3 Time Management Tips I Learned in 2018

Last year saw a lot of major changes to my life. I got fired from a job with a boss that I couldn’t stand, and found a hotel that has been everything I though it could be when I saw the brand name.

I also created this website, then subsequently lost almost all of the data after switching servers (a rough outcome but I’m past it now!).

I also saw my wife take the first steps of her new career, and couldn’t more proud of her! My kids are all healthy, smart, and wacky, and I’m proud to be their dad.

But besides all that I wanted to share with you some of the tips I learned to become better at time management, and hope you can take something away from it that will help you dominate 2019.

Here are the three time management tips I learned in 2018.

Don’t Over-schedule Yourself

The first time management tip I learned in 2018 was not to over-schedule myself when it comes to getting projects done. There were a lot of changes in my freelancing business that made me look inside myself to determine what jobs were most important.

At one point I juggled four major projects at one time and missed the deadline for two of them. I didn’t look good to my editors after dropping the ball and it was something I made sure wouldn’t happen again.

I decided to trim off a few of the repetitive tasks and focused on the ones that I could do you in an efficient manner. If you are finding that you are putting to much on your plate and still not getting things done then you may need to do exactly what I did.

Don’t be the business owner that falls behind on important projects and can’t catch up even with free time slots available

Block Out Time For Specific Tasks

Did you know that multitasking when running your business can be fun and rewarding, but also keep you from working at your most productive pace?

I always try to carve out time to work on specific tasks and projects and if I noticed that I want to hammer out a few of the same thing then I will work on it in batches.

Working on specific things in batches is one of the most common methods used by online business owners. For example, if you write kick-ass content, wouldn’t it be smarter to write a few posts in one shot and then schedule them for a later release date?

Blocking time for batch work is one of the quickest ways to get things done and you will see how it will make your online business more streamlined and automated once you get everything into an affective rhythm.

Make Time For Yourself and Your Family

Carving out time in your day shouldn’t just be about growing your business. You should also create time to spend with your family and also for yourself.

This can be as simple as working on your business from 9 AM to 5 PM, and then shutting things down for the rest of the night. You would be able to spend time enjoying dinner with your family, playing games with your kids, and also winding yourself down from what could have been a busy day. (I just spent this past weekend getting my butt handed to me in dots and boxes by my nine and five-year-olds! It was insanely fun even if I did lose.)

Completely focusing on your work is not healthy and it will only create resentment from your family members. You can own a business and you can still push things to the max and build something successful for yourself, but still remember why you are creating the business in the first place.

My 2019 Word of the Year

The word of the year I a focusing on is progress. Not only will I make progress in growing my website and time management skills, but I will also make strides to become the best father and husband I can be.

How do I plan on making progress this year? I will be working with a yet to be determined coach to grow my business, and I will also try to make arrangements to go to some parenting conferences that are geared towards dads.

I know as long as I have the drive to become successful my determination will be the key to improving every aspect of my life in 2019.

So now that you have seen what my three biggest time management tips were from 2018 what are some of the ways you plan on improving your time management this year. Leave a comment below and don’t forget to grab a copy of my Daily Planner before you go!

Bonding With Your Newborn: A repost

Disclaimer: This is a post that I wrote for a website that is now defunct. But all credits will still go to fatherhooded.com owner Todd Weitzman.

“You will lose sleep. Lots of sleep.” Those are always the first words I say to a new father when he asks me about taking care of his newborn baby.

The months leading up to the baby being born will be full of shopping, preparing the baby’s room, and your spouse needing LOTS of rest. What will you do once the baby is here?

Whether giving natural birth delivery or via C-section, your spouse will still need to get her energy and strength back. How can we help her? By building a bond with your new baby!

How can you do this? It’s actually quite simple and will make the years as a dad that much more enjoyable.

Waking up with the baby at night shouldn’t be viewed as a chore. It’s an opportunity! You will quickly realize that your baby only sleeps 2-3 hours at a time for the first few months. When she wakes up you want to change their diaper, put on a sleeper if they need it, and feed them.

If you work full time, mom is home taking care of the baby in the daytime so cut her some slack and take care of the baby at night. Generally, at such a young age the whole process should take between 30-45 minutes.

During this time talking to her about how cute she is, and to quit the fussing in a funny way will make the late night routine enjoyable. You do not want to wake up angry about having to take care of her because she can sense your anger. Always jump up with a smile. After your baby is fed, changed and burped what do you do next to bond with her?

I always like to rock my daughter back to sleep. Throwing something on the TV will keep me up for about 10-15 minutes so she can get into a deep sleep. She will also become more accustomed to you during these moments, which will make it easier to calm her down when she is fussy.

In the event that you must wake your wife up, try to keep it to simple requests. Don’t make the rookie mistake I did on Monday. I asked my wife for help with a diaper and she replied: “You act like you’ve never changed a diaper before!!!” She helped me of course but it was one of those things I could have done myself without bugging her in the middle of the night.

Remember that your time with the baby is valuable and practicing taking care of her when she is a newborn will build a lifetime bond between the two of you. Enjoy every moment and keep a smile on your face!!

