Author: Darrelle Thompson

11 Oct

The Top 8 Time Management Strategies for the Stay at Home Dad

When you have a busy household, it can seem like your days just fly by. Trust me I’ve been there! You want to make the most out of your day but how can you do that without some effective time management strategies.

In order to grow your business in the daytime, and find more ways to spend time with your family in the evening, you need to come up with a game plan for your daily routine.

Take a look at the top 8 time management strategies you need to start using today.

Determine What You Are Spending Your Time On

The first thing you want to do before you even begin creating different strategies is to understand where exactly all of your time is going. Do you spend an hour each day watching sports, or does it really turn into 80 or 90 minutes at a time?

Do you expect to finish a task for your business in 20 minutes, but it really only takes you 10? These are some of the ways you can get to the root of your problems (and successes) when it comes to managing your time.

A typical day for me (on a school day) involves getting up between 6:30 and 7:00 AM to get the kids up for school. Once they are on the bus at 8 I usually make breakfast for myself, my wife, and our two youngest kids. After taking my 3-year-old to school at 9 I will normally let the baby play until 10:00/10:30, then lay her down for a nap.

This typically gives me three to four hours of time to focus solely on my business each day. Once she wakes up around 3:30 or 4:00, the older kids are all home and the next few hours are spent with them. Once everyone is in bed at 8:00/8:30, I normally spend another 30 to 45 minutes working on my business and finish the night relaxing with my wife.

It seems like you may have a hectic schedule if you have any kids at all, but you can find time to work on your business every day. Find an excellent app to track your time, and once you have your daily routine broken down it will make setting up the time management strategies that much easier.

Do Your Most Important Tasks (MITs) in the AM

When you have your little ones off to school and find yourself with some time to work on your business what do you normally do? Are you starting with the easiest tasks first to take a few things off of your to-do list? Or do you tackle the biggest things first to feel a greater sense of accomplishment?

If you get your day started by taking down those enormous tasks, it will help you later in the day by knowing you exhausted your most focused energy on the biggest issues of the day. You don’t want to go back and forth between easy and hard tasks. If you have to create a new freebie for your website do that before you respond to emails.

If you start with the easier projects by the time you get around to the bigger ones you may lose a lot of steam and push them off to the next day, and that can become a continuous cycle of how things won’t get done.

Eliminate All Distractions While Working

Are you like me and seem to constantly have a notification going off on your phone? Or you want to check how your fantasy team is doing on a Sunday afternoon? If so then you need to find ways to eliminate the distractions out of your daily routine. I typically have a three to four-hour window when my youngest daughter naps in the middle of the day.

During that time period, I am either working on social media, reading an ebook/participating in a course I may be taking or creating content.

I completely understand that my time window can change at a moments notice if she wakes up from her nap early, so I make sure every second counts. I place my phone on the charger out of reach, so unless someone calls me I don’t want to waste the energy going to pick up the phone because of one vibration.

You can do the same thing. As you start your business and look for ways to become more productive, you may find that having the television on as background noise may cause you to lose focus, but playing classical music can actually give you more motivation to write.

If you are using your desktop chances are you may be like me and have a million tabs open at once (a list of my tabs is listed in the picture below).

If this is also your problem try to move the current application or window into an area clear from distractions on your computer, and you can even download an app like Stayfocusd to eliminate the opportunity to go to websites that generally suck up all of your time (Facebook, Youtube, etc).

Create To-Do Lists at night for the next day

When you make your to-do list for the next day the night before, it helps you save 10-15 minutes in the morning. It may not seem like it is making a major impact on your overall long-term goals at first, but setting up your next day’s to-do list is actually creating the daily goals you will need to get those long-term goals done.

There are a number of ways you can create your to-do list, and some of the most simple ways that I have done so is by using the Reminder App on my iPhone, the Wunderlist App, and Trello.

I’ve used the Wunderlist App, but Trello is growing on me this time around (after failed attempts to use it in the past). As long as you use something, ANYTHING, to make a list the night before, you will thank yourself in the morning.

Get Organized

Another way to make the most out of your time each day is to become organized! I used to be the king of disorganization, and many of my hotel coworkers would describe my workstation as a tornado.

However, over the years I have become much more organized not only with physical paperwork but with my computer files as well (besides the millions of tabs above).

If you want to organize your business from a physical standpoint, make sure your work area is arranged to ensure maximum efficiency. Purchase a yearly calendar to either have it at your desk or on a wall, so you can write down any scheduled meetings or appointments you have.

For organization on the technological side of things, some options to consider will be to create a folder in your inbox for every client, pitches you may send, and anything else you feel is important for running your day to day business.

