Life in the Balance :: Evaluate

Guest author Emily Potts runs her own photography business, heads the exceedingly popular Moms With Cameras blog, and still finds time to be “Mom.”  As a fan of PWD, Emily has honored us by extending to our readers the same kind of heartfelt advice and insight Moms With Cameras has become known for.


My grandmother was recently in the hospital. During one of my mother’s visits to check on her, a nurse struck up a conversation. She and my mom chatted about all of the usual small-talk topics, including the welfare of their children. When she got to talking about me, my mother mentioned that I had been under quite a bit of stress in the past few months. Upon discovering my line of work, the nurse was shocked. “What does she have to be stressed about?” she asked. “All she has to do is point the camera and shoot!”

Ahhh if only it were that simple. That’s really what I would like to be doing . . . pointing and shooting . . . (A camera, folks!  I’m not that mad about the comment!)

That really is what I would like to be doing, though. I would love to devote the majority of my time photographing people. It is the part of my business that I love, that energizes me, that stokes my creative fires. In my personal life, I’d like to be reading books to my son, working in my garden, cooking meals for my family and taking dance classes. At this point, I’d love to be doing anything in my personal life on a regular basis! But lately, I haven’t been. I have been hacking away at the to-do list I mentioned in my last post.  In doing so, I have come to the realization that I have only 24 hours in the day. And I’m human. (I would so love to be Superwoman, but the sheer fact of the matter is I’m not.)

What does this mean for me? That I have to get help. I have to admit I can’t do it all on my own and that trying to only makes me a tired (and sooooooo cranky) wife and mother, and that it’s probably prematurely aging me.

For this challenge, I am going to ask all of you to pull out the lists you made last time. Take a highlighter and highlight those things that YOU absolutely, positively MUST do yourself or your business/home will crater in on itself. For me, this includes things like photographing sessions, conducting sales appointments and running the family schedule. Those are the things you have to keep doing. (It should comprise maybe a third of your list or so. If your whole page is neon yellow, you need to try again!) Now I would like you to look at the list and determine what things you know you can unload on someone else, or simply stop doing. In my world, these are things like retouching, packaging orders and scrubbing baseboards. Circle those things. Now, I am going to ask you to find someone else to do these things or make the decision that these things (like baseboards) simply don’t belong on your overcrowded task list any longer.


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