As a Part Time Network Marketer, you're going to be challenged every single day to find the time to build your network marketing business.  But even more than that, you will need to be sure that you're spending what business time you have in the most effective way.

Always remember that TIME is the Part Time Networker's most valuable resource.

Let me show you how I use my time to maximize my results.

Every Part Time Networker faces similar time challenges

Every Part Time Networker has time issues, but there is usually one thing in your life that takes up most of your time.

  • For some it is a Part Time or Full Time Job
  • For some it is raising a house full of children
  • For others it may be taking care of an elderly parent

Add to this the everyday time drainers of running errands, running the kids to their activities, doctors appointments, dental cleanings, and just spending time with your loved ones…. and you're left with precious little time to build your Network Marketing business.

So how do I do it?

How do I work 50-60 hr weeks in my Infertility Clinic AND still find time to grow my business?

It all comes down to planning.

3 Steps to Planning Your Business Time Effectively

I use a 3-step process to ensure that I find the time I need to work on my business and still have time to enjoy life with my friends and family.  After all, I don't want to have a successful Network Marketing business at the expense of my family life and with no friends with which to share my successes.

So I'm talking about setting a schedule that EVERYONE in the household can live with.  That leads to step 1 in the process…

Step 1:  Set up a Weekly Family Meeting

Have a Family meeting each week and make a list of all the activities that will demand your attention.  If you need to attend your daughter's dance recital or your son's baseball game that week, make a note of it and  build it into your plans.  Block out time to run errands and do the weekly shopping.

Do your best to account for everything you know will drain your time this coming week.  What you're trying to do here is plan your week as best as possible.  Of course there will be deviations — emergencies, fun opportunities that pop up, your boss asking you to work late, etc.   But the idea is to minimize chaos when it comes to planning time for your business.

After this meeting, take a look at your week ahead and look for blocks of time you can work on your business.

Step 2:  Develop a Schedule

Step 2 is all about putting your schedule down on paper.

There are many ways to do this.

You can do it the old fashioned way and put pen to paper.

There are many fancy productivity tools that will help you  schedule your time.

I prefer to use a free Scheduling tool from Google.

It's called Google Documents, and you can find it when you log into your Gmail account.

On the top, you'll see a link to “Documents”.  Click on this link.

On the next page, you'll see a button called Create New.  When you click on this link, you'll be given several options, including Document, Presentation, Spreadsheet, etc.

Click on Spreadsheet, which is Google's version of Excel.

I will do a video training on how to best use Google Spreadsheet very soon, but for now just take some time to work with it and set up a schedule similar to the one I have in the picture below.

part time networkers

Important Points About My Schedule

Notice how I've blocked out my time using Google Spreadsheets:

  1. The time I will spend this coming week at work is blocked out in gray.
  2. You'll notice that I do some kind of personal development 2x per day during the week.  These correspond to my COMMUTE TO AND FROM WORK.  I don't sit in my car listening to the latest news (except maybe for traffic). No, I pop in a great personal development CD and improve myself during my drive.
  3. Take note of my scheduled time to check Email and my Social Media accounts.  Twice per day – during my lunch hour and right before I sleep.  I do NOT check emails all day long, just in case something important comes my way.  NO!  This is one of the biggest time wasters.  Once or twice a day to check emails, FB friend requests, Linkedin connect requests, etc. is more than enough time to devote to these time drainers.
  4. Phone/Skype time – remember Network Marketing is all about building relationships, right?  Be sure to make this part of your weekly schedule, and encourage others to call you during your “office hours.”
  5. I batch time to work on my specific marketing methods.  Since I use blogging as one of my primary tools to market myself, I schedule blocks of time on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday to research blog posts, write, review and reply to comments, and make comments on other people's blogs within my niche.  I also have batched 2 hr time slots to work on my Direct Marketing methods, which currently is Banner Advertising as  a way to get leads for my business.
  6. Class/Training times are scheduled aqua.  These are times I've set aside to grow, to learn new things and to show them to my team.
  7. Fun times are scheduled in:  Date nights on Friday, and Family times on weekends.
  8. I even scheduled in time to watch my favorite show on Monday nights (Hawaii Five-O).  So if there's that playoff football or baseball game or something else you MUST watch on TV, schedule it!  It's not all about work!

