Time and Timeliness

Evening! Hope you’re all having splendid bank holiday weekends (if you have those in your country like we do here)!

I just want to write something quite quickly. A blogging interval or ‘thought for the day’, if you will…

I have a tendency to be hard on myself. Various people have pointed this out to me at various times in my life, which is kind of them. I used to be a terrible perfectionist, but have thankfully shaken that off quite well, I think (though I do always have a strong urge to improve things I do as much as I can, where appropriate; but ‘where appropriate’ is, of course, the crucial thing!).

Anyway, I’ve been feeling quite stressed about the level of admin required by this modelling malarky, recently, and so my natural thought pattern declares that there must be something inadequate in my ability to manage my time. But this evening, I took it upon myself to wonder if, actually, I’m really quite good at managing my time (else I wouldn’t be able to be writing a novel, work as a professional model, be learning two languages, be taking music lessons, be reading a book, be attending dance classes, making my nephew-to-be a handmade blanket, maintaining a busy social life AND managing to sleep), so perhaps, a bit of statistical analysis was in order.

Seeing as my specific problem is often that I worry I am letting people down by letting emails (emails which I’m grateful for, and am interested in, and enjoy receiving) linger in my inbox far longer than they should, and that I am occasionally on the end of the, absolutely justified, ‘You don’t seem to have read my message sent on the Xth of the Xth’ messages (perhaps I have since visibly logged-in to a networking site through which the message was sent). Don’t get me wrong; sometimes I reply to a message within minutes, depending on what I’m doing, how near the computer I am, how easy the message is to reply to, etc.. But sometimes it takes me quite a bit longer to get through things. It turns out there’s a reasonable excuse for this…

 I decided to count how many emails I received on one particular day.

I took the 24th (two days ago) at random, and counted that I had received 98 emails on that day. I looked through again, and counted 70 emails out of the 98 which required a direct response on my part (either a considered reply or an action) – so, effectively, I received 70 different contacts from what can be considered ‘clients’ in one single day, each one requiring my response.

The rest (the remaining 28) were easily deleted (e.g. notifications of posts being added to forum threads I’d contributed to, before I’d switched off that notification feature). So that’s 70 emails in one day requiring my attention and reply (many of which require research before a reply is possible), while also being on the phone to my agency and speaking on the phone to two photographers about arrangements for forthcoming things. I also spent some of the day arranging future modelling trips (looking up flights, accommodation and transport options).

Did I mention that this modelling email account is just one of three email accounts I have and check regularly? I have another personal account (for that social life I mentioned) and another, more formal, one, for important/other/some social matters. (There is a fourth, set up specifically for my ‘Ella Rose’ facebook notifications, but I never look at it ever, so it doesn’t count.)

…Why am I writing this? It might seem like a thinly-veiled boast (‘look how many people are interested in my work and want to hire me!’, ’70 emails in one day – aren’t I great?!’) etc; I really don’t want to sound like that; that’s not the intention of this blog post. It’s more just to acknowledge that this stuff isn’t always easy, and to say to anyone to whom it may apply: please be aware of how much work goes into modelling behind the scenes. Please don’t hate models if they take a little while to reply or keep you waiting longer than your ideal. Bear in mind that this was technically a day off – and a Saturday! – and that this is just one day (I haven’t counted statistics for other days to compare how average this day was, but it felt like quite an average day; there may often be more, or less correspondence per day); one day out of an entire week, out of an entire month… etc.

I don’t mean to sound angry or stressed; I’m actually just quite amused that I had questioned my own ability to be on top of emails so often, without stopping to consider what, exactly, it was that I was asking of myself, and relieved to be able to remember that I’m only human! Ha!

I’m sure many of you feel the same way and have similar demands if you are self employed (I’m hardly alone in this!) and the idea of 9-5 working hours (rather than everything having to be instant in this immediate, seven-day week modern smartphone world!) is not a norm that you can easily relate to, either. I’m still glad I’m self employed and doing a job I find fun and creatively stimulating, despite all the work.

But as a result of this highly scientific experiment… 😉 I certainly feel more comfortable and justified in stating on my various online sites that although I try to respond to emails within a few days, I do sometimes struggle.

Anyway, much love to all… Thanks for all those wonderful enquiries that keep my modelling world turning, and many thanks to those who patiently accept that things can take a couple of days or three or four (and even more when a model is travelling for work with shaky wifi connections or limited time in the evenings to relax between assignments!) to respond to. And do tell us models if a reply is urgent; we’ll prioritise your message if it’s time reliant and you tell us so. 🙂

P.S. Some gorgeous new images coming your way which I can’t wait to share!

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3 thoughts on “Time and Timeliness

  1. Much love to you as well, and THANK YOU for all that you do, whilst juggling everything else and somehow retaining your sanity all the same! It is very, very much appreciated, every bit of it. 'Tis a lot of work, but the results sure do speak for themselves. In spades. 🙂

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  2. admin is such a time hog. As a full time photographer I think I only spend about 10% of my time actually holding a camera. Client communication, marketing, filling orders, self-development, paying bills, framing, general bookwork… still, like you. very happy with my daily life. You are rather unique in having carved out a viable career modelling, but if it was easy, there would be thousands! Keep up the good work. Bill

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