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Maximizing Productivity With Software And Applications

Lesson 32 from: Building Your Family Portrait Business

Tamara Lackey

Maximizing Productivity With Software And Applications

Lesson 32 from: Building Your Family Portrait Business

Tamara Lackey

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Lesson Info

32. Maximizing Productivity With Software And Applications


Class Trailer

I LOVE Photography and I Want to Make Money


From Photographer to Business Owner


Building Your Business To Fit The Life You Want


Business Is Business


Creating a Simple Business Plan - What To Know And What To Skip


Branding And Identity


Significance Of Constantly Marketing


Social Media Marketing


Lesson Info

Maximizing Productivity With Software And Applications

Okay so I did my calendaring the night before. I know exactly what I have to do the next day. I have set my priorities and timed them. I've set my priorities and I've timed them on my calendar, so I have all these alerts going on, all these, whatever you use. I use my alarm systems, and I'm gonna use the productivity enhancer, and I'm gonna plug those priorities in. For me I use this app, it's called Sloth. I'm pretty sure it's a free app too. I used to use 30/30 forever. It's a very similar thing but I think Sloth is a little more elegant looking, and they've kept up with updates and such. So one of the things that drives me crazy, when I have an app and I love it, and then the operating system upgrades but the app doesn't, and it gets buggier and buggier, and then it's not working for you anymore. So I've switched to Sloth, but gosh five years ago I was saying 30/30. I use Sloth, and I go ahead and I set a schedule of time accordingly. I say, that's how I start, that's what's next, a...

