The Minutes That Disappear: Time Management Life Hack from Barrie's Most Authentic Photographer

Hey, I'm admitting this is hard. It's worth it, so worth it; but managing a business, raising a child, being a giving and present partner, and keeping a household (with 2 pets!) in livable order is borderline impossible. It's easy for anyone and everyone to talk about self care, and how we need to advocate for our right to a bit of time for ourselves as mommas… but that honestly feels like another thing I just don't have time for. I do little things like yoga stretches a few times a week, a bath all to myself once a month or so...haha. I can't help but laugh at my pre-motherhood intentions "I will have to make sure to keep doing yoga every single day" lol. My daily life determines that was a lie! This past long weekend family trip to Lunge Bay, Ontario was so necessary!

So, I'm on a big podcast kick this year! Last week I searched for a podcast with advice for reclaiming sanity as a WAHM (work at home mom). I discovered this podcast Unfiltered Chaos with Nicole Snyder which made excellent points about mental exhaustion. Host Nicole Snyder describes the wall that a lot of work at home mom's hit around 2pm, when you become so frazzled and exhausted you can barely think and feel like giving up and taking a nap! She attributes this loss of mental stamina to MULTITASKING! We think we're being extra productive by doing 5 different things in under 5 minutes… I'm not even kidding or exaggerating! 5 minutes can literally include all these and more: get water, get water for toddler, switch laundry over, go to washroom, try to get toddler to potty, start making coffee, clean up toddler pee, get toddler changed, remember about the coffee, feed the dog, hold the babytot, get the crying toddlerbabe food before his bloodsugar drops to full meltdown mode, turn the coffee on (rejoice!) and hope nothing else happens for another 2 minutes so I can get the caffeine I need to do all that again, for the rest of the day. SO, apparently it's been proven that multitasking takes a LOT more brain power than staying on 1 task at a time. Did you know it can take up to 15 minutes to switch gears into a new task?

So, after gaining this new super knowledge, I decided to try a new game in our house. It's called set a timer on the stove for 5 or 10 minutes and do 1 thing - nothing else. Take 10 minutes to clean the kitchen and do nothing.else. umm...WOW it's actually funny how many things I was tempted to do during one 10 minute time block. I stopped myself from easily 5 tasks, and admittedly still couldn't resist jotting down my mental meal plan as I thought it through during dishes. These are the minutes that seemingly disappear! Multitasking feels necessary and straight up wrong to avoid as a mother, but I think Nicole Snyder is definitely onto something with her Time Blocking podcast and case against multitasking!

I'm in no way claiming this to be a magical fix, but I DO promise that you can't go back to unseeing the lost time. Once you begin to see the potential that exists for increased productivity, it's a total game changer.

Life has been really busy. I so so appreciate the time our family spent away this past long weekend. Our son is BUSY. I love all of his wild energy so much! On the topic of multitasking, I try to be as present as I can be during family time. As all other photographers I've spoken to agree, there is a fine line between documenting the important and memorable details, and losing out on being an important part of those moments yourself. So, I didn't shoot nearly as much as I could have, but we had a really memorable trip, and I'm happy to know our son enjoyed quality time with both his parents, present and by his side.

There are a number of reasons why my business strives for quality over quantity. Of course, I know that you as my client benefit from that. Working with me, the project is in depth and immersive - you're respected as an individual with unique needs. Because my business is low volume and high quality, you know you'll get a thoughtful and totally personalized experience, which is way more rewarding to me as well. It's also simply the way this works for me and my family. They need me, so I've designed my business to be able to provide very high quality service to a select few clients, which benefits both my clients and my family. If you feel that you value a high quality, low client volume, fully personalized photography experience, I’d love to chat for a no pressure consult.

All the love,

Hillary West

PS: A few more...this dragonfly was bird sized. And another from the night I snuck out when everyone was asleep!

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