By Elena Fawkner
Perhaps the scarcest commodity the new
owner just starting out has is time. This is
so if you are also working a traditional, full-time
building up your business "on the side" in your spare
This is a situation I am all too familiar
with. I still
work a full-time 8:30 - 5:00 job while
building my own
internet-based business in my spare time.
So how do you
go about burning the candle at both ends without
yourself out in the process?
First off, let's think about
priorities. Working a full-
time job while developing a
business requires stamina and
endurance if other areas of your
life are not to be
neglected. This means being fit and
healthy. Make time to
exercise at least three times a
week. Four or five is
better. I know how hard it can
be to commit an hour to
working out when you've got an endless
(and I mean ENDLESS!)
list of things you need to be doing NOW
for your business.
But make the time. It pays BIG
dividends in terms of stamina
and endurance. For me, this means
getting up at 4:00 am on
workout days. If that's what it
takes for you, do it!
Second, eat right. Don't just grab
a McBurger on the way
home from work and scoff it down as you're
the time to cook a proper meal and relax for
a half hour
or an hour before getting down to business.
This gives you
a break and time to unwind from the pressures of
making you much more productive when you do get down to
work. Eating proper meals will keep you in good health
coupled with a regular exercise routine, will help keep
your energy levels high.
OK, so you're physically in shape and
taking care of
yourself. The next major thing to think
about is time
management. Every weekend, before the
working week starts,
prepare a business plan for the coming
week. This is
nothing more complicated that writing down
business-related activities you must do over the
the coming week and then scheduling them according to
time you know you are going to have on a particular
planning out your time this way, you can schedule
business activities alongside your other activities.
care of as many of them as you can through the course of
day. Whether you are able to do this depends on the
of your 9 to 5 job but if you have even a little autonomy
should be able to squeeze out a little time here and there.
Not huge chunks, just 10 minutes here and there.
The nature of your job may mean you don't
have the luxury
of that sort of autonomy. If this is you,
nothing for it but to free up time before and after
This may mean getting up an hour earlier every day, for
Whatever your personal situation, by
planning ahead you will
at least have the peace of mind of
knowing that time has
been allocated to all important
By eliminating the "scatter gun"
approach you will find that
the limited time you do have will be
much more productive.
There are going to be some activities
that you have to do
day in, day out. Decide what time of
the day is best for
you to attend to these routine tasks.
The more you can
integrate business activities into your daily
more efficient will be your use of time. Let's
for example. Anyone running an online business
has to deal
with email on a daily basis. I use the time
between when I
get up in the morning and when I start my workout
It gives me time to wake up before I launch into
activity and it is a relatively undemanding task that
not require precision concentration.
Make use of autoresponders for as much of
processing as possible. This will further
reduce the amount
of time you have to spend on this aspect of
Other routine activities include things
like site promotion
and search engine position monitoring.
Now there are a lot
of great tools to help webmasters with this
part of their
business. For example, WebPosition Gold will
review your position in all the major search
report back to you with the results. It can
programmed to auto-submit at appropriate
intervals. Be sure
to use quality automated tools wherever
possible. They can
save you literally hours of work every
week and as we all
know, time is money in this business.
Keep a journal for a week. Record
in it everything you do
during the day from the moment you get
up in the morning
to the moment you go to bed. What
activities can you
eliminate in favour of freeing up some time
business? Maybe it means getting up an hour
Maybe it's forgoing the sleep-in on the weekend.
means giving up those two hours of TV every
night. You will
find even 15-20 minutes blocks here and
there can add up to a
sizeable chunk of time over a week or a
If you travel, keep a copy of your
website on your laptop
and work on it while you're in the air or
waiting for a
flight. Or answer your email ready to send
it when you get
plugged in again.
As you can see, the trick is to practice
technique. If you wait until you have a great
chunk of time
in one block, such as the weekend, you'll only
waste all of
those little bits of time you could have put to
during the week and fritter away your "quality" time on
routine tasks rather than business development.
One final piece of advice. Take
time every week to just
relax and do something you want to
do. Although the
pressures of a new business are
demanding, failing to take
time out will only lead to burn out.
Elena Fawkner is editor of A Home-Based
Business Online ... practical ideas, resources and strategies for
your home-based or online business. http://www.ahbbo.com