We're Erica + Jon, professional photographers, Mr + Mrs and Mom + Dad. We like to share insights into our industry, behind the scenes and stories about our life and chips + salsa obsession.
As husband and wife business owners who happen to also be mom and dad to two amazing (and energy filled) kiddos, one thing we’ve definitely been forced to master is our schedule. We thought we had it pretty dialed, but then 2020 came and we found ourselves adding one more huge responsibility onto our plates – Homeschooling. Even before making that huge decision, we were asked all the time, “How do you do it all?” We’ll be honest, once we added homeschooling to the roster, we were the ones asking ourselves, “How are you going to do it all?!?” We realize that we aren’t the only ones being forced to take on multiple new responsibilities in today’s climate, so we thought we’d share a snapshot of a day in our life and How We Balance Our Daily Schedules in hopes that it helps you too!
One of the biggest realizations we came to was that in order to be effective in every area, we needed to do two things.
First, we needed to divide and conquer. Our business roles were already pretty well divided and catered towards our strengths. But the reality is you can’t be a full-time employee AND a homeschool teacher at the same time. Jon ended up taking on even more business responsibility allowing Erica to clear her mind and focus on the equally important task of educating our kids.
Dividing things up takes patience and trust. You have to trust the other person to follow through and accomplish the roles you’ve agreed for them to take. Once those lanes are established, you have to release the other person to perform. It’s kind of like swimmers in a lap pool. If swimmers didn’t stay in their lanes, everyone would wind up on top of each other and slow each other down. Once those roles and lanes are established, trust the other person to perform.
Second, we had to force ourselves to intentionally plan and prepare for everything. This meant that instead of sitting in front of the TV on Sunday afternoons and veg-ing out, we needed to spend the afternoon prepping food, comparing calendars, and prepping for the entire week.
This at first seems like a terrible chore. But just like any discipline, once you get used to it, things flow smoothly. You’ll find yourself maybe still not loving the time investment in the moment, but the payoff throughout the week is astronomical and makes it SO worth it!
We focus on meal planning, jotting everything down in our paper calendars (yeah, we still like to write things down) and on our shared digital calendar, and preparing school lessons for the week.
Ok, so now that you know our receipt for success, here’s what a typical ‘non-shooting’ day in the life of Erica + Jon looks like. We typically reserve shooting days for Tuesdays and Thursdays, in which case our schedule completely revolves around the shoot requirements.
5:00 AM – Wake Up + Quiet Time
This time is so valuable for both of us. We get up early before kids wake up, drink coffee, have quiet time to read our Bibles and center ourselves for the day. When we accidentally sleep in (it happens) and we don’t get this time, it feels like our whole day is thrown off! One of favorite parts of this time is the opportunity to talk about and set actionable goals for the day. We highly recommend rising early and taking time to start your day slowly.
6:00 AM – Workout
We hold personal fitness and health at a really high standard. In order for us to perform at our best, we have to feel our best. Morning workouts are the ticket for us. It leaves us feeling accomplished, motivated, and ready to take on the world! The endorphin rush after a good morning workout is an extra bonus that pushes us into a strong start to the day.
7:00 AM – Get kids up, Breakfast time, Get Ready
We aim to have everyone up and getting going by 7AM the latest. We all take time to eat a good breakfast, get ourselves ready, clean up rooms, and have ourselves ready to start the day strong. Yes, there are definitely days where we stay in gym shorts/sweats and don’t get around to showing until 2PM. But we try to keep those days few and far between. We feel best when we take time to get ready, so we enjoy doing that everyday.
9:00 AM – Homeschooling + Work Starts
At 9:00AM on the dot, we start school and work time. We do this to create structure and routine for our kids. We want to create an environment where there is structure they can thrive in, just like if they had to report to a normal school every day. Erica starts teaching at this time and Jon starts working.
11:30 AM – Lunch Break!
This is a favorite part of the day for everyone! We take an intentional lunch break by getting up from our desks, heading to the kitchen and eating lunch. It’s a great mental break and way to refuel for the afternoon.
12:00 PM – Back to School + Work
1:30(ish) PM – School wraps for the day!
3:00 PM – Work wraps for the day!
From this point in our day, our schedule kind of varies. We usually incorporate some sort of family activity like pool time if we don’t have evening plans. But with sports getting into full swing, we have a few nights a week where kids need to be out the door for practices and games. On those days, we get everyone fed a little early and head out the door on time for sports!
So there you have it, friend – a snapshot of our typical day! We hope there are some helpful tidbits for you in there. If we had to stress one part of our day as the most important, we’d definitely tell you it’s SO worth it to wake up a little early and have that quiet time for yourself. We promise, it pays off and sets you up for so much success during the day.
If you don’t already wake up for some quiet time, try it and let us know what you think! We’d love to hear from you!