If you're looking for some proven productivity tips for building your side business, you've come to the right place.

Building an online business “on the side” can be difficult, at best.

Whether your time is taken up with a full-time job, being an adult caregiver, being a stay-at-home mom or dad, or you're just flat out busy…

Fitting in a business is hard.

5 Top Productivity Tips for Busy Online Marketers

Here are some proven productivity tips which will help make your business time worthwhile…

1.  Build a strong foundation

Nothing wastes time more than unfocused effort.  You MUST build a strong foundation for your business before you spend your first marketing dollar.

Understanding the unique qualities that help you stand out from the crowd, formulating a rock solid “Why” and nailing down exactly who your ideal prospects are will save you a ton of time and money down the road.

Resource: Get Clear On Who Your Dream Prospects Really Are


2.  Practice Strategic Learning

Listen, I love to learn.  The dozen or so unopened courses on my bookshelf or computer can attest to that.

I made a crucial mistake (more than one time):

I purchased courses or products that weren't useful to me AT THAT POINT in my business.

I'm not saying these were bad purchases; in fact, each and everyone is a top-quality product that has helped many others improve their business.

Just not mine.. not now.   It's just not the right time.  I'm not ready for it.

So don't do as I did.

Practice strategic learning — ask yourself the simple question, “Will this product (course/tool) help me in my business within the next 30 days?”

If not, pass on it and stick with those that do.

You'll save yourself a whole lot of time and money.


3.  Understand Your Peak Productivity Periods

We all have certain times of the day when we have more energy and are more productive than other times.

For me, I'm far more productive in the morning than any other time.

The afternoon?  Forget it.  For whatever reason, my energy drops way down in the afternoon hours but picks up again later in the evening.

To boost your productivity, identify your productivity peaks and, if possible do your most important (income producing) tasks during that time.


4.  Identify Your Personal Productivity Leaks

We all have small productivity leaks in our day-to-day schedule that can add up to huge drops in output.

If you can identify and plug these leaks, you can boost your productivity dramatically.

For me, I was wasting 2 entire hours of my day by listening to talk radio on my commute to and from work.  Not only was this not productive for my business, but the negativity spewing from the radio would put me in a negative mindset, certainly not optimal for attracting the kind of entrepreneurs or prospects you would wish to work with.

Once I replaced talk radio with inspirational CDs in the form of books and programs (think Jim Rohn, Dale Carnegie, Tim Ferris, etc.), it was as if I had just added 2 hours of business productivity to my day.

What if you don't have a commute or even a car?  Not a problem.

Get yourself an inexpensive mp3 player and download it with personal development and anything you find inspirational.  Listen to it while you're waiting for your kids to get out of school, in line at the supermarket, or during those annoying times when you're waiting for your doctor to see you.

This is yet another top productivity tip that will make a huge difference in your business.


 5.  Find a Mentor

This is probably the one single thing I did that not only boosted my productivity but make the biggest difference in my business success.

There are several ways to find a mentor, someone who has accomplished what you are trying to do.

This person will be able to help you navigate the sometimes obstacle-ridden path of business success.

And by the way, don't make the mistake of thinking you only can have one mentor.  In fact, I've had 3 at different times in my business, depending on what I was trying to accomplish.

BONUS TIP:  Identify Your Money-Making Activities

Most struggling online marketers have one thing in common;  They spend too much time on activities that don't matter.

Only when I was able to identify my money-making activities and focused on them consistently did my business really start to take off.

You can do this too, with my free Stupid Simple Daily Action Guide For Part-Time Entrepreneurs.


Your Turn

Here is what to do next.

Answer this one very simple question —

“My biggest TIME-related problem is…..”


Leave the answer in the COMMENT section below.


Suggested Business Resources

Aweber - building your list has never been so important.  Grab your Free Account.

InMotion Hosting - my preferred web-hosting service

Descript - by far the best video and audio editor I've ever used.

TubeBuddy - if you're doing videos, this will be your best friend

Legendary Marketer - lead generation and business creation platform for affiliate and network marketers.

Fearless Influencer Academy - learn the skills and strategies for growing any business online.


It's Your Time to SHINE!


Dr. Bob Clarke

Email: Bob@BobandRosemary.com

Join our Part-Time Essentials Facebook Group


This post may contain affiliate links to products or services that I trust.  This means that if you make a purchase using the links included in this post, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.  Thank you for the support!

    23 replies to "5 Top Productivity Tips for Time-Challenged Online Marketers"

    • […] Related Post:  Top Productivity Tips for Busy Online Marketers […]

    • bilal

      good to read your post …it is fantastic

      • Bob

        Thanks, Bilal.

    • superMan56

      I especially like what you said about “Strategic learning.” We all fall in love with those wonderful sales pages. From the pitch to the promise we jump in and wait for all our issues to melt away or our dreams to come true. | 😛

      • Bob

        When time is limited, it’s really important to pick and choose your training programs wisely. Like you said, it can be so tempting to follow all the cool bells and whistles, right?