nd I write it all out. I add things in, and then I do that whole kind of prioritizing joy. So I say, these are the main tasks I have to do. Three, I only prioritize three tasks. There's other things I might do but I only put in the three main tasks. I put those little, I'm alive so I will schedule joy, breaks in, because I don't know maybe it's different for you, but when I, I want to think about how I want to feel. If I feel like I go from work to work, to work, to work, to work, I feel miserable. I feel overrun, I feel like I can't bring energy to anything, so I have to put that in. And what I want to do is maximize my efficiency. I want to spend less time and I want to train my brain to just do one thing at a time until it's done. This app or an app like this helps me to do that. What's the other main, main takeaway? This is so big, and I think a lot of people ignore it. You need to learn how to better estimate your time, because in my experience, most creative entrepreneurs are terrible, terrible at judging how long things will take. We either think it's gonna take hardly anytime at all, or it's gonna take significantly more time than it does. When we think it's gonna take significantly more time than it does, we don't want to get started. We don't know where to put it because you're like, ugh, we procrastinate and we procrastinate, and procrastinate. And have you ever had the experience when when you finally sit down and do it, you're like, oh that wasn't bad at all. We've all had that experience. We're terrible at judging our time. Using an application that actually shows you, you estimate, I think it'll take 30 minutes, and then it says, time's up, it's been 30 minutes. And you're like, oh add another 30 minutes. Time's up. Oh gosh, I'm about halfway through. By the time it's done you're like okay that took two and a half hours, right. And I was focused. I don't know why I thought it'd take 30 minutes. So then next time that comes up as something I need to do, I can either say no, because it wasn't worth the amount of time it took, or I can go ahead and estimate accordingly, and not put other things on the schedule for that day. And the inverse is true. The inverse is true, where we have, it either takes longer than we think or it takes less time than we think. So I write 30 minutes and I'm done in 10 minutes, I'm like, I need to do that more often as a task, because I have a great return on it and I can sail through it quickly. So you train your brain to get better at estimating how long things take, and over time, when you start getting a lot better at guessing how long things will take, you can do more efficiently. My average priority list. Here's like an average screenshot of an average day for me using this app. I will put something in like, okay 20 minutes on email. I don't always start my day with email because I think sometimes that can be very discouraging, but on an average day, if I have something as a priority, sometimes email is a priority for me, I let it go for a few days in a row, I try to just answer here and there. And I've got to hunker down and get through some messaging. I'm gonna spend 20 minutes on it. Let me tell you another thing that I love to do with email. Have you ever read an email, it's like, yep that's something I gotta get to. It's gonna take a while, I'm gonna mark it as unread, and I'll hit it next time. So, getting super, super just making myself get in the habit of saying, if this is gonna take me a minute or less, knock it out now. Don't hold it for later and later, and later. Really quickly, because now I've become really good at judging time, answer it in a minute, be done. If it's something that like I don't need to do anything on, but I don't want to delete it. There's a lot of emails like that. I don't want to delete it because either it was a nice thing that somebody said, or it's information I have to reference later, or I want to have some sort of confirmation that this conversation occurred, and I want to be able to pull it up if somebody comes back and has a question about something. That's a lot of the reasons we hold onto emails that we don't have any action to do on, right? What I do then is I forward it to my Evernote, and I keep it there as a holding space, and I clean out my inbox. But that I'll be touching on next. But think about getting through your email. Delete it, act on it quickly, or go ahead and put it somewhere where you can do, I got to hunker down through all these things at once. It's just a simple way to get in the mindset of how you can get through email in 20 minutes. Because I used to say email an hour, and when I started the thing on that, I'm like, ugh I gotta climb into my inbox. But I've become better at recognizing how to do it, and estimating my time, because with everything we do, the more we practice the better we get. So that's one thing. Back up my cards. I just did a shoot, I've got to back my cards up. I'm gonna take 15 minutes, and I'm gonna stay here for 15 minuets while I back everything up. What I have experienced and I think a lot of people out here have experienced this too, is I will sit down to backup my cards, and then I'll flip over somewhere else and do something, and then someone will call me over here and I'll do this, and I'll come back and I'm like, why did I move over? Wait, all right let me try that again. Let me make sure I didn't, I moved that all over, or it'll stop halfway through and I don't know it. Something happened, I thought I backed it up, I