What are some tips you can give to other dads? Leave a comment below and let’s open up the discussion!

We’ll talk soon!

Darrelle

How to Stop Bullying as a Dad

Has your child ever come home from school crying because someone was picking on them? It’s one of the worst feelings in a world as a parent and my wife and I have unfortunately dealt with it more times than we can count.

In order to think about how you can stop bullying as a parent, I thought to myself “what would I tell other parents who are in similar situations as us?”It seemed like an open-ended question.

Kids can be mean, cruel, and downright nasty in school, or any other school-related social settings. It’s a tough pill to swallow but there are countless stories every year about children being bullied and a tragedy occurring at a school or directly to the families themselves.

As a father, I try to teach my kids the values that were instilled in me by my mother and grandmother growing up about treating people the way you want to be treated.

I was made fun of in school for not having the freshest gear or having a lot of money, or keeping a cute girl n my arm, and it sucks but in a way it just pushes you to be better than anyone saying a negative comment about you.

So what are some of the things we can do as fathers to help our children when they are dealing with a bully? Here are some of the things you can start working on with your children today.

Teach Your Kids The Value of Themselves

Self-esteem can be a problem for any child going to school. Once they are on their own inside a classroom, lunchroom, or on the school bus they can be subjected to being called stupid, ugly, dirty, to name a few, and the sad part is your children will believe what their peers are saying!

You have to ensure them that nothing is further from the truth. Show them how valuable they are to your life and to the entire family. Positive encouragement when it comes to activities or school work can go a long way in building up their self-esteem.

One thing I explain to my kids is that just because says something mean about them doesn’t mean its true. They can always go to that person and explain why they disagree, and your child will come out of the entire situation as the bigger person.

Keep a Level Head

When I first found out one of my kids was being bullied on the bus, I’m not gonna lie I lost my cool! I thought my wife was going to turn into Bill Goldberg! We were furious! We did regain our composure. We were still really upset but we did not want to have our kids look at us like we were a bunch of out of control fools.

Now I get it. Your child(ren) is your heart. You would risk everything for them, and we would do the same for ours, but we also know that going off the deep end could have severe consequences not only for ourselves but for our children’s long-term future when dealing with tough situations in school.

Don’t get yourself so worked up you can’t think straight. Take a deep breath, get all the facts from your child, and report what you are finding to their school.

Report any issues to the school

Once you have found out that your child is being bullied at school, go directly to the principal. Hopefully, they can rectify the situation and come to a mutual agreement for everyone involved. I won’t get into the specifics of situations that happened to us last year, but for the most part, I feel like the principal handled things as best as he could.

There were problem children on the bus, he addressed them, he addressed their parents, and so far this year it seems like there haven’t been any issues.

Is it because some of the kids have gone on to a higher grade school? Possibly, but I also think he is really putting an emphasis on making sure the school bus our kids take doesn’t have the problems that a few parents had to deal with last year.

If you don’t want to make a big deal out of it or feel like it is a one time issue that won’t happen again, STOP. Look at the bigger picture, and realize if it happened one time it could (and probably will) happen again.

Never let something get to a point that it becomes too big for your family or the main school administrators to handle.

Pursue Higher Authority if the School Doesn’t Stop the Problem

So you go to your kid’s school, talk to the principal about your child being bullied and he/she says things will improve. However they don’t improve, and your child is still coming off of the bus or hopping into the car when you pick them up crying because of a bully. What do you do?

I’m not one for stirring up more trouble or putting someone who is trying to be helpful in a tough spot, but sometimes you have to go above their heads. If the principal isn’t being helpful, go to his boss. If his boss isn’t being helpful, reach out to someone who has a voice that will be heard (news reporter, local politician).

These are the types of people who can make sure that things will get handled the way you originally intended them to.

Open a Dialogue With the Parents (If Possible)

Sometimes the simplest way to solve a problem is going to the source. There are countless videos online of parents disciplining their children when they find out they have been bullying someone in school. Why? Because we all want our children to grow up to be decent, friendly human beings.

If your child is being bullied and you want to find out exactly why, try talking to the parents of the bully. Have it done in school if possible, because you don’t want to go to someone’s house if they end up wanting to fight or become hostile and aggressive?

If you can open a dialogue with the parents you may be able to come to the root of the problem between the two children. It may be something your child said that rubbed the other person the wrong way, or you can find out that the other kid just genuinely doesn’t like your child (it happens- but it doesn’t mean the bullying should be tolerated).

So take a chance on meeting the parents and see if things can get worked out in a civilized manner.

Talk About It With Your Child

If your child is being bullied and is adamant that they do not want you to go the school or approach the bullies parents, talk to them to find out what is making them hold back. Maybe they feel they can handle things on their own, maybe they have some elaborate revenge in mind (I’m not condoning it but sometimes bully need to get their comeuppance).

They may just need someone to talk to. It may not be at a point where they feel you need to step in, so sometimes just listening to them and giving advice will do wonders for their health.

If you are noticing your child is becoming more withdrawn after learning about the situation or isn’t eating or sleeping like normal, it might be time to look at other ways to get them to open up about the bullying.

Seeing a counselor in school, or a doctor recommended therapist can be a step in the right direction for your child.

