Today’s Post by Joe Farace
“Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”—Parkinson’s Law
An earlier version of this post was originally appeared on my friend Rick Sammon’s blog. If you enjoy travel photography, you owe it to yourself to visit this site to see his amazing imagery and read his tips.
Rick and I have little in common photographically, even in the kinds of subjects we choose to photograph but we share a common ethnicity and attitude, especially when it come to the subject of work. This topic came up during a recent lunch when Rick was presenting a seminar and workshop in Denver. At lunch, we got to talking about work habits and during the conversation I explained my implementation of a philosophy about the process of work.
I explained my work philosophy to him this way: I start each day with a written (or mental) To-Do list of the tasks I want to accomplish during that day. Like any list there are always some things that we like to do and others that we’d rather not. It’s on,y human nature, that most people put off all of the stuff they don’t like to do until the last minute and spend the whole day dreading having to perform those unpleasant tasks. And since the plans of mice and men doesn’t always go as planned, the tasks we didn’t want to do today, sometimes get carried over onto tomorrow and then we’ve spent two days dreading attacking those challenges.
The solution, as I explained to Rick, was that “I do the hard things first.” That way you have only the good stuff—the fun stuff—to do for the rest of the day with the bonus that you won’t have to do the hard stuff tomorrow or spend all night laying in bed beating yourself up about what you didn’t do that day because you already did it, helping your way to a good night’s sleep and making you ready for a new day tomorrow, where once again, you’ll do the hard stuff first. OK, it’s a little thing but give it a try and see how it works for you.
Oh, it’s also a good idea to start off each day with a good breakfast, so you have energy enough to take on those not-so-easy tasks.
PS. This is an example of the kind of business-oriented tips that are in my forthcoming (real soon now) self-published book A Life in Photography, as soon as I find another copy editor for the book. The first two flaked out for various reasons.
Barry Staver and Joe Farace are co-authors of Better Available Light Digital Photography that’s currently out-of-print but new new copies are available from Amazon.com for $21.88 with used copies available for the bargain price of foour bucks, as I write this.