10 Invaluable Time Spots for Part-Time (Online) Business Builders

Part-time online business productivityIf you work part-time on your business (in addition to having a day job and a family), then you know that your limited time is very valuable and it cannot be wasted. You have to know how to maximize it, so that you can get as much done as possible.

At the same time you have to make sure that you are not spending too much of your hours on just your business and that you spend more time with your family as well.

Yes, it seems impossible to build a business in this scenario, but I beg to differ. With some smart planning and observation, you can do all this while having a day job.

Consider these prerequisites first

In this post I’m listing 10 different ways to get work done when you are a dad and working part-time on your business. But before that, you have to make sure you understand the following ideas first, so that you can even increase the time you can have for your business.

  • Cut down the commitments

It’s absolutely necessary that you cut down on all of the extra commitments that you currently have. This way you can free-up your time and do something meaningful instead (like building your business).

Sit down and take a critical look at what you are doing, what magazines you are subscribing to, what newsletters fill your inbox or what other activities you have. Ask yourself if any of these things bring value to your life. If the answer is no, then it’s time to let go of them.

  • Identify the recurring patterns

This tip is especially for those dads, who have small children in the household and the purpose is to be aware of recurring patterns that your children have.

Here is what I did and what you can do too: Last summer I tried to gain a better understanding on what kinds of sleeping habits my baby had. The way I implemented this was by doing some time tracking.

The results helped me to find the right spots of the day to work on. Of course, sleeping habits change as your child grows up, but knowing about my son’s approximate schedules was very valuable for timing my work (he was around 8 months when I did the tracking).

  • Be ready for anything

When there are kids in the family, anything can happen. Therefore, you have to understand that sometimes your schedules can change – no matter how well you planned them.

For instance, a couple of times my plans changed completely when my son woke-up in the middle of the night. I went to calm him down and waking up and staying up naturally disturbed my own sleep.

During these times I realized it was impossible to wake up with the original plan (around 5.30am). When I wasn’t able to wake up early, the rest of the schedules changed as well.

As soon as you realize the dynamic nature of children, you have to learn to be more flexible. The sooner you have this trait (and I guess most dads have this trait already :), the smoother things will go. Also, you will be less frustrated if things are not going as planned.

  • Feel grateful of gradual steps

It goes without saying that family life can be hectic at times. Also, you may feel that building a business may be just impossible, since you have so much else to do.

I acknowledge this myself, but I make things easier by understanding that no matter how little I can get done on certain days, it’s still better than nothing. Being able to work on your business like 15-30 minutes on some days is better than not working at all.

Remember that all of the work you do is taking you closer to your goals and the time on your business   - no matter how little is spent – there is never a time that it is wasted.

Identifying those valuable time pockets

It’s now time to get into those ten time pockets that this post is about. I have used these strategies myself so I know they work. So without any further ado, let’s dive in!

1. Work during the morning

I tend to wake up earlier than my family (around 5.30 – 06.00 am), so that I can start working on my blog or work on other blog-related projects.

Mornings are the most valuable time for me as they help me to get most of the online business stuff done for the day. I identify the tasks for the day the night before and I make sure I work on the most valuable ones first when I wake up.

How much time I have each morning depends on two factors: If I happen to get to bed late, I’ll wake up later, thus I have less time to work on my business. Also, as soon as my almost 1.5 year old son wakes up, I know that it becomes almost impossible to work, as he wants my attention (by doing some crazy stunts or by just making enough noise :).

  • The average time gain: Anything between 1-3 hours.

2. Work during the nap times

This is my other “favorite” time pocket. Working during this time is possible on weekends or on vacations when I’m not at the office.

I tend to take a 20 minute power naps with the rest of the family, but as soon as I have woken up, I start working on my blog. Taking power naps increases my productivity, since I can fully focus on what I’m doing.

  • The average time gain: Anything between 1-3 hours.

3. Work when your spouse is watching television

Usually I work before going to work, but I’m doing some work during the evenings as well. Right now, my son goes to bed around 8pm, so that leaves approximately three hours to spend with my wife before we go to bed.

