I sit here drinking in the day and the cool mountain air in early fall. The chatter of my girls in the seats behind me are a tell tale sign of the events of the day. The peace settling over my family is comforting like a scent that steals you away to your childhood favorite memory.
The aspens stark and gold next to their pine counterparts look like sparklers in the fading light. The last bits of light melting behind the mountains oozing down the canyon to give way to night.
The valley is glowing from the numerous aspens speckling the tree line. We are leaving our second home in Breckenridge to make it back to Wyoming for school for the girls in the morning. This is my favorite time of the year and I’ve never seen it look quite like this. The colors in the mountains are unlike anything I’ve seen before. Growing up in Michigan the reds, golds, purples and greens that characterize fall left me disappointed with fall out west. Unless...unless I am in the mountains. The glory of the mountains leaves me breathless. The alpine lakes reminiscent of the glaciers that moved through this area in the past reflect the colors pristinely.
As a photographer, this is my busiest time of the year. As a mom....even more so. The hustle and bustle of the back to school schedule and activities starting back up in the midst of it all. It rivals a Las Vegas night club with the chaos, noise and late nights. It leaves me breathless and often grasping for the quiet late nights of summer circled around a bonfire in the back yard.
I want to be able to take advantage of the fall colors as much as possible in my professional life as well as my personal life. And sometimes that is being extra strict in my scheduling of clients to make room for the quietness of fall. The best way that I have found to do this is really quite simple. Schedule more than one client at any given day and location. This instantly frees up half your time to enjoy your down time, catch up on office work and spend much needed time with your family.
I have taken this an extra step because I've found that I die a little on the inside when I see a jam packed schedule all week. One day a week I reserve to do all my back office tasks. This is answering emails, placing orders, editing, updating my website, writing social media content and blog posts. This are all the tasks that do not multi-task well and I can do them without distractions. This is usually Monday.
One day a week I schedule to be MY DAY. This is appointments for me only. Nail appointments, salon trips, waxing appointments, shopping days for me (not groceries), massage appointments and doctors visits. I like knowing that I only have one day a week of constant interruptions or errands. It keeps my schedule streamlined in such a way that keeps my anxiety in check. Typically this is Tuesday and it corresponds with my "day off" below.
Then I have one day a week where I have the "day off" but I work in the evening with clients who can't meet during the day. It gives me down time during the day to work on home projects or things that I want to do and time to make dinner. In the evening I book three one hour client appointments in studio. I can also schedule sessions on this evening as well.
Wednesday during the day I have clients in studio for studio sessions, consultations and ordering sessions. I am done working in time to grab my kids from school and I don't work this evening.
Thursday is my busy day. I take clients all day and also shoot in the evening. Occasionally I need to reschedule clients due to weather or sickness and they will usually go to a Friday.
I desperately try to take Friday-Sunday completely off to spend time with my family, clean my house, catch up on all house work and PLAY!!! We get outside to be in nature as much as humanely possible. I never realized how much my soul heals when I am taking time for myself in God's creation. I need to be outside, relaxing, playing and working on my home.
The very best way for you to take advantage of the fall colors this year....get out and enjoy it! Master your schedule in such a way that you are putting yourself as a priority and making room in your schedule to say no. Also, price yourself to where you can work for a living and not work just to live. If you are constantly working and not making things better for your family, raise your prices so you can be home more often and be mindful and present in each moment. I will be going over this more in detail next month!
If you've made a promise to yourself to get out there and enjoy fall, leave me a comment and let me know how you're planning on doing! I look forward to hearing your thoughts!