pop the card out. Next shoot I'm gonna go format it. I didn't download half the images. You have to be so careful about being there when it all happens. Make sure it transfers over, and back it up and back it up. I do three backups of every shoot I do. It goes onto my external drive, it goes onto our photo server that we share in the studio, and it goes onto a cloud-based system. And I do not delete that card until I've gone through all those three backups, and if I sit there and do it right there, I don't have to like sit there and watch the little thing go over, I can get other things done, but I'm keeping it in front of me until it's done. And then I feel really confident, I feel secure, I don't feel like anxious, because I watched it backup all three places, and now next time I pop that memory card in, I can format it without freaking out. Who feels nervous as all get out when you format a card? That feeling you have, like I don't know should I really be doing this? That feeling goes away when you really have watched yourself do it from end to end. Finance. I spend 15 to 20 minuets on finance every single day just to keep it under control, and that's just strategizing, making sure my cashflow is healthy, making sure I'm not paying any interest rates on credit cards whatsoever. Checking my bank balance, looking at where everything is in terms of accounts, and what's coming up for payroll. I am not the accountant, I'm not the bookkeeper, but I like strategizing the funds, so I build in time for that. Social media. That's my fun little break. I love social media. I talk to people all the time that are like, I don't want to do the Facebook. Sure, that's good, that's you. I love it, because I love the interaction. I like the connection with people. I like hearing nice things, I like saying nice things. I like cat videos. I've allowed myself a chunk of time for social media, and I click the alarm and I go play, and I don't worry about it. And then when the alarm goes off I go to the next thing. What happens when the alarm doesn't go off? You've watched 60 cat videos in a row. Because social media is designed to keep you enraptured, and as soon as you're done with this let me show you the next thing you want to see. I do want to see that. That's the way social media is designed. Now I go into selecting my edits. Gotta get back to work, I'm gonna cull my edits. I backed up that shoot, I'm gonna pull it up and I'm gonna quickly grab my things that I want to edit. Once I do that, part of selecting the edits is choosing the edits and then sending it out to be mass edited. I'm done with that part of the shoot. I've backed up my images, I did a couple other things that I wanted to do. I selected my edits, and I've sent it out to be mass edited by a service, because I don't want to do that. That's not ever gonna be on my list of things I have to do. I go for a walk and talk. I give myself 30 minutes, because I got all this done, because I followed along. And when I say follow along, I literally hit the button. Finance, play, that little play button, that's the start button, you can see it right here. Finance, play. I can watch the clock. I actually have my phone, I have one of those little things that prop my phone up. You can have those little key rings in the back or some sort of thing. I have my phone right there and I glance at it, and this is what's great when I say training your brain. Naturally, my brain will be 10 minutes into this task and then I'll think, I wonder if there's any daily deals on Amazon right now. And then I'll click over and I'll see a couple things, then I'll shop and then I'll go back, and then okay yeah, yeah, I gotta go back and do this. And then I'll be a few minutes in and I'm like, I'm bored. I wonder if anybody's posted anything fun on Facebook. That's what I will naturally do, and if I watch my brain do that, and I say, I wonder if, and I'll look over there. I'm like, you know what? Eight more minutes and I have this task done. I can do this for eight more minutes. And what I'm doing is I'm training myself, I'm helping me help me to get the thing I want the most. Why am I doing this if it's not worth it to me? Because we build a business we love to fit into the life of our dreams, and it requires these tasks, and I need to move through them, and I have to fight myself to do it until I don't have to fight myself anymore. So, learn to better estimate your time, turn on the play button, and then move through these. And not only does it tell you when your time's up, it actually like shakes. It goes, (imitating bell ringing) with the alarm. It's like, ah don't miss me. And then, and when you keep going on and on, you know the next time you estimate that you're gonna get smarter. So I will tell you, the first few weeks I used this system like this, I had to like move past that discomfort. I liken it to going for a run. We were talking about going for a run the other day. That first half mile of when I go for a run, I'm like, ah I'm tired, I want to go back to my couch. I don't want to do this, this doesn't feel right, I think I might be sick. And then after that I'm like, I'm alive, and the sun is shining and it's beautiful. You have to get through that hump, you know? You have to get that first part that is all just resistance, and if you're feeling resistance, it's because you're human. So you've gotta get past that resistance point, and you do it again and again, and the resistance point shrinks to the point where you're like, yep I'm