So those are some of the tips you can use to stop your child from being bullied at school. Let me know what you think and don’t forget to subscribe to the email list right here.

Eliminate these 5 time wasters Dad!

Juggling multiple tasks around the house as a stay at home dad can sometimes feel like you are treading water. You may have seven things on your to-do list, but only seem to get one or two done each day. Have you really looked to see what are your biggest work time wasters?

This will allow you to spend more time on your family and to grow your online business because we all want to create a life that can balance both.

Hopefully, by the end of this article, you will be able to pinpoint all of the major time wasters in your day-to-day life that you can cut out and become more productive with managing your day.

Take a look at some of the biggest time wasters you didn’t know existed.

Social media on your phone

After listening to a podcast a few weeks ago the host brought up the distraction that social media is for online business owners.

At first, I scoffed at the notion that I was wasting a lot of time on social media. However, I download an app tracker called Moment on her recommendation and realized that a lot of my time was wasted on social media every day.

In my last article and time management, I spoke about the impact 20 minutes per day could have run your business. What if you were able to tack on three or four hours per day that were previously wasted on social media apps?

You can quickly turn your business from part-time to full-time with the snap of a finger. Now I’m not saying to completely cut off social media because there are times where it is very beneficial to your business and getting your online presence out there.

However, using it for a majority of the day is not a smart business decision. How can you get that time back? Limit yourself to 30 minutes a day for social media.

You can use some of your personal time blocks to catch up on any social media events you may have missed during the day. This way you will still be able to check all of the notifications didn’t interact with anyone that you need to. Continuously checking it throughout the day will become a quick habit and will be the biggest time waster in growing your business.

Binging Television Shows

Whether you have Netflix, Amazon Prime, or use another streaming service to watch your favorite TV shows, spending 6 to 8 hours binge-watching them is a complete waste of a day! It’s not even good to have it playing in the background.

Don’t get me wrong, I have a lot of TV shows that I love to watch (24, Homeland, etc), and squeeze them in when I can, but the daytime is when you should be focused on your business. I’m not going through two seasons of a show in one weekend.

Turning the television off while you are working is one of the best ways to stay focused and stay in “business” mode. Using the same technique as you would with social media, block off time to watch your favorite shows twice a week.

If you are focused simply on watching television to be caught up on all of your shows, the business will not be able to grow and thrive the way you expect it to. You only get a return on your investment for the efforts that you put in. So if you waste 10 to 20 hours on a weekend where you could get work done watching a TV show is just shooting yourself in the foot.

Checking your email constantly

Your email can be a huge time waster if you check it constantly throughout the day. Most of the time you do not have to check it as soon as you start your day, so blocking off time for it towards the end of your to-do list is okay.

When you set your business email up, you should create folders for each contact as you go, so you are not wasting time looking through 30 or 40 subject lines in your inbox. This will allow you to determine which emails are most important during your time block and if something can be pushed back until the next day it will be one less headache you have to worry about.

You might think it is smart to check your email at the top of every hour but if you check your email every hour and it takes five minutes to do so you’re looking at 40 to 60 minutes per day that could have been used in a different manner.

So block off one or two designated time slots to check your emails and focus on other aspects of your business for the rest of the day.

Failing to Multitask

How much time are you spending making breakfast, lunch, and possibly dinner for your family? Including the cleanup process? Try to incorporate different tasks while cooking meals. If you try to get specific tasks done in batches, stopping to make a meal, or do chores can really slow down your momentum.

When I have to stop working on the website to take care of something around the house I try to find a way to continue working. If I am creating content I will load up my dictation app and use it to continue working. I may also pop in a podcast to listen to, so I am still gaining some knowledge about a topic that will help my business down the line.

Cooking can be made easier if you make multiple sets of meals at once. Sometimes I will have lunch prepared when I make breakfast so my daughter can sit down next to me and I can stay focused on the task at hand. It’s not always going to be possible to do this, however, if you can do it even once or twice a week it will quickly make an impact on your day-to-day business operations.

Playing video games

I know! I know! Trust me I know! We all love video games! Well most of us do anyway, if you do and are like me patiently waiting for a new game to come out (like Red Dead Redemption 2- which is AMAZING), you can get lost playing a video game for 3 to 4 hours in the evening.

Video games are fun, exciting, and can sometimes help you clear your mind so we can focus on larger tasks later. When you look at the overall picture they are still a huge time waster. Not only are they a time waster for your business, but you are losing valuable time with your family.

Those 3 to 4 hours can be spent creating content for your business, working on a new freebie, or having a game night or game day with your family. One way to combat this time waster is to simply give yourself one day for a few hours where you can play your video games each week.

That way you are still focusing on you and doing something you enjoy which is good for your mental health, and you’re not taking time out of a business day to be counterproductive.

You might work every day with your business when it first gets off the ground but if you want to work five days a week or even six days a week that one day off you can use to spend more time with your family or by doing things that you enjoy such as playing amazing life-changing video games.

So now that you have a few tips to get rid of the biggest time wasters in your day what will you do to execute your new strategies? Let me know in the comments below!

We’ll talk soon!

Darrelle