You should also create folders on your desktop for each client, and divide those folders up based on the different priorities for them.

When I managed a motel in Texas I made sure each client had their own folder in our Sales Department cloud, with subfolders pertaining to Invoices sent, invoices received, meetings, etc. It made finding things a lot easier than simply keeping hundreds or thousands of files in one large folder.

Also, don’t forget to purchase a few external flash drives! Keep one with you at all times and update it daily. You never know when it will come in handy!

Teach Your Kids Some Tasks to Help

Every parent has their own age range for when kids will start helping around the house. My wife and I try to get all of our kids to help clean up in some way, so they can understand that they have the ability to do something, and you can make helping out a fun game for them to play!

After you look at your time audit for a work, take a look at the tasks you may be able to give to your kids to squeeze out an extra 10-20 minutes into your business each day. This can include washing the dishes, vacuuming, taking out the trash, putting laundry away, or helping with pets.

These are just some of the things you can have your children do and if they are able to help you get an extra 20 minutes per day that turns out to an extra 87 hours in a 5 day work week for the entire year! What can you do with those extra 87 hours?! A whole heck of a lot if you stay focused and determined on your goals.

So find some chores for your children to do and work on improving your business!

Create Time Blocks for Your Family

Coming up with effective time management strategies isn’t just about improving your business, it’s also about improving your family time with your spouse and children. If you normally work on your busy from 9-5 or let’s say 10-2 as an example, you may also have to include doctors/dentists appointments, meetings at school, play dates, etc.

At the end of the day, everything you are doing to grow your own online business should be about improving the quality of life for your family, not just financially but emotionally as well.

The best way to do that is to carve out a specific time each day where you are unplugged from your business and focusing just on your family. I know it can be hard in the beginning as you get your business off the ground, but even taking 30 minutes to an hour to give them all of your love and attention will mean the world to them.

When our kids come home from school (roughly around 3:40), they do their homework and then read a book. After that, they are able to go into the den and play with a few toys or watch TV.

During that time I will come downstairs and hang out with them, and when I have shorter work days at my full-time hotel job on the weekends, we will sit down and watch football (they are all Eagles fans, unfortunately!!).

You can also designate a family game night where everyone sits around a table and you play board games. If you have a bunch of sore losers in your house it may be hard, and I am constantly saying that someone is cheating when I lose because it’s never our fault when we suck at a game right?

So use some of your time each day to give your family your undivided attention, and give your brain a little while to relax from another busy workday.

Schedule Down Time

You can’t manage your time effectively if you don’t include some free time for yourself. If you’ve ever worked a demanding job you know the importance of decompressing after a long shift.

Whether it’s turning on your favorite tunes on the way home, or watching your favorite Netflix show for a few minutes before bed, you can’t simply be on the GO! GO! GO! every waking moment of the damn.

You will burn yourself out quick! That’s why you need to give yourself a designated time just for you every single day. If you don’t want to sit around watching Netflix or any other television shows find a hobby that you enjoy.

I personally will find myself reading a book, or if I’m up for it playing a sports computer game because it still keeps my brain working by managing team rosters, finances etc.

Look at your daily schedule and see when you can carve some time in and you will quickly see how much it improves your mindset.

Which Time Management Strategies Are Best For You?

Are you ready to put some of these amazing time management strategies into place? Once you realize how much time you are spending on specific tasks you will become better at managing your day to day routine.

If you are stuck without a way to get started sign up for our newsletter to get a copy of my free daily planner!

Feel free to contact me if you have questions at darrelle@workingfromhomedads.com or leave a comment below!

We’ll talk soon!

Darrelle

 

28 Sep

5 Online Business Blogs I can’t live without

DISCLAIMER: THIS PAGE MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. I MAY RECEIVE A PROFIT FROM ANY ITEMS PURCHASED THROUGH THESE AFFILIATE LINKS.

When I’m not running around at work, or helping my wife manage our basketball team of kids at home, I try to improve my business as much as possible by reading. Most of the time I am reading from one of my favorite online business blogs, and I’m here to tell you about the 5 that I check out on a regular basis.

In my opinion, these websites have the best content online when it comes to growing your online business, and the topics you will find can range from social media to SEO, to helping you create a better mindset and attitude for yourself.

So let’s dive in and check out these 5 websites (in no particular order)

LauraRike.com– Author: Laura Rike

Laura Rike is one of the brightest minds out there today. She is amazing when it comes to social media, and her blog was one of the biggest reasons I started focusing on Pinterest as a social media platform to bring traffic to my website. One of my favorite articles on the blog section of her website is “15 Genius Ways to Repurpose Content”.