However, if my wife happens to watch her favorite TV shows in the evening, that’s a perfect time for me to work on my blog.

  • The average time gain: Approximately one hour.

4. Take advantage of an unexpected time block

Sometimes something unexpected happens and you have some extra time on your hands. However, if you prepare well enough, you can maximize the available time.

When I have this kind of time block on my hands, I make sure I know what my next action is. This way I can get started with my tasks right away, without pondering what to do next. Being well-prepared is the key and it helps a great deal with your productivity.

  • The average time gain: Depends of the situation; It could be anything from couple of minutes to even hours.

5. Give your spouse some free time

When you were a single guy, you had all the time to do your stuff. However, when you have a family, you have to think of others as well.

Especially if you have children, you have to make sure you give enough personal free time for your spouse so that she can do whatever she likes (while you take care of the kids). When you give this chance for your spouse, he/she feels more energized as he/she is not tied to children all the time.

When giving your spouse some time of him/her own, it’s easier for you to ask some time for yourself as well.

  • The average time gain:  Anything from 30 minutes to 2 hours (this really depends of the situation).

6. Go mobile

I like to educate myself as much as possible, but sometimes it seems it’s impossible as my days are busy and my family wants my attention.

That’s why I like to do mobilize my learning. If I know that might have to wait on a line somewhere, I take my Kindle with me. Or if I’m driving to somewhere with my bike, I’m listening to podcasts with my MP3 player.

This way I can take advantage of the transfer times or when I’m waiting something on the line.

  • The average time gain: Anything from couple of minutes to half an hour.

7. Have a babysitter

Sooner or later there is going to be a situation where you and your spouse would like to do something and you can’t look after your kids. That’s when you have two options:

a) You can hire a babysitter. Naturally you want to hire someone who is reliable and that you can count on.

b) Ask your grandparents to help. For instance, we have used this option many times and it has worked perfectly for us (my son’s grandparents lives only couple of miles away from our home).

When you have a babysitter, you can get a lot of work done by using a Super Wednesday Method.

  • The average time gain: Hours.

8. Just ask

Sometimes you just have to ask your spouse if it’s OK to do some work. Sure, in those cases the time is taken off the mutual family time, but at times this is necessary. For instance, I might have a podcast recording which usually takes place during the evening hours.

The only way that I can have this time for myself is to ask my wife if it’s OK to do this. I also make sure I mark the date/time down to our family calendar.

Doing those small things help you to keep your family up-to-date on what you are doing (thus giving you the chance to focus on your work).

  • The average time gain:  30 minutes to 2 hours (this depends of the situation).

9. Business trips

Business trips give me a lot of time to work on my blog. For instance, the train rides alone give me couple of hours of time to spend building my online business. If I happen to stay on a hotel, which gives me even more time to work on my blog and do other projects.

When I know that a business trip is coming, I make sure I’m well prepared: I have all the material ready on my laptop, I have a backup Internet connection with me if needed and I have the necessary reference material (books) with me.

  • The average time gain:  Anything from couple of hours up to 10-15 hours (it depends of the length of the trip).

10. Vacations and weekends

Naturally the vacations and weekends give more time to spend on your business.

I’ll then most likely work during the early morning hours, during the nap times in the afternoons and in the evenings when my wife is watching television. This way I can get my work done but I also have a chance to spend time with my family.

  • The average time gain: From 30 minutes up to five hours.

Conclusion

As you can now see, my daily life (and yours too) is full of time pockets that can be taken advantage of. Once you see those pockets, it’s easy to stay productive and build your business on the side.

But hey, this is just me … why don’t you share your tips on this topic: How are you able to find time for building your business? I know that a lot of people would be interested in this, so leave your comment and share your experiences with the rest of us.

About Timo Kiander

My name is Timo Kiander aka Productive Superdad.

I want to show how an online entrepreneur like you can improve your productivity in your online business.

