I’m back from 10 days of sickness! Y’all, that was NO joke. Celebrating that I can breathe through both nostrils, that I don’t have a fever, that I am ALIVE and out of the bed with mascara on, to boot!
To catch you up if you’ve missed it! : The last 5 weeks, I have been blogging alongside my friend Emily to share how we organize various aspects of our lives! We call the series “How we do it.” I hope it’s been a practical guide – a peek into the nuts and bolts of our lives. Here’s what we’ve covered so far, and here’s what you can look forward to!
Time: Em’s post and Nancy’s post
Finances: Em’s post and Nancy’s post
Home: Emily’s post and Nancy’s post
Personal Life: Em’s post and Nancy’s post
TODAY: Em’s post on Work
February 20: Relationships
February 27: Spiritual Life
March 6: Kids
My aim for today is to give you an overview of how I approach my work as a business owner, and I how I keep things organized practically. This is going to be a doozy! Last time I blogged this, I divided it up into Part 1 and Part 2. In an effort to simplify things, I’m going to keep this brief yet thorough, including all the most important points under the roof of this one post. Let’s dive in!
Side note: I’m really excited to hear from Emily today. Since I own my own business and since she’s part of an amazing team, we will surely have ways we differ in organizing our work. And just FYI, we don’t collaborate at all on the content of our posts – we just dive in and then read each other’s perspectives! This is gonna be good!
Organizing my work
Organizing the Big Picture with EOS! :: I am a big picture kind of person. I have to understand where we are headed for my day to day work to make sense. That’s why the the Entrepreneurial Operating Systems (EOS) always comes up in these discussions – it has given me a vision and track to run on that helps me see exactly where we are going in 5 years, 3 years, and in the next 12 months! Want to learn more about it? Read the book Traction and you’ll have everything you need!
VTO / Vision Traction Organizer
On a two page document, the VTO clearly describes our 5 year plan, our 3 year picture, and our 1 year goals. It also outlines our Core Purpose, our Core Values, our Target Market, our financial targets, and the clear things we should accomplish in order to gain traction and more forward.
Weekly Level 10 Team Meeting
Our team meetings last for 90 minutes. We follow the same format every time, and we leave with action items and a clear understanding of where we’ve been and where we are going. At the end of the meeting, we rate if from 1-10, ALWAYS aiming for a 10! (In the world of NRP, it *only* gets a 10 if we start on time, end on time or early, if someone cries, and if there is delicious food.)
Scorecards are like weekly report cards for the business. Each team member is responsible for filling out the numbers they are in charge of. We have target numbers each week, and it’s the perfect way to concisely check in and see how the business is doing at a glance.
Daily Organization :: Now that I have 5, 3, and 1 year pictures, along with our 90 day rocks and our weekly meetings and scorecards, it’s time to break it down for TODAY!
My to do list
I have a running to do list that is filled in the pages of my Simplified Planner. When I get overwhelmed or aren’t sure where to begin, I take a blank white sheet of paper and do a big brain dump of all the things I need to do. Then I write them all out for this week and next. (There are bigger project to do lists within different Google Docs.) Anything that doesn’t get done just rolls over to the next day or week.
Every day I set 3 priorities / tasks to accomplish. I do this FIRST THING IN THE MORNING! This is vitally important. This practice had really changed my work life. Organizing my tasks in order of priority BEFORE I begin my work has helped me accomplish what’s important and has left me feeling satisfied at the end of the day, knowing I did what I should have. When setting these priorities, I always make sure to check in with my 90 day rocks. A least 1 of my priorities should be working toward accomplishing my rocks. The other 2 priorities are decided based on what’s most important and urgent that day.
One thing at a time
I do my best to block my days off in 1 to 2 hour increments, focusing on one thing at a time. Two things can interrupt my work and I’ll happily stop what I’m doing: their names are Milly and Lyndon :).
Organizational Practices, Systems and Tools that hold it all together
Be an email ninja, have a thorough filing system, use unroll.me, and aim to keep you inbox at zero.
As a wedding and family photography studio who serves many leads and clients throughout any given day, we highly recommend using a Client Management Software system. We are in process of switching from ShootQ to Dubsado. In addition, we have client folders that we take with us on a wedding day, which includes their questionnaire, contract, important emails and notes.
Photos + Work files (Drobo)
We use a Drobo – a multi-hard drive base that connects to all of our computers via Wifi. We have an extensive file folder system to organize all of our photos and business files, and the Drobo automatically backs everything up. We back up all final galleries online, and we have additional portable hard drives for back ups as well.
A cubby system inside our studio closet organizes all of our cameras and lenses. Shelving units organize our bags, aprons, and film.
Callie and I plan out the blog calendar 3-4 weeks in advance on a shared Google Calendar. All of the posts are written and populated with images and links the week prior, and scheduled. That way content is consistent and timely!
We LOVE Slack! It’s the best communication tool for our team. We organize all our conversation threads regarding different work projects within Slack. We have conversation threads for our new website refresh, our Dubsado migration, any feedback we get (good and bad), TIL “today I learned”, and a general studio thread. We can also message each other privately. It’s completely eliminated the use for emails within our team!
This is a great place to create documents that we can all access and update from anywhere. Google Docs is where we host a lot of copy for email sequences, website projects, and course launches.
Dropbox is where we share files easily for posting to Instagram, where we host our Scorecards (so we can update them remotely), and where we save files when we are working from different locations on a big project. Side note – it’s also where I back up my personal photos!
I hope this has been helpful! Next week is Organization in Relationships, and I’m pretty excited about it.
Don’t forget to read Em’s post today too!
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