gonna knock this out. The walk and talk, I try to get everybody to call. I'm the person who says, let's not text or email, let's talk on the phone. And they go, oh god Tamara, all right fine. And then I walk in the woods and I suggest they do, and I have so many people that I talk to regularly who take walks with me now while we knock out some business. And it's fun, I like it, I enjoy those. Create content. Everyday I try to create some sort of content, whether it's a blog post or it's towards the book I just wrote, or it's towards even a social media post that's a little more involved. I am creating content. All right so that's an average priority list. I mentioned Evernote. I've been using Evernote forever, it feels like, forever note. And it's one of those things that I think when people look at the screen initially, like how it works, since they don't intuitively get it right away, they may resist it, but once you do get it, everybody I know who uses this is like I can't imagine my life without this. It is my brain in an electronic format. So how do I always find it? All the things that I want, and I can take them everywhere, but I have it all in one place. That's what this application is for me. This is a free app that you can use. I pay the $50 to upgrade it to have all the space I need, and it's so worth it to me. It's actually cheap for me to have all this is $50. Not that I want Evernote to raise your prices, don't raise your prices. But it's a great resource for me. It doesn't matter what you have if you can't find it, and it doesn't matter what you can do if you can't get it done. Let me say that again. It doesn't matter what you have if you can't find it. And it doesn't matter what you can do if you can't get it done. This system enables you to get things done, and find all the things that you need to do so. This is a glance at what a screen would look like for me from Evernote inside. I've got all my notes, I've got all my notebooks. I can tag things if I want. The ability to say anything. You know what, I think I want to write a whole class on this. Every time something comes up that reminds me, I jump, open the notebook, write a note, go back to what I was doing, and when I actually sit down to write this class, like this class, I have 50 notes that I just put here and there as I went along, and now I have all my content and I just needed to assemble it. It is the easiest way in the world to use the stuff that's already in your brain, throw it down somewhere, get it out, keep going, and by the time you go to do that main task, because you've been putting things together here and there forever, it's all right there for you. It is the way I create content. What do I use it for outside of that? Everything. I can use it on all devices, I can take it everywhere. I never lose an idea, it's a constant amount of storage, and I get to capture all the things that inspire me. What does that mean? It's a massive paperless file cabinet. I have not filled it up yet, and I put a lot of things into it. So it's notes, like I talked about. Any little note that I've come up with. It's photographs and videos can go in there. Any photograph that I see that inspires me in some way, any video I want to capture. Audio captures, voice memos. I do a lot of running where something suddenly because I'm physically moving, my mind becomes clear, and I'll write, and I'll do a little voice memo, add it up to here, and it's living there, and then I'll keep running and forget about it. Then I listen to it back, and I hear, (heavy breathing) so. I think, oh god that sounded terrible, I should have stopped. Drawings and sketchings. When we crafted out this space we're in right now, we drew it 100 times. Drew it out, sketched it, so whether it's a photograph of a sketch on a napkin, or you actually sketch it right in there. Scans, you can scan, like you're in a magazine article and you love it. You hold it over, it hovers, you see it click on the content you want in a beautiful box. It scans it and now that magazine's on your app. And I just did this. And I've scanned it in. How come you guys aren't in awe? That's amazing. I don't have to like circle anything, I don't have to take a photo of this magazine, I don't have to write things down. Scan, I have the exact transcript of the magazine in my Evernote. That's amazing. Because you guys do that, right? You'll flip through magazines or fashion books, or anything. You're like, ah I love that ad, or I love that photo. It's not lost to me, it's perfectly like that right here. Documents, PDFs, contracts, model releases, presentations I want to build. I can put a presentation right in there. Annotated notes on a PDF, so if I see something and I'm like, you know what this reminds me of? Circle this here, I'd like this here, I'd like this here, it lives like that. I can keep going, but wait there's more. When I say it's everything I mean everything, and I am not getting any kickback from Evernote. There's no commission on this. It's just that great of an application. I can put all my travel documents there. Every single time I book a hotel, book a flight, get a rental car, it all lands in one folder that's called Travel. And if I want to sort it based on destination, I can do that too. And it lives right there so when I show up and I'm like, oh god what was my flight number? It's all right there. When I show up at the hotel and they're like, what's your Marriott number? Or what's your whatever number? It's under a thing called Frequent