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Goal for 2016: Work Smarter


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Each year, many people sit down and write out a list of resolutions for the new year. Some keep them; some do not. Some people love the idea; some people think it’s ridiculous.

I heard an explanation recently (sorry, but I can’t remember where) about the difference between a resolution and a goal. It goes something like this: Resolutions designed to fix things that are wrong. Goals are things that you hope to achieve. For example, a resolution would be to stop eating unhealthy foods. A goal would become more healthy. Of course, goals need to have action plans, or they are just empty wishes.

Whether it’s a “resolution” or not, I think that evaluating one’s life is really important. Plato said that the unexamined life is not worth living. If I don’t periodically evaluate my life–what’s working/what’s not working–then I’ll keep making the same mistakes over and over again. And that’s just a little sad. Actually, it’s very sad.

The start of a new year is a wonderful time to evaluate, reorganize, and redirect my life. Ideally, I should analyze things throughout the year and make adjustments along the way.

Over Christmas break, I had the wonderful opportunity to have a full-day mentoring session with a photographer I admire very much: Julie Paisley. I’ve known Julie for a few years, and I trust her advice. Our mentoring session focused on the business side of photography. Julie helped me work through many things–some I knew I needed help with, and so I had never even thought about before.

One of the things that Julie stressed to me is the importance of WORKING SMARTER. Julie shared with me that she has recently made some adjustments in her own business/life. She said, “Now, my business doesn’t run me. I run my business.” It sounds so simple, yet it requires being very intentional.

During my mentoring session with Julie, I learned the importance of making a work schedule for myself with specified hours. It is important for me to schedule specific tasks on certain days. As much as is humanly possible.

Another big one–>eliminating distractions during work hours. This is SO VERY HARD…..but NO E-MAIL. NO FACEBOOK. NO INSTAGRAM. Nothing extra. Not for “just a second.” Not while I’m waiting for a set of pictures to upload. This requires turning notifications off and removing my phone and iPad from my desk.

Julie revealed to me that I really DO have the time to do some of the things that I “don’t have time to do”–when I work smarter. So I am putting this to the test. And, so far, it is really working! I have all of my blog posts written for the week. If nothing else, I am feeling great about being ahead for once!

I am really excited for the changes coming to Susan Dixon Photography! At the beginning of last year, I purposed to work hard. I did, and I saw a lot of good from that. 2015 was my best year by far! My skill level increased, and I had more clients than ever before. In 2016, I will continue to work hard, but I will also be working SMARTER. I think that is a recipe for success!


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