Ok, now I know that life doesn't always fit nicely into a schedule such as this.

But you need to have a Starting Point.

When things come up (and they always do), you will have a basic schedule through which you can make changes. But if you have no schedule to start with, just “business time” it will be far too easy to blow it off, with the excuse of “things always come up.”

What If You Don't Have Much Time?

You may be looking at my schedule and saying to yourself, “I don't have that much time at night to devote to my business!”.

That's fine.  I'm at a slight advantage here because, although my son still lives with us, my kids are mostly grown and don't demand the attention of teenagers or younger children.  It's okay.

The actual number of hours you can devote to your business is not as important as WHAT YOU DO WITH THOSE HOURS!

Even if you can only work on your business 2 hours a night, 3 nights per week, that's fine!  Schedule your time to use it most effectively!

Remember:  DON'T COMPARE YOURSELF to the Full Time Marketers in your Company.

It's one of the 9 Killers of a Network Marketing Part Time Business!

Step 3:  Post Your Schedule Where Everyone Can See It

Now is the time to get tough.

Post your schedule where everyone can see it.

You can make a more generic schedule such as the one below, one where you just make it clear what is your Business Time for the coming week (without all the details that are contained in your schedule).

free google tool

Now its time to enforce it.

Treat your Business Time (the time to devote to your business) as SACRED.  No interruptions.

No outside phone calls.

No short breaks to go shopping or watch TV.

Treat this time as if you had a boss watching you, checking on your every move.

This is all about DISCIPLINE.  Remember, if you're going to someday be your own boss, you need to develop this crucial skill.

That's it –

Plan a schedule with your family, put the schedule on paper, and stick to it.

This is how you begin to find the time to grow your Network Marketing business, even with limited hours.  Use a schedule and discipline yourself, and soon you'll be taking major strides to becoming the next Network Marketing success story!

 

How do YOU schedule your business time?  Do you have a great system?  Or no system at all?

LEAVE A COMMENT and GET INTO THE DISCUSSION!

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Showing 32 comments
  • Jacs
    Reply

    a really comprehensive plan for ‘making that time’ Bob and sharing your plan is an excellent way to show just how it is possible – if you really want that success 🙂
    a pleasure to read,
    Jacs

  • Tosin
    Reply

    Hey Bob,

    Late to the party, huh? I still enjoyed every bit of it.

    I remember when I first started. I would move from link to link to link till I waste hours on nothing. Now a schedule keeps me focused.

    Though I dont use google docs, I make use of the old-school pen and paper 🙂 to draft exactly the what I want to achieve the night before so I can give my brain work to do when I sleep. And it has worked tremendously for me.

    Wonderful post, Bob! Worth bookmarking!

    Tosin

    • Bob
      Reply

      Hi Tosin, welcome back.

      Hey, pen and paper works just as well as anything electronic. Whatever works for you, go for it.

      The important thing is that you have a plan each day. Like you, I write mine down the night before. And I always try to make the most important task #1 on the list.

      Thanks for your insights, Tosin. See you again soon.

  • Joyce Oladipo
    Reply

    Thanks for sharing your system in this post.

    I have a system in place too. I work 3 days a week in my business and 2 days a week on my business. I batch most of my emails and calls to save time and I also do my blog post and commenting twice a week.

    As am a busy mum of 2, have learnt to outtask most of the administrative things, if not I will not get anything done.

    I use my calendar to schedule most of my marketing for the year too, al clients appointments are also I added to me calendar too.

    If we want to get anything done in our life or business, we need to learn to schedule it into our calendar.

