joy and emotion in both digital and film photos.
She also has a heart for serving the larger business community. Dolly shares her knowledge of tools like Pinterest, Dubsado, email marketing, and business systems with new creative business owners in an encouraging and supportive way because she believes that even muggles can become automating wizards!
Dolly’s faith and love for her family motivate her to help other business owners find the joy and freedom she’s found in running a successful small business.
Whenever she has a spare moment, she enjoys watching TV (i.e. Survivor), loves eating way too many sweets, and listens to podcasts while running or walking. To work with Dolly DeLong Photography LLC, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out her contact form here.
Interested in learning how to best automate your small business but have NO clue where to start? Click here (or on the image below) to get started with learning the foundations of automating your business with Dolly DeLong Education!
Or maybe you're not really sure how you'd use your new collection of branded images? Download my free planning guide to learn how to plan an elevated brand photography session to impact your business!