Flyer Numbers and whatever. It's just, swish, swish, swish, all right there. Packing lists. Packing lists are awesome. I have about eight packing lists for things that are dressy, for things that are functional, for shoots, for international trips, and I have these preset packing lists that I've built already that I just open up and modify based on what I need. I have saved so much time. I go to Ethiopia a lot, I've been there seven times in the last three years. There's a set of things I need for Ethiopia that I don't need anywhere else, and instead of having to think about it every single time, I pull up the list, I modify it for this next trip, and it takes me two minutes. Versus, ugh I've got to think about what to pack, which can leave you pretty stymied. I have things, schedules and agendas. Anything I'm going into, a shoot for a day, a production schedule, I have it all right there laid out. Which is why, when Kenna says, what are we gonna be covering tomorrow? I'm like, I don't have my Evernote, it's not in my brain, I don't know. Saved emails, I mentioned earlier, like instead of having a big full chunky email inbox, and it's not that I don't get to that, because I get to that when I'm not on it, I can take an email that's data I want to refer to later for any reason, and put it there. I have a folder and I covered this on one of our CreativeLIVEs, if you look on my courses I think there's one that has a section on kind notes, but I have a thing that every time someone says to me something that's really lovely and kind, I have a folder called the kind notes folder, and when I am feeling down and crappy, and like maybe I suck more than I thought I did, I open up that folder and there's just all these beautiful statements that you're all getting from different people in different ways that I can look at, and it makes a difference in my energy. That's one of my folders. I have location scouting, places I like to go, photos I've taken while I was there to remind me what all is there. Sketches, Google Maps, just a whole thing about location so when someone says, where should we do this shoot? I can go, oh right there, everywhere. We can do this, we can do this, we can do this, we can do this. It's like right there, I don't have to actually, again you're hearing me say over and over again, I don't have to think about it, because my goal is to not have to think about it. I have too many other things to think about that I really feel like I'm uniquely qualified for. I'm not uniquely qualified to memorize every scouting location, every packing list. I don't want to think about it. I mentioned model releases, having them right there and able to refer to quickly. You can just simply go right into that folder and scan back to the date or the person, and you can tag it however you want. Shooting and lighting notes. Sometimes I try a whole new lighting style out and I want to remember it. Take a photograph, or I sketch it out, and I save it. And you can share notes, so I can actually write something in Evernote and email it to you. Or I could post it, or I can put it on a shared folder that I have and you have on Evernote that's just private for us. You can hear my enthusiasm right. Check it out. I have a very similar system but for photographs only on Mylio. Anybody here use Mylio? I've been using them for about two and a half, three years. I think I spoke about them on a class I did about, I think it was the children's posing class. I did a segment on this, but it basically helps me to store, sort, and retrieve my images quickly. So I can put something like, and again it's web-based, it's shareable. Every photo upload on my laptop I can now see on my phone or my iPad. If I upload it on my phone, if I take a picture with my phone, it now immediately generates to all those other sources. It works on a shuttle system that I could never explain to you. But basically I don't have to be on WiFi, it doesn't have to be cloud-based for it to operate that way. I just have to set it up the right way. I can add, remove, edit from any device. I do it here, it lands over there. It's massively paperless, so when I say everything, I mean if I were to pick up my phone right now, which is not here, if I were to pick up my phone right now and open up my Mylio app, it would say, you have access to 140,000 images, or whatever it is by now. And they're all living right here on my phone. Are they all high res? No, they're not even medium res. They're low res, we're talking about 80 K images, which is all I really need to glance at something and reference it. When I need it I can click Please download the original size image, and I can have it. I have to wait for it to download, but then I have it. But everywhere I go I can quickly reference something. And then I can sort it a million different ways. So here's like a easy screen capture from a folder I'm building called Around The World Photographs. I actually built it this way and then put it on my website. So I have a section about Around The World Photographs and I just pulled together a bunch of photographs I've taken all over. I have immediately all the metadata from what I shot, exactly the settings I used. I have all the technical settings here, I have the date it was shot. I have my import, it was obviously shot overseas so that's funny. I have the import system, I have where it lives, I have anything I want the title, but any key notes and captions I want to add. I can upload everything from social media that is a picture of