    Thanks for sharing

    • Bob
      Reply

      Hi Joyce!

      Yes, a calendar is essential when you lead a busy life.
      I’m glad you bought up the subject of outsourcing, because I’m in the process of preparing some content on this subject. One thing I’ve learned about outsourcing…. you don’t need to be successful or even experienced in order to outsource. Even the beginning marketer can and should outsource in order be a more effective marketer. More to follow on this….

      Great to see you here, Joyce! See you again soon….

  • Reply

    Dr. Bob Clarke,

    I agree, setting up a schedule is not something that anyone who understands that building your own business is not a hobby. You must face it with a plan and organize each daily activity. You must separate your business building from you family activities.

    Using a calendar that allows one to function is a necessity. I would not ever face a day without consulting in my organizer. I place items in daily and adjust before shutting down for each day. Then in the morning I start by making more adjustments, as needed. Remaining focused and completing all task as they appear.

    My syndication time is all through the day. I like to mix it up to keep me alert.

    Thank you for sharing this valuable information with us. I look forward to the next post!

    • Bob
      Reply

      Hi William,
      Yes a calendar is another great leveraging tool for busy people like you and me. And I like the idea that you adjust your calendar each day before you start. Mike DIllard once taught me that you should never go to bed without writing down your goals for the next day…. starting with the most important tasks first. I really try to do this religiously. I find it helps get the next day off on the right foot.

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment, WIlliam.
      See you again soon.

  • Cori Rizzo
    Reply

    Awesome Bob! Writing down and planning out my week is exactly what I need to do. And I love that you put down that you watch Hawaii 5-0!

    My life will calm down in June after gymnastics season is over, but I intend to start the schedule tonight.

    Thanks!

    Cori

    • Bob
      Reply

      Glad this information is helpful, Cori.

  • Curt
    Reply

    Solid Post Bob!

    While scheduling is an awesome way to help you accomplish what you need to do for your business, I think it’s important to note that you could use this strategy to accomplish ANYTHING.

    Whether you want to lose a few pounds or become the next internet rock star, if you don’t schedule it, you’ll never accomplish it!

    Notice how Bob is VERY specific in what he schedules. It’s not just “work on my business” it’s “social media time” or “PPC”. You gotta be specific so you know exactly what you gotta do when the time comes.

    Can’t tell you how many people I’ve seen stumble cause they didn’t properly plan.

    This reminds me of a favorite quote of mine by the late Coach Wooden… “Failure to prepare is preparing to fail”

    Great post Bob.

    Cheers!

    –Curt

    • Bob
      Reply

      Hey Curt! Great to see you here again!

      You are 100% right… planning … SPECIFIC planning is the key to success in just about anything. It allows you to keep on track and gives you an idea of how you’re progressing towards your goals.

      Doesn’t surprise me that you quoted Coach Wooden…. he is also one of my favorite leaders!

      Thanks for the comment, my friend!

      Bob

  • Marcus Baker
    Reply

    Hi Bob,

    What a great job you did with this post and how necessary it is too, especially if like yourself you have another full time commitment.

    I have to be well planned and organized via a schedule or else I would just end up wasting my time.

    I do mine using Google Calendar and also use different colors and so far it works really well.

    What I will add is that it’s one thing having a schedule but it’s useless if you don’t use it. One has to stick to it for it to work.

    I know plenty of network marketers making good money every month working on their business part time and I also know many working on it full time and not making a cent. In my opinion the difference is on what they are spending their time.

    We can always make more money but we can never make more time and when one truly gets this then scheduling it as you have explained quite brilliantly makes perfect sense.

    I’ll share this with my followers and and be back for more of your tips soon. 🙂

    ~Marcus

    • Bob
      Reply

      Great distinction, Marcus… a schedule is only as good as its implementation. Your comment brings to mind another key part to a schedule — you must be doing the RIGHT things to move forward in your business — you know, those activities that directly lead to income. While we can’t and shouldn’t focus solely on money, it’s an important part to keeping in business, right? 🙂

      Thanks for visiting!

