According to our reader survey at the end of last year, many of you mentioned struggling with getting started and needing procrastination remedies for your stock photography.
If it’s any relief, know that you are not alone. Our brain is programmed to procrastinate and has an easier time processing the concrete rather than abstract.
I struggled with procrastination as well (and frankly, still do sometimes), but here are 5 tips that helped me complete my tasks and reach my goals:
1- Ask yourself “Why”
Before you even start making a plan to cure your procrastination, take a moment and ask yourself why you are actually procrastinating.
Is it a lack of motivation? Then try to remember why you wanted to do photography in the first place, and visualize how great it will feel when things get done.
Is it the fear of failure? Understand that nobody is judging you apart from yourself. Failure isn’t a roadblock, just a stepping stone towards success. Learn from it, try again, and get closer to your goals.
Pinpoint the reason you are not getting started and work on that problem.
2- Break down your to-do list
“Start making money with stock photography” is a daunting task to achieve in one afternoon. One of the main reasons we can’t get started is because we focus on the end goal at the horizon instead of the smaller steps to get there. Break daunting tasks into smaller, manageable ones.
For example, if you’re focusing on stock photography:
- Start researching and picking the websites you want to submit to
- Go through your portfolio and pick 10 photos to work on
- Process them in Lightroom and keyword them
- Submit them to your chosen stock website
Those are much smaller, concrete, and achievable tasks.
3- Schedule your tasks
To-do lists are great, but a task that is not scheduled is simply a wish. You need to schedule time in your day or week to work on your skills and tasks.
If you’re working on improving your skills, an hour or less of practice per day can produce incredible results. Give yourself small (and fun) assignments and work on it. You don’t even need to leave your home. I learned photography in the comfort of my apartment and the first prints I sold were taken in my living room.
If you want to get into stock photography, working on a couple of photos for 30 minutes and submitting them to your favorite website already gets you closer to your goals.
4- Make yourself accountable
Our brain is highly responsive to our social standing, and nobody wants to appear “lazy”. Use that to your advantage and make yourself accountable by telling people what you’re up to.
Find a partner to work with and motivate each other. If you don’t have anyone around you, join online communities. We have a Facebook group already set so jump in and start sharing your plans together. It’s much more motivating and rewarding to achieve goals together.
5- Just take that first step
And finally, I’d say that the most important tip is to just take that first step.
Starting is hard, but if you take even the simplest step, no matter how trivial, you’ll not only have some degree of momentum, but your brain is more likely to pester you to keep working on the task.
Try something easy first. Grab your camera and take a few photos around you. Then open Lightroom and process one photo.
Get into the habit of taking small steps, with achievable concrete tasks, and the rest will follow.
P.S. If you’re ready to stop procrastinating and start reaching your photography goals, then there is no better place to start than by joining me at the Point, Shoot and Profit: Online Photography Workshop this May 15-16. Over two action-packed, interactive days, my favorite photographers and I will accelerate your success and cut years off your learning curve—so that sooner than you imagine possible, you can be earning a rewarding income from taking pictures that sell. Book your spot right here and save $200 with our Early Bird discount.