me, or picture I've loaded on social media. Just click a button and it all imports in, and it comes in with all the tags of whoever was in the photo, or anything like that. This was, I think a screenshot from gosh a year and a half, two years ago, when I had about a third of the photos in there I had, but I can sort by date. I can go back to, I want to see summer of 2003, everything I was shooting. I want to see all my family images, I want to see some of my pro images, I want to see my marketing images. Oh, I wonder if you can see this. That's from a CreativeLIVE we did on a rooftop in San Francisco. Apparently that was 2013, and if I drill down I could tell you the exact days those were shot, and the metadata, and who else was in the photo based on whether or not it was tagged. I mean that's a lot to have on my phone at my fingertips. So when someone says, "I'd love to see some "of your marketing images. "Can you show me?" Well a perfect example. About a month ago I got a message from Nikon that said they were doing an article in Parade Magazine, and it's back to school and can I please show them a variety of back to school images I've shot. I don't have that anywhere, I don't have it like here's my back to school folder on my desk. But what I did is I could go back and say back to school always happens August and September, let me quickly scan through calendars and see the images I shot. I can pull them all into an album, because there's a way to sort things by album. And I can now have an album of images just to send right from Mylio. Here's your previews, let me know what you want full res. That takes me about three to five minutes, right? This is what happens when you click through to a date. You can go right to all those days, so every month and year is gonna have everything I've shot on all those days. I apparently take a whole mess of photographs. I'm shooting everyday. And then these albums, so these are the albums I setup from things that I care about. I've got an album pulled together of all the shots of all my kids together in one album so if I want to quickly find some images, I can. I have an album for each one of the kids. I have albums for different parties we've done. This was our chocolate slip and slide party that I threw for my daughter when she turned eight. We put down all these slip and slides in the backyard and coated them in chocolate, and when they came over the finish line, we put whip cream on their faces and threw sprinkles at their heads. It was awesome, it was like the best party ever. Months to get it out of the grass. You wouldn't believe the bugs we got afterwards, but it was so cool. I have albums of photos of me, of Steve, of publicity shots I've taken, on and on and on, they're all in my albums. I just kind of put them there. So, check that out, Mylio. I don't know what deals they're running right now but check them out. Studio software, this is another amazing thing to make sure you have for your business. Who here has a studio software of some sort for their business? The reason you might want to have a studio software, and again a range of options out there. Some of them are free, some of them you pay for, some you license by the month. There's probably 20 studio softwares I can name, but you could also just Google studio software or studio customer management softwares. This is so important because the first few years I ran my business it was all in Excel spreadsheets, which means I really couldn't find anything easily at all, at all, and it took a lot of time to try to find a client or something. Once we got some studio software, we realized that what they'll do for us is many, many things. First and foremost it's a business management tool. It allows me to manage my business all in one program. I can track all my client information, and add to it over time. I can pull up one client's name and see the last eight shoots we did. I can record a history of the work I have. I can have prompts, it reminds me, hey, if I wanted to do this, and we don't actually do this because we haven't done it, but we should do it. I could put in there everybody's birth dates. When we have those first conversations, just like hey tell me your kid's birthdays so we can send out like a fun gift or a card, it'll prompt me, happy eighth birthday so and so. Let's get you in for a shoot, here's a credit towards a shoot. Appointment scheduling, I can schedule things right in. The software we use is like a hub. It connects to the other programs that do it better. It connects to QuickBooks for reporting and finance. It connects to Google Calendar for calendaring. Everything is kind of here, but it uses all the other applications accordingly. Invoicing and payments, right there in the system. I can manage all my contracts, so our software if you go to and you click on Inquiry, you fill out the form. It asks you for a few key things that we want to have, and then once you send it it automatically populates so I get an email, but it also goes into the system so I can start from somewhere. You can track client work in progress. This is a big one, it is so easy to forget something about what you were doing with a client if you're doing so many of them at a time. So when I open up the system or in this case my studio director runs this. When she opens up the system, it says, you've got to get this album designed. That's where you are with this. This client needs to be called back. They've called in once and you exchanged numbers, and they haven't had the