Comments

  1. Great thought out tips. looks like you have lots of experience with part-time business+fanily+kids+full-time job. I would go crazy if i had all this.. You are good) Actually these tips can be applied to any online business owners) I like the part about Be ready for everything)
    Evan recently posted..Science WordPress theme Collection 2013My Profile

    • I agree with Evan. I think these tips can be applied to all business owners!

      I think it definitely would take a while to figure out how to use one’s time wisely if they had a family, full time job, and part time business.

      Despite not having a family yet (nor am I am dad), I am glad to have stumbled upon your blog!

      I personally find that a lot of my time is wasted on social media (such as Facebook or Twitter) or on watching television. Social media can be great to build connections and keep in touch with people, but after a certain amount of time, it becomes unproductive. I now limit my unproductive time and I use the extra time to work on my blog.

      I think it’s great that you are able to squeeze in work time during your vacations without letting it interfere with spending time with your family! Personally, I find it difficult to work while on vacation, because I’ll be too “tired” or I’ll want to “just rest”. Props to you!
      Elle recently posted..Bulimia Recovery Tips, by Pauline Hanuise. A True Story of Hope and InspirationMy Profile

      • Timo Kiander says:

        Hi Elle!

        Thank you :)

        Yes, I think that what drives me to do work – even on holidays – is my motivation. Also, it has become a habit to jump on to my computer as soon as there is even the slightest possibility to do work :)

        Anyway, glad to hear you liked these tips!

        Cheers,
        Timo
        Timo Kiander recently posted..PSD Podcast [PSDP 005]: Habits with Jonathan MilliganMy Profile

    • Timo Kiander says:

      Hi Evan!

      Thank you – great to hear you liked them!

      You are correct – this can be applied by any online business owners.

      I have learned these while building my own online business on the side.

      Cheers,
      Timo
      Timo Kiander recently posted..PSD Podcast [PSDP 005]: Habits with Jonathan MilliganMy Profile

  2. You are one serious workhorse! It’s true, it can surely be done by playing it smart the way you have described.

    The one thing I love doing is working on my laptop while I sit in bed with my husband for approximately three hours every weeknight. He gets to watch his favorite shows and I get to do my own thing the point is; we hang out together and share responsibilities when it comes to our kids.

    I love how you respect your wife and occasionally ask if it’s OK to work; I’m sure she appreciates how you obviously value your relationship with her. I sometimes have a problem with not letting that one extra article interfere with my personal life but I am blessed as my husband always seems to understand and is very supportive.

    By the way, this article appears to be one of those “epic” quality articles all these SEO experts continually talk about! :)
    Sandra Gonzalez recently posted..Proof That Easy Auto Loans Are Not Hard To FindMy Profile

    • Timo Kiander says:

      Hi Sandra!

      Thank you very much and thank you for your tip :)

      Yeah, I think that there are lot of time pockets around us – we just have to carefully take a look around and take a note of them.

      I hope that with these tips anyone can realize that things can be done – even if the person is busy already.

      Cheers,
      Timo
      Timo Kiander recently posted..Am I Allowed To Have Multiple Passions Instead of Just One?My Profile

  3. Children, who are old enough to understand the idea of schedules and chores, are old enough to understand the needs of your home business. Explain to your children that you do your work at home so that you can be near them when they need you. But also be sure they understand that you must do your work so that you will have the money necessary to keep your house, feed the family and to provide them with money for entertainment.
    Kristin K. Beard recently posted..No last blog posts to return.My Profile

  4. Work-life balance is very positive for employees and society overall. However, I’m not so sure it has been positive for businesses. Unfortunately, flexibility is often now seen as an entitlement and it is not appreciated by many employees. Additional benefits are expected and flexibility is often abused. Instead of using flexible scheduling for important needs, employees just use it to take off early because they want to. The benefit becomes an entitlement and employees feel the need to use it whether they need it or not. The burden then goes on the company to administer a benefit that is not being used as intended. The Family and Medical Leave Act certainly gets significant abuse as well.
    Shelton Maldonado recently posted..No last blog posts to return.My Profile

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