        Appreciate your contributions here!

    • Robin

      I really love the parts about peak productivity periods and productivity leak. I find that my most productive hours are in the morning right after my workouts. Great post Bob!

    • Kimberly

      Build a strong foundation from the keyword in building a niche through optimization. Thank you for sharing your productivity tips, Bob., really helpful!

    • VaNessa Duplessie

      This is a great post Bob. I resonated with a lot many if not most of the points. I gave up listening to the radio in the car and only listen to personal development when I am alone in the car. I also definitely know my peak productivity time is 430-630am (yes, that’s early) but that is when I get my best quiet time work done. By 8pm I am asleep. Since I live on the West Coast my body is basically keeping East Coast hours.

      The key to learning and strategic learning is knowing what is right for you and not getting caught up in shiny objects. I’ve done it. Sometimes I’ll buy a product for a nugget or two. I also build in training time to my weekly calendar so I can check out the new learnings and implement them. Great suggestions you have and I like how you share your experiences with each of the points. Thanks again. VaNessa

    • Angela Yount

      Build a strong foundation from the keyword in building a niche through optimization. Thank you for sharing your productivity tips, Bob., really helpful!

    • Michaele Harrington

      Hi Bob,

      Usually when I read a post that’s broken down into points like this, I find myself sifting through what resonates to find the gems. It’s a rare occasion for me to relate to every single one of them!

      One of the things I didn’t get when I first came online, was the extraordinary pace technology moves at. So lacking that awareness, I would buy things like PPC courses etc thinking that might be something I’ll start using down the track. Hmm, wonder if that course is still any use after the Google slap.. Um duh!!

      As you’ve said, a great question is will this help my business in the 30 days AND, do I plan to implement… If it’s a tech related course and you don’t plan to implement it straight away forget it. Most will literally be redundant within a few short months.
      That said, there are courses that are more foundational in nature that will never date and are well worth the investment. These are the ones that live on my ipod and come everywhere with me. And one of the reasons people tell me they waved or yelled out to me while I was walking the dog and I never saw them lol!

      Although I don’t listen to talk back radio, I totally relate to identifying outside influences that hinder you from moving forward. Although I gave up watching the news a long time ago (it’s still finds me anyway!), I noticed that the music stations I would listen to in the evening would often suddenly change to really heavy music out of the blue. So since my evenings are when I’m most productive, I’ve switched to playing my own new age/nature sounds CD’s and it’s made a huge difference to my level of focus. Not to mention the calming effect which has the added benefit of allowing my mind to be more creative. Sometimes it’s just the smallest of tweaks that make a huge difference.

      As always, I really enjoyed the candid way you share you’re own story in your posts.


    • Sonia

      When I started I didn’t buy everything like I wanted to, but you’re right about assessing what is right for you at that time. Everything sounded perfect to help me get my business up and running, but I was simply rushing to do everything out of pure excitement. That can get you into so much trouble financially and mentally.

      I think having too much information in front of you can be very overwhelming because you want to read and do everything and still not have enough time. You have to be really honest with yourself and manage your time effectively.

    • Scott

      Bob and Rosemary….

      Gosh, I have SO struggled with this recently…

      “Nothing wastes time more than unfocussed effort.”

      I started in IM about 6 months ago and have about 6 sites from a PC blog to affiliate sites and can’t seem to find my “niche”. I have a passion about technology and I have been struggling to just drop the affiliate sites for now and concentrate on the PC blog or not.

      I guess seeing people online making lots of money gets your true purpose strayed away from your true passion which mine is technology and security. The more I am saying this to you tells me that I should focus on that site and make it a large authority site.

      Thanks so much for some wonderful tips!!!


    • Adrienne

      Hi Bob,

      Well, I am happy to say that I listened to the interview Richard Goutal did with you and I must say, excellent job! I took notes! Yep, sure did. I was very impressed with the way you went about explaining what holds most people back.

      I admit being one of those in the beginning, lack of planning. I was motivated but didn’t have a clear vision of what I was suppose to be doing in order to achieve the end result.

      I also purchased so many different products online but they didn’t benefit me at that time. I’m also guilty of purchasing some yet never even looking at them. I soon learned that although it was a great product, it wasn’t going to help me at that very moment so I would save it for when it could. Information overload is a real killer.

      As far as my work space goes, I’m very fortunate to live alone so I have my desk all set up and I have a great little spot just for everything I need. Natural light coming in and it’s quite. I love my work area. It’s really important if you intend to build a business.

      You know right now I can’t think of one time related problem. Every morning I wake up raring to go and excited about what the day holds for me. Not that I’m perfect, not by a long shot. I just think that I organize my time rather well and am productive every single day. But, you’ll be the first person I come to when I need some advice. You are the master of productivity Bob.

