13 ways to find time for an online business — Part 1
Let’s face it — when you have a day job, a family, and an online business to build, things get hectic at times. No wonder when I found out that my wife and I were going to have a baby, I was a bit skeptical about how I was going to find time for building my online business. Fortunately, this skepticism was unnecessary, as I learned to take advantage of every possible pocket of time I could find.
Here is a list of 13 things you can do to conjure up time for your online business while juggling loads of professional commitments and a family.
1. “Buy” some time
I am not talking about bribing people. But what about running a barter trade with your spouse? Sometimes it is a good idea to take on one of his or her responsibilities (preferably the one your spouse hates), and then ask for some extra time in return.
For instance, you could do any of the following:
- change baby’s diapers
- put the kids to sleep
- go outside with your kid(s)
- wash the dishes
By taking care of these everyday actions, you can gain more time for yourself. For instance, changing the diapers might give you 30 minutes of extra time, washing the dishes would give you extra 15 minutes, and so on.
2. Make time a present
Right now I’m super busy with completing my book and with writing all the necessary launch materials. Because I have a birthday coming up, my wife has asked me if I have any specific wishes for a birthday present. At first, I didn’t have anything special on my mind, until at some point I figured it out — I want some extra time! Since I still have plenty of work related to my book to do, getting all the extra available time for it was a great idea, and that’s what I’m going to get: four extra hours to spend on my project!
Maybe you have a birthday or another special occasion coming soon, too. You can follow this principle: instead of a physical present, ask for time.
3. Family calendar
The point of a shared family calendar is to let everyone in the household know what you are up to. Especially when an online business is concerned, it’s a good way of telling everyone that you are working on something special.
We have the calendar on our fridge door. Whenever I have a podcast interview coming, I mark down those events on our calendar so my family knows that I can’t be disturbed on that day.
You can, of course, have a similar calendar in a digital form, too (like Google Calendar). All you have to do is make sure that it’s easily accessible by the whole family.
4. Just ask
Why not just ask for some extra time? Especially if you are transparent with what you do on your computer, this shouldn’t be an issue.
I have told my wife from the very beginning that I’m building my online business and that it has the potential of providing a good living for us in the future. She can be sure I’m doing real work on the computer and am not checking Facebook all day.
When everyone is on the same page, no false expectations are born and asking for some extra time becomes easier for you.
5. Setting the boundaries
When you work on your projects, are you able to focus on them without family members distracting you? If no, the following are some ways in which I have handled these situations:
- being transparent with what I do (see tip #4)
- letting my family know my working hours
- asking not to be disturbed
- going to an office room upstairs in our house
This way, I can fully focus on my work. The same could work for you, too. The point is that when you ask your loved ones to respect your working hours and to not disturb you, it is much easier for them to understand and to comply.
6. Get up early
One of the most important ways of growing my blog has been waking up early. I used to do this when I had a day job, and I still do it — even though I’m blogging full-time nowadays.
By getting up at 6 a.m., I can have a couple of hours of uninterrupted time for my online business, and I can fully focus on the most important tasks first
After I have spent one to two hours on the computer before my family wakes up, it’s nice to have breakfast together, knowing that I have already gotten some of the work done.
7. Know the patterns
When my son was a baby, his sleeping hours seemed inconsistent. When I started taking notes on when he went to sleep and when he woke up, I figured out a pattern and was able to know (approximately) when the quietest time of the day was.
Although his sleeping patterns are now normalized, monitoring his sleep and finding the optimum time pockets for work was indeed very beneficial for me.
As you can see, finding time for your online business — even if you have plenty of family commitments — is possible. All you need is to ensure that you find special time slots throughout the day to get work done.
In the next part of this article, I reveal even more ways of conjuring up time for starting your own business. So please be sure to check out these tips in the next issue of Productive! Magazine.
Photo: Flickr / REGUSmedia CC BY-ND 2.0