conversation they want. This client's shoot is coming up tomorrow. This client's shoot needs to be edited. It's been out for a week and it's due back in three weeks. So right there, out of our heads, right in front of us. And you can do things, like you could present your work with it. We use ProSelect right now to be able to share our work, and I'll talk about that later in sales. But, there's a number of new resources out there where you can share your work, and some of the new studio softwares have that built in. And then so you can present your work but also sell it. So things to think about with studio software. I'm not gonna dive super deep into this, but I would strongly suggest you look into some sort of studio software to get all the business management out of your head. Automate the frequent communications that you have. The communications that you have all the time. This is my signature, and I tried to build it to be able to prompt things I really care about, have it be visually more appealing, but not have it be so much that it's ridiculous. So my signature when it goes out to people, it's got my name, it's my contact information. I represent some of the things that I want you to see about things I do. It has obviously the Nikon Ambassador logo and then I say check out some of my recent posts. And I either have my latest posts in there, or I have things I most want you to see because I have calls to action. I want you to see that we did an orphanage portrait gallery. I want you to see that and check it out because we've done several since then, and I want you to be interested in possibly doing some sort of work like that yourself. So let me guide you to see that, because I care about that. I have in there, hey we just launched our new workshop in May of 2018 in Chapel Hill. Click through and see it all. I'm gonna put in there the things I want you to see. If I was most interested in building my children's and family photography I would say, check out my shoot with the da da da family. See how much fun we had. Hollywood portraits coming up? Let me show you some of my work. You can put down here, just like I have an image of me right here, you could put images down here of some of your favorite pieces, and switch it out as you go. So every time you email anybody and they get a message from you, they see some of your latest work. They can't help but look at your gallery, and they're far more interested in clicking through to see your work, because they have an idea of something that looks good and they respond to. Find a way to use the normal ways you're communicating to maximize your exposure. Automate frequent communications. There's an option right now in Gmail that allows you to collect canned responses. I've been using signatures like this forever. Building multiple signatures that respond in a way that answers the things that people are most commonly asking. Hi, I'm da da da, I would love to book a shoot with you. How do I do that? Here's all the answers, I get that question a lot. It's a canned response. Click this, I love this. Email for the truly lazy. You enable that on Gmail or you build it as a signature, so when people email I immediately have my normal response to wedding inquiry, portrait inquiry, whatever. I don't shoot weddings anymore, but have it all setup because you're doing it a lot. And the other nice thing I mentioned, having an inquiry intake form feeding into your studio software. Don't feel like every time you get an inquiry you've got to respond by email or do this or that, like have it feed into you and save yourself that data processing. Finally, once you have all these systems in place and you know what you want to do step by step, by step, and we're gonna recap that in a second, find a way to set and track your habits. Make sure you're doing the things you said you most want. If one of the things you say you most want is, what I most want in life is to lose 10 pounds, whatever. If one of the things you want most in life is to lose 10 pounds, your habits should be things like I don't know, one meal that's, I skip carbs, and once a day I exercise for X amount of time. You build in these small amount of habits and everyday at the end of the day, you check them and see what you got done. I use this app called today. It is a free app. It's so pretty. I love that it's pretty. We're creative people, right? We respond to visually interesting things. I've used habit tracker apps before that look just like very, no offense to people who use PC, but I use Mac, and I like the elegance of Mac. When I look at a PC I'm like, ah I just don't really respond to that. Same thing with the app. I can now, I can set this up so I put a habit. So one of my habits is work on my website for 15 minutes a day three times a week. Because I can say how often I want to be prompted for it. And then I can select an image that aligns to the habit, that inspires me to do it. So maybe if one of the things I want to do is work on my website 15 minutes a day, I will actually take a photograph of myself smiling at my website. Stupid, effective. I have something on there that says play with the pets every single day for 15 minutes. Because I love my animals, I want a better relationship. I hate when I go two or three days and I haven't really like thrown the ball for my dogs. I put in, like I think I have it as five days a week. If I do that for five days a week, I am a good pet owner, and there have been times that I go to do my last thing, I'm like, cat, and