  • Connie McKnight
    Reply

    Bob,

    I absolutely love your idea of using the Google Docs – the colour-coding if brilliant. This will show you exactly how balanced your life is and what areas need improving.

    It is crucial that we all know how to manage our time and use it wisely. We can never get back any of the moments we have wasted.

    Your point: “Treat your Business Time (the time to devote to your business) as SACRED. No interruptions.” is so important. If more people would learn this one point, there would be a lot more successful people in network marketing.

    Thanks for the great ideas.

    • Bob
      Reply

      Hi Connie… welcome! Thanks for taking the time to comment!

      You are so right about the color coding — it tells me instantly if my life is out of balance. If I see too much work time and not enough family time, I know its time for an adjustment. And the opposite is also true.

      It’s really important to treat your business as if it were a J-O-B with a boss looking over your shoulder. It’s way too easy to do it later in a home based business. The sooner you adopt a “do it now” attitude, the faster you’ll see results!

      Thanks for stopping by. See you again soon.

      Bob

  • Dennis Edell
    Reply

    Hey Bob,

    Just dropping on for a quick thanks for dropping by mu place, I hope to see you around more often.

    You’ll see me, as I’m a new subscriber now…i wanna see what ya got! 😉

  • Beth Wiles
    Reply

    Hi Bob,

    Nice to see your great suggestions, and I’ll be implementing these very soon! Like you, mine are older children and attending college full-time, but still residing at home. The biggest problem I deal with while working at home is just that — I am at home! Because I am there, it must be okay to interrupt, right? 🙂

    So… the nuggets that I’ve taken from your post are having the weekly family meeting to discuss schedules and the posting of a work schedule for all to see! I’ve not yet tried to use the Google spreadsheet, but will give it a try. Time management while working from home can be the biggest challenge that I face, so I am looking forward to finding something that will help with that. I’ll have to keep you posted! Thank you for posting this, Bob.

    Beth

  • Jane
    Reply

    Hi Bob/Rosemary,

    It seems that you are doing great with time management and personal development. Nothing pays off in a business more than being disciplined and organized and I am not surprised that you are dealing with your clinic and the blog business quite successfully.

    The part time blogging journey is pretty much difficult if we don’t implement some discipline. I am a Scientist (Medical Physics) full time and blogging part time. And in my blog I talk about time management and discipline. I almost write tips and strategies that worked for me in this direction.

    However, I have not tried pulling in the whole family, make a schedule and let everyone know what I will be doing at a particular time – my schedules have been so far private to me. But this one sounds like a great idea because if all the members of the family are aware of a schedule, we get more support and less interruptions.

    Great post by the way.

    Cheers,
    Jane.

    • Bob
      Reply

      Hi Jane, good to see you here!

      Ahhh.. another fellow scientist among us! How cool! I LOVE your blog! Your posts on time management are extraordinary!

      Schedules work any way you want them to… whatever works!

      Thanks for the comment… keep on spreading your message! We are all listening!

      Bob

  • Jon
    Reply

    Hi Bob,

    Thank you for sharing your system. What a savvy setup you have for keeping yourselves on track! Wonderful.

    My system is similar but not as well-defined. I also use spreadsheets to map out my weeks and months and have done this to plan out my website content throughout the rest of the year. It’s very useful and although the work upfront is time-consuming, the time you save by knowing where you’re going is priceless!

    Being as effective as possible with our free time is key if we’re busy. It may not have to be as regimented as your list but I’m with you in support of establishing core tasks by some form of routine.

    Thanks…

    Jon

    • Bob
      Reply

      Hi Jon, thanks for stopping by again! Great to see you.

      Everyone has their own system, whatever works for you is what you should stick to. Our way is just what works best for us.

