Due to globalization and the frantic immediacy that drives today’s media, following our dreams is easier by achieving balance between everyday responsibilities, and doing stuff we love the most.
This has been a fantastic year for me. I have been pretty busy in my day job, and writing about the thing I love the most, have kept my passion fueled in a way I never imagined when I dreamed of having some extra income due to photography. Nowadays I have almost quitted doing photography I don't feel passionate about, and I'm way freer for doing Street Photography, which I hugely love.
Following our dreams turn us into one soldier armies, and maneuvering around every stuff, is crucial for keeping everything well fed. Sometimes we overheat our responsibilities, and leave our dreams for later. This is what you may not do, or at least don't get used to do. Getting comfortable at leaving things for later is extremely dangerous for any discipline you are willing to excel at. Don't get me wrong, I love my day job, because I believe we are doing some really amazing stuff and I enjoy it even at after hours. Having a day job like this, allows me to do images without the pressure of clients and deadlines. I'm just doing images for myself, and for the people that stumble into my work thanks to the internet sneaky way of doing things.
Not everything is perfect though, because I also love writing literature, especially Poetry and Short Stories. I have to recognize that I had let that part of my world to cool down, which is really bugging me honestly. So, here I have an improvement opportunity, which is great.
Without further ado, I’ll tell you now some tips that I personally think work really great when balancing things up:
Passion will lead you
If you are passionate about what you do, you won’t have such a hard time in keeping yourselves fueled with energy. It doesn’t matter how tired you could be at the end of a hard day, if you are passionate with Photography, you’ll feel guilty if you at least didn’t watch some good pictures at a slow pace at the end of the day.
Productivity Tools for Organizing your Mess
Being productive and time efficient is key for keeping balance between responsibilities and the things you love. If you don’t have a system, it will be HARD to keep up with everything, and eventually you could feel frustrated if you don’t accomplish such balance.
I have tried many productivity tools, but I’m sticking just with the following. These are great, I know there is a bunch out there, but I will only mention those tools that I use to keep myself organized.
- Google Calendar is my master reference in terms of managing my days for everything I do.
- Google Drive is where I keep all my files for quick and easy access no matter the place or device.
- Google Keep is where I keep my random notes handy.
- Asana is amazing for project managing. I started using it at work, and eventually I started using it for all my personal projects. It is almost like a to-do list or a task manager with steroids. Asana recently launched “boards” which is way more practical for continuous workflows. It is also a collaborative platform.
- Trello is a simple tool that allows seeing the big picture of an overall team working. I use it at work, and for regular magazines I work as a columnist.
- Agenda, ok this may be redundant by I really need to do things in analogue form as well, if not I’ll just freak out. But, I don’t use it for work activities, just Academic, Photography, and Writing tasks.
- Notebook for ideas and much other good stuff.-
- Watch, because time will run out quickly if you don’t mind it.
And no, Moleskine doesn’t sponsor, I just love their products.
Rituals are good, routines not so much
Some time ago, while enduring a personal dilemma (for not saying crisis), I concluded that routines may be boring, but rituals is something beautiful. Rituals are those small things you do every day that keep your mind at peace (ok, I may have OCD, but I don't care). So don't feel sorry if you start doing some routine things that are related to the things you love. Not everything is about inspiration. Inspiration is great, but the muses aren't as generous as we would love them to be. Therefore, we need to have discipline for inspiration to grow into great results.
Ok, losing ourselves in the marvelous tentacles of the web is great, but if we don't control them, we will procrastinate things for later and later. You don't need to be as extreme as me (I don't have Facebook), but you can give your web browsing some routine or ritual, and even schedule it so it doesn't get off your hands.
I try to keep everything organized, from photography web platforms, to social media and YouTube channels; again, I might have OCD.
Maybe you work as a professional 8 hours-a-day photographer, or maybe you are just dreaming about accomplishing it. Every Photographer has their formula, and I'm just sharing mine with you. I’m also trying to encourage you to keep your passion fueled, because you are not alone.
For me the best example is Ted Forbes, who left his day job at a University as a teacher, and now has a sustainable YouTube channel thanks to his passion and love for Photography. Please let us know about what you are doing, we are not alone.