then I take my cat toy and I just do this while the cat runs around. Because it reminds me, I forget about the things I care about sometimes because I'm so busy. This is you pulling back and saying, what are the things I most want to get done? What do I care about, and how do I build it in? We have family dinners. Family dinners are put down, I want to do that five days a week minimum, which is harder and harder to do as they become more active. It's on my habit tracking. I have something on there that says, did you use Sloth for at least two to three hours a day? And three hours are the Mondays, that's when I have to get myself kick started. So that's the app, the productivity app, if I remind myself I have to use it, and I pull it out and click it, I have now enhanced my productivity a hundred times. Like really, it's super dramatic. So you put on, what are those habits? Everything we just said, what do you want to build in? If one of the things that's stopping you is your website, build it in that you're gonna work on it 15, 30 minuets a day. If one of the things that's stopping you is having the gear you want in place, because you don't even know where to get started, spend 20 minuets a day reviewing gear until you've got that decision done. You don't have to do any of this all at once. You just have to do a little bit at a time as you go, and build it in as a habit until it suddenly is done. It's not so overwhelming then. You just break every big task down into little steps, and you hold yourself accountable everyday to do them. And a simple app like this can really help with that. So let's go over that successful working system again, because I love this system. It seemed like a lot when I said it all that way, right? Maybe, no? Perfectly clear? Amaze balls, I love that. But this is the system. Number one, review what you have to do the night before. What is already on my calendar that matters? And what do I know I have to add to it that is a priority for me? I'm gonna tie every appointment I have to an alarm. I don't want to keep missing places I need to be, and when I get so in flow I will forget, so tie everything that has to happen next to an alarm. Prioritize your tasks. Know the three main things you have to do. Put in those little fun things. Do not forget, schedule your life. Schedule the joy parts. Utilize efficient hub, wait no, set the schedule for your workday, that's where you go in and you put on Sloth, your productivity enhancer, your schedule, what's gonna happen. Using all the efficient hub options, like Evernote and Mylio, and your studio software, and all the things that are gonna connect it all together. Automate every communication you have over and over again. I wish I could automate saying to my kids, please guys pick that up off the floor, and do your errands. Wash the dishes. That's just coming out so many times. I should just have some sort of like clock on me, or some sort of electronic ticker tape, right? Just do this. And lock down your daily and weekly habits, so that even though this system might be a little rough for the first X amount of weeks you're doing it, because it doesn't come naturally to you yet, after awhile it's such a habit that you get excited to do it. You're like, I'm gonna crank through everything. What I feel, because the night before I'm doing a chunk of these things, right? I'm looking at the next day, I'm setting my alarms, I'm prioritizing my tasks, and I'm checking my daily habits from the day. How did I do that? Since I'm doing all that, the feeling I have, because it's all back to how do you want to feel, the feeling I have when it's time to go to sleep is I have a clear head. I am not laying there thinking about all the things I have to do, because I got it out of my head. I set it down, I have a plan for the next day, and I feel all those things that you guys said you want to feel, the night before and the next day. That doesn't mean I don't get overwhelmed and feel like I over scheduled myself. I still do that. But when it's a clear and focused kind of these are my priorities, this is how I have to do that, I know exactly, I won't miss an appointment tomorrow. I don't have to be stressed about that. It's good, I'm golden, it makes a huge difference. And the next day when I start, it's all right in front of me.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Tamara Lackey Posing Book Discount
Nations Photo Lab Discount

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

This course was fantastic. I learned more on what I need to improve and change in my business. I especially liked learning how she balances all the things in her life. She is a fantastic teacher who keeps you engaged throughout the course. Thank you creativelive and Tamara for producing such a great course!


I thoroughly enjoyed this class, Tamara Lackey is an amazing individual and trainer! I loved what she said about not letting ourselves be diminished by someone else's narrow view... This class touches on many business related topics, I had many "aha" moments and feel excited and committed to tackle various aspects of my business in small steps!! Thanks for sharing so much of you!!!

a Creativelive Student

This was a fantastic class. Tamara is a fantastic teacher and really cares about conveying all the information that she is so passionate about. I found myself hanging off her every word and being so inspired to put her lessons into action. Buy this course - it will pay dividends in your business.

Student Work