As someone who is always looking for an easy way to get the most bang for my buck this article really explained how you can take one blog post, or video, and turn it into a number of different pieces of online content.

Her blog is excellent but she also has a variety of courses that can help you grow your business, use Pinterest as a major platform, or repurpose any videos you create.

If building your online content is on your main agenda, Laura Rike will help show you the way.

EdenFried.com– Author: Eden Fried

Eden is another smart online business owner with a blueprint for success. Most bloggers and website owners will start their online business journey either working as a freelancer or virtual assistant, however, Eden quickly learned that route wasn’t best for her. So what did she do? She created a digital product. After marketing it and putting it out there to the masses she started making money from it.

She wasn’t breaking the bank at first but it was enough to completely allow her to focus on creating digital products as a profitable online business model. Her blog is simply amazing. She creates a lot of posts about digital products but also keeps it real. She doesn’t mince words when it comes to explaining why YOU haven’t gotten over a fear of creating your digital product. If you can take the tough love you will quickly see how effective a digital product can be.

Her most recent webinar was very engaging and gave me a whole new set of ideas for my first digital product!

Eden also has a podcast out called Rebel Boss Ladies and although it is one of her newer ways to provide online content, it’s definitely a must-have on your Podcast playlist.

If you are looking to create your own digital product but don’t know where to turn to check out her blog here and thank me later!

NeilPatel.com– Author: Neil Patel

If you don’t know who Neil Patel is, please Google the man. He is like a walking SEO dictionary and is arguably the person to turn to when it comes to creating better SEO techniques for your website and business. It can include Local SEO practices, how to research better keywords, and tips for creating valuable online content.

My favorite article from his blog explains Why 3000+ word blog posts are better for your website. When I first read the article I sat there thinking “How can I write that much about a product? This is crazy!”. However, Patel has direct evidence showing you how important it is to write out a quality, lengthy post to achieve higher Google rankings.

Another great aspect of his website is his Website Analyzer. You can plug in your website and he will provide a detailed SEO report and you can use it to make changes to the SEO strategies you are using for your website.

Worrying about SEO and written content doesn’t have to be a problem when you use tips and suggestions from one of the best out there.

MeeraKothand.com– Author: Meera Kothand

I stumbled upon Meera’s website while trying to figure out ways to grow my email list. I was immediately blown away by how thorough she was in explaining different aspects of email marketing. When you create your website you probably aren’t thinking about growing your email list, and I am here to tell you that you NEED to get that list started as soon as possible!

Meera goes over the best ways you can grow your email list, nurture that list, and position yourself to sell digital products your audience will love. My favorite article from her blog is  “You Don’t Need to Create a Course. Here are 10 Other Digital Products that Make Bank“.

This article shows some of the best products you can create for your email list, without having to worry about making an online course. Some of the product ideas seem like a no-brainer, but until you really think about them they may go right over your head! It’s one of the best ways she showcases her knowledge about email marketing and it’s concepts.

TheHoth.com-Various Authors

Now I have a little bit of bias with this blog, as I have known a lot of the team for the better part of two years, but when it comes to SEO there isn’t a better set of collective minds on the planet. The blog has amazing content pertaining to SEO, long form writing, creating backlinks to your website, and gaining organic traffic growth.

Everyone on the main team has written online content for a number of years, and the Hoth is cutting edge when it comes to picking up the latest SEO trends that can help your business. My favorite article doesn’t even involve SEO, it’s a brief look at the company’s love of wrestling superstar Ric Flair.

Are you trying to come up with video content for your website as well? They have a number of posts explaining how videos can also boost traffic to your website organically. When you have an SEO agency that focuses on providing the best content on the topic from a great group of smart and hardworking people, chances are you will be able to find a lot of valuable information from the website.

So those are the 5 online business blogs I love to read on a regular basis. If you haven’t subscribed to them do it ASAP. I’m sure you will find plenty of excellent pieces of information that will help your business grow.

We’ll talk soon!

Darrelle

 

 

7 Sep

How to Stop Bullying: Things You Can do 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.

 

What I’ve Been Up To!

Hello everyone! So besides the Fears of a Freelancer video series I created (which is dealing with a major Youtube difficulty), I’ve been connecting with a lot of smart coaches on social media platforms. I have focused on creating a product that will be coming out soon, and coming up with excellent ideas for the website. 

I have started writing for the Saturday Blitz, a major college football website, and it has been fun to work with a bunch of great guys and girls. The kids are in school which is freeing up more of my day time, and I am still working hard and improving my writing every day.

So that’s what I’ve been up to. What about you? Comment below and let me know!

We’ll talk soon!

D