      Great post and great interview. Congratulation.


    • Herbert

      Like the saying goes, Build it on a firm foundation so the water will not washed it away, if you established yourself poorly, the possibility of failing is very high. Interesting write up sir Bob. *hats off*

    • TracyAnn0312

      My favorite part is to built strong foundation. You can not attain to market online if you do not built a strong foundation in your site. This is important so that you will be able to master all the things you must need as an online marketer. However, be productive in doing it so that you will not fail easily!

    • Charles Holmes

      My favorite points are having a mentor and understanding your peak productivity periods. I am definitely most productive during mid morning and slowest from the mid to late afternoon.

      I’m also looking for a mentor at this time. That will pay big dividends.

      This was a great post. Thanks for sharing, Bob!


    • Ken Pickard

      Dr. Bob,

      I think this is more than just another productivity post. There’s a ton of them out there, but what i like about this one is some of the examples you share are from your personal journey. That’s more important than just re-capping what we think works or sounds good.

      I especially like what you said about “Strategic learning.” We all fall in love with those wonderful sales pages. From the pitch to the promise we jump in and wait for all our issues to melt away or our dreams to come true.

      But the reality is that even the best product needs to be worked before it works. like you I still have a few of those well intended but still wrapped products. My only 2 cents on this would be to do a gut check before you buy the next program or service.

      Ask yourself…Will this move me towards my goals? Will I use it (and put a time commitment towards it)? And will I promote it to others? Sometimes we purchase things just to see the sales process or to get the bonus of some coaching time. But if it’s a product that you know you’re going to use and you can see it helping you towards your goals, then that may be a good product to get and use right away.

      Ken Pickard
      The Network Dad

    • Jym

      Thanks for a great set of tips Bob.

      I’ve been working hard at this recently, getting more productive with our time is so important. Quite frankly, there is never enough time to do everything, so we have to be wise about how we use the time we have.

      I truly agree with your first point about setting up the right foundations before we begin coughing up cash – this certainly will save much time and money in the long run. Not a step to be over indulged though…

      It’s really worth synching in your working times with your natural rhythms as well (check out the post on my ComLuv link below – I just wrote about exactly that!) – harnessing your active times and resting in your natural down times makes a huge difference to how effective and efficient you can be.

      And yes – switch off that talk radio, and (if you can) throw the TV out the window too.

    • Paul Lopez

      By taking advantage of these tips, we’ll not only boost productivity in the long run, but even we’ll get some hands-on modeling experience while working with our familiar systems. Many of the tips in this post will save our time and money if we do all the work our self. However, a series of tips for preparing and structuring a public talk communication also beneficial to improve productivity.

    • Alaa Khasawneh

      I guess if you failed to have all the tips on your masterlist, the tendency of failing is high and your drive of conquering the marketing world would not be successful.

    • Nicky

      Another great post Bob which actually just made me check and make an ammendment to my strategy meeting questions that I go through with a new team member. I just added “Are you disciplined enough to work at home?” and “what are your biggest distractions that may take you away from reaching your daily productivity goals”.

      I resonated with what Oliver said too about we all have 24 hours in a day and the saying “If you want something done, ask a busy person” appears never more so true as I am being nagged by email to sort out a “girls” night out when half the wives involved are stay at home moms!!!! Will I do it? ……….. of course !


    • Oliver Tausend

      Hi Bob,

      thanks for sharing this. Isn’t it interesting that we all have 24 hours in the day, but that some of us have more work than hours in the day ? The solution for more productivity without getting stressed is often “less is more”. I just realized that I had a lot of unproductive tasks in my daily schedule. So I didn’t worry about becoming more productive (or more efficient) but I trimmed the fat and stopped doing the dubious activities. It’s what you refer to as “productivity leaks”. Becoming productive often is misunderstood as becoming more “efficient” which means that we try to do the same work in a shorter period of time regardless if these tasks get us closer to our goals and desired lifestyle. Managers and employees are efficient, entrepreneurs and leaders are effective.

      My biggest time-related problem is that I feel unrest when doing nothing. I don’t feel comfortable when doing nothing. That’s why I tend to keep myself busy in order not to feel that unrest. Meditating and observing my feelings and thoughts are helpful to calm my busy thoughts and mind and to finally feel comfortable.

      Let me ask you this: Of course it’s criticial not to listen to negative radio talk shows. And of course, it’s great to listen to inspirational CDs instead. But why don’t you just switch off the radio and enjoy the silence ? I don’t know, I’m just thinking…

      Thanks again for sharing your insights.

      Be blessed


    • BizSugar.com

      Top Productivity Tips for Time-Challenged Online Marketers…

      When building an online business part time, optimizing your productivity is crucial. Here are my top productivity tips for busy marketers….

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