      And you’re right, if you don’t know where you’re going, how will you ever get there! 🙂

      Thanks for the comment, Jon.

  • Jayne Kopp
    Reply

    Hi Bob, I totally admire your time management. I recently wrote a similar post and while I do not use Google Docs I use the Old Fashioned way… actually pen to paper. I just like the feel of it.

    Is it not peculiar how things just flow better when we schedule things? I loved this post I could sense the difference it makes to you.

    Thanks Bob

    Jayne

    • Bob
      Reply

      Hi Jayne… great to see you again.

      Hey, pen and paper works just as well as anything electronic. I just like gadgets, that’s all!
      Whatever you use to schedule and organize yourself is all good… it is a huge difference maker for us.

      Thanks again for your contributions!

  • Samantha Bangayan
    Reply

    Bob, I’m so glad we’ve connected through the CM group! You and Rosemary are such inspirations! =) I’m currently a Canadian expat living in Peru and I have even more time on my hands than usual, so you’ve really left me with no excuses! =P

    I use Google Calendar to plan the week with my partner, but I don’t use it as effectively as your family does. Instead of setting relatively strict time periods for certain events and tasks, I’ve been using it more as a “to do list” and move events on if I don’t finish them. If I consider these events “meetings” that I need to attend for myself, I think I’ll be able to stay more focused. When it comes time to work, I also find that it helps to use a simple computer timer to keep myself on task! =)

    Bob, I also wanted to mention that I loved how you put in bold that we shouldn’t compare ourselves with others. It’s so true! We all have unique situations with our online businesses that each have the potential for much success!

    Thanks for this post, Bob! =)

    • Bob
      Reply

      Hi Samantha… yes it is great to connect! Heather does an amazing job over at Clever Marketer..

      Google Calendar is another one of my favorites. We use it often, too!

      Comparing ourselves to others is rarely a good thing, because we all have our own story and circumstances that are unique to us. But it’s kind of human nature, we all do it to some extent.

      Thanks for your comment! See you around the Net!

  • Janet
    Reply

    Bob, aloha. This is an absolutely magnificent post. As a huge, huge proponent of time management, I am adding this post as “required reading” for people–in our industry, in online marketing and in the “regular” world. What a superb job you have done.

    It is no wonder that you and Rosemary are enjoying success in your network marketing business. You are treating it as the business it is–just like your infertility clinic.

    Bob, I look forward to watching your tutorial on google spreadsheets. In the meantime, I am off to tweet and to share in the hopes your post will help others to “get” the importance of time management. Love the way you, Rosemary and your family have identified what you want and are going after it.

    Best wishes for a terrific week, Bob. Aloha. Janet

    • Bob
      Reply

      Hey Janet, thanks for the kind words… I am humbled!

      Planning and working together as a team have helped us get to where we are today, and if we can help anyone move forward in their business and their life, them we are grateful for the opportunity.

      Thanks for sharing our message! See you soon…

      Bob

  • Jeanine Byers Hoag
    Reply

    You are so right about the time challenges and the need for planning! As a parent, it sometimes feels like hardly any of my time is my own. But keeping to a schedule helps a lot.

    Great post!
    Jeanine

    • Bob
      Reply

      Hi Jeanine, Welcome!

      Schedules are an awesome way to maximize your productivity, but sometimes people get put off with their supposed rigidity. One must keep in mind that, while you should make every effort to keep to your schedule, they CAN be revised when things change and “life happens”.

      I believe to always start with a structure like a schedule and go from there.

      Thanks for the comment! See you again soon….

  • Dev
    Reply

    Hi Bob,

    What an awesome post about managing time and using it effectively. It is good to see you made some nice graphics. Thanks for sharing this useful guide.

    Happy Easter and enjoy your rest of the weekend.

    Dev

    • Bob
      Reply

      Hi Dev,

      It would have been really hard to get my point across without the graphics, plus it makes it much easier reading, don’t you think?

      Thanks for the comment!

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