Top 3 productivity tips for home-based businesses

People love to talk about productivity options, especially since so many entrepreneurs have decided to nix the overhead of office space and work from home. Well I’m no exception when it comes to talking about this stuff. I could read about optimizing productivity all day! (and I do… on Google+ ) Let me  share  my top 3 things that work for me.


#3 Customize your environment – If you work from home you have the unique opportunity to post Hello Kitty on the walls if it helps you work faster. Play the movie “Office Space” in the background if it helps you get stuff done… I don’t know, go wild finding what WORKS.  Let me describe my ideal work environment:

  • Pandora playing (usually my Dubstep or Tycho station)
  • Standing with coffee or some other refreshment
  • As much natural light as possible.
  • My photographic work surrounding me (on the walls) (Not in the photos below, but new stuff coming)
  • a closed door.
  • Wearing my Gunnars… these are gaming glasses that reduce eye fatigue and stress. Starts at about $80 and well worth it.

It’s not one size fits all. some people need silence and a soda… I don’t really drink soda, so I’m not that guy.


#2 STAND UP – Everyone knows sitting on your duff all day is bad for your body, I don’t care how expensive your captain’s office chair was, it sucks for you in the long run. We’re not created to sit in an office chair. Standing desks are all the rage right now, and they’ve been around for a while now. I’ll post some links here soon but you can easily search “Standing Desk” on Amazon and get an idea of what’s trending. You’ll notice they can be pretty expensive. Ill tell you what I do… My 2nd monitor is wall-mounted and I use a music stand for my wireless keyboard and mouse. Boom, I’m standing. Works like a charm, I absolutely love it and it’s easy to flow into the office and get something done.

Photo-12_16_13,-12.11.21-PM-3Standing Workstation Solution

Music Stand $20, Wall mount, $30 (and I’ve had it for 2-3 years now). So if you have a second monitor (Which can also be a TV with a VGA input) you get get a standing workstation set up for about $50. However you do it, get off your duff and get some work done 🙂



#1) Work when you work best – This is my absolute best tip I heard YEARS ago but sometimes can be hard to explain. Some people are night people, some are morning people, some are somewhere in between. If you work best at zero-dark-thirty WORK THEN! I’ve got a wife and two small kids, and I know I have the potential to be a productivity BEAST in the mornings. Well guess when I try to get my admin stuff done? You got it, chief… Mornings. I even have it narrowed down to what time I know my coffee will kick in. No seriously. EXCEPTION: I do my best photo editing right after the shoot, regardless of the time of day. Unless it’s a wedding, then I go the heck to sleep and edit the next day. For products and portraits, I’m best right after because the emotion and excitement is still there. Can I do it another time? Of course I can, it’s what I do… but I’ll do it faster right after the shoot.

Let’s Wrap-up… These are my current top 3. It may change from time to time but these will ALWAYS be in my top TEN. Other productivity tips include exercise, smart scheduling, useful productivity apps, limiting sugar, and more. Thanks for reading. 

What’s in YOUR top 3 tips for productivity? Write a message in the comment section!

Bonus: Here’s a video of a recent session. Dude’s name is Jordan, and he’s a High School Senior. We really had some laughs… he’s a character. Seems reserved but he did some wild stuff. Check it out and feel free to comment.

If you can’t view the video above, no problem. Check out the video here!

iOS 7 Popularity & Significance

Go-iOS 7-Go! Oh I’m sorry… My fanboy is showing isn’t it? Well, did you get the news?? Apple reports that about three-quarters of iOS users are on the latest and greatest operating system. And despite many peoples gripes… Like my cousin Jamar (hater), folks are hooking up their iPhones iPads and iPod Touches.

TheVerge logo A newly updated chart tracking App Store users through the end of last week clocks iOS 7 in at 74 percent of devices, which is up 10 percent from what the company reported in October. One thing that’s helped: Apple put out new iPhones in September and new iPads in October, both of which ship with iOS 7. The operating system also saw the fastest adoption of any major Apple software release. (MORE)

iOS 7 logo

My initial thoughts when updating were unpleasant. I’ll admit that. But the kind of unpleasant that happens when your best friend gets a new girlfriend and you liked the old one. Then I played with her it. (The operating system… C’mon people) and got more familiar. Hesitantly I began to love it and still do. Since iOS 7 isn’t exactly a treasure trove of originality I’ll give a respectful not to my Android using brethren, and move on. (place slow, grudging nod here)


In light of this news, we photographers and visual-communications-types must constantly bear in mind the large and constantly growing base of MOBILE content consumers. Yes, I realize this stretches beyond iOS 7 to Windows Mobile and Android (what’s their next operating system? “Sour Patch?”) and that the tech boys are making it faster and easier to use these mobile platforms. We need to take advantage of that. Make sure you are using a responsive website -it adjusts itself based on the device it’s being used on. This is no longer optional, it’s industry standard. With most of these trends and shifts one thing seems to be fairly consistent… You’re either on the bus or under it. Good news is, you (photographer/content creator) get to choose!

Here are some short related posts to help you integrate your business into the mobile space:

Time to rebuild relationships! (Right?)

Mailchimp Email Marketing Logo

So my wife and I have had access to great services which we don’t take advantage of. Specifically our email list maintained by Mailchimp. I decided to dust off the cobwebs since it’s been about a year since our last post. Wow… They can’t make it any easier! Mailchimp is so beautifully user-friendly, I’m disappointed that we waited so long to post! In fact, click here to see the December “iDex Insider” update. Anyhow, we’re grateful for everyone who’s opted in over the last year or so. I think we’ll be offering some good content via the email list.

My personal goal is to build an interactive community through our email marketing. I’m hesitant to actually say “email marketing” but the fact is, I want people to know what we do in the hopes that one day we can do it for them! There are a lot of great photographers, videographers, and visual communications specialists in the St Louis area so I need something besides my great smile and charming personality to differentiate us from our peers.

What kinds of things do you like to see in your emails? What makes a good newsletter? (I hate the term “newsletter” by the way) if you’re a content provider, what successes have you seen regarding email marketing?

Oh yeah one last thing… Join the list!
Our email family is growing, and I want you to be a part! (Isn’t that romantic?)
SUBSCRIBE and become an iDex Insider