Developing My Optimized Work Style For Maximum Productivity In Minimum Time

Last Update: March 10, 2021

Working at home with a new baby is definitely a contradiction. While it seems like I have all day to get things done, it's actually turning out that I really have to optimize my time and be more efficient than ever.

I'll be honest. I heard babies sleep a lot, so I thought I was going to have a ton of time to get work done while the baby is sleeping. What I didn't realize is that while the baby sleeps, there's still a ton of stuff around the house that needs to be done.

And surprisingly, even though we have two parents at home right now, it's still very busy. Lately it's been better now that he's almost 2 months old, but wow, it was a whirlwind for a while.

Revelation. Being A Stay At Home Dad Means I'll Need To Opimize My Time

The plan with my wife is that she'll go back to work in May, and I'll be a stay at home dad. This is a very unique and cool situation to be in. I'll get to watch my son grow up. My wife will be bringing in extra income AND get to keep her career. We'll save money on child care.

All the meanwhile I'll still be running my online business.

However, I'm going to need to seriously optimize my work day. It's clear to me now that I'm not going to get a lot done during the day. Maybe a little bit, but not a lot. That will get better as he grows up, but once we start having more kids, there's a real possiblitiy that my schedule will get even crazier.

I'm just beginning this journey of having a family, so a lot is still unknown to me.

The good news is that my business is super flexible. I can work any time of day, for any amount of time, and make changes based on my own decisions and goals.

My Style (So Far). Early Morning Batch Work

Working in "batches" is a great strategy for getting stuff done. Worth a try if you haven't used it yet. The premise is simple - do a bunch of work in the same style/category all at once, then schedule it out.

Using batch-style work, I was able to record 24 videos last week. This week, I've edited all 24 of those videos, and will schedule them out today. That's 3 months of YouTube content for the Monday/Tuesday videos (4 videos per month for 3 months = 12 videos per playlist).

By batching I was also able to get some original written content scheduled out until the end of April at this point. I basically knocked out 2-4 blog posts in a day for a couple days then scheduled them for the month.

Every work style is different. I like to hyper focus on one thing and do deep work. It enhances my obsessive nature, and helps me work against my tendency to get distracted during transitions. It's very hard for me to do one thing, then another, without a 30-minute break in between.

Switching gears is hard for me. I'm more of a drag race kind of guy versus a Le Mans style multitasker.

For example, I tried the Pomodoro Technique, and it failed after less than a day. Resetting every hour meant I spent a lot of time cleaning the house instead of getting work done.

I recommend taking some time to figure out what your work style is. What time of day are you most productive? When do you get your best ideas or feel most inspired?

Take notice of when you get big chunks of work done and you feel proud, and take notes of the circumstances. Play to your strengths. Work within your own parameters to set yourself up for success. This is your business, so you get to choose how the hell you want to get the work done.

I'm still figuring out the perfect schedule for me. So far, here's what I've got:

I'm most productive from about 7AM to 11:30AM, Monday-Thursday. I like working in batches, then scheduling. I do poorly with transitions, and logging onto social media is a death sentence for productivity, even if the intent is to publish content for the business.

I'm still optimizing, but getting better.

When my wife goes back to work, the plan is to get stuff done from 4AM to 7AM, then maybe do a full day on Saturday when she's home to take care of the baby. We'll see though. I've been erroneously optimisitice about schedules in the recent past.

Can You Run A Successful Blog With Just 20 Hours A Week?

Absolutely. 20 hours a week is plenty of time to run a six figure website. There are lots of variables in there, so it's not like doing that is easy, but it's possible.

I think the biggest challenge for me will be accepting less-than-parabolic growth.

For so many years my mindset has been "work at much as possible and make as much money as possible". I'm not sure if that is a good mindset to have with a new family. I may have to chill out for a bit and accept that with only 20 hours a week I won't be able to experience 1000% growth all the time.

After all, we all got into this business to imrpove our quality of life, not necessarily to stack dollar bills under the mattress, right?

When Are You Most Productive? What's Your Style Of Working? Leave Your Techniques In The Comments And Give Other WA Members Some Ideas!

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tdbabineaux Premium
I was a stay at home dad for a number of years, so I can relate.

The kids have left the nest and I am retired, so I have plenty of time to get things done. I'm not a morning person, so I generally start work in the early afternoon and keep going until whatever task I'd planned for the day is completed.

Terry
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nathaniell Premium Plus
Nice! Sounds like a pretty good lifestyle Terry. Looking forward to building something similar for myself, although I do enjoy getting up before everyone in the morning!
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Thokozile7 Premium
Congratulations Nathaniel. I must say you’re very brave to take on such a challenge and I admire that. Looking after a baby is almost a full time job.

Fortunately being the owner of your business means you can be flexible and it seems that you have things under control so far. The ‘working in batches’ system seems to be working well.

Wish you all the best in your business and on the home front.
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nathaniell Premium Plus
Yeah, it's going to be a real challenging managing my time, but growth is uncomfortable, so ultimately, I think I'll benefit from it. Or maybe the whole thing will crash and burn LOL. We'll see! Honestly, i think it'll be fine though :)
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Kingschido Premium
Thanks Nathaniell for sharing your personal experiences with regards to work life management. And good luck with it all . I can imagine the challenges you have had to deal with.
It is also essential as you have stated, that we all try and identify what formula works for us in terms of time management, and productivity so as to explore them to the utmost.
Due to my current circumstances where I have to work from home due to the Pandemic, hence lock down. It has changed the dynamics of my work life. I tend to start my day with my online business, by taking training classes, creating content on my website etc.
Then eventually proceeding to taking care of my regular Job requirements, as most of it is second nature to me. Though I still struggle some times to find balance between the two, along side other commitments.
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nathaniell Premium Plus
Yeah I think finding a balance will be the hardest part. I tend to be able to focus on one thing really well, but when I have to switch back and forth, I lose focus.
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CordeliaN Premium
Congratulations all round, the birth, staying at home Dad, retaining sanity, getting sleep, reducing working hours and having a plan...

I am liking the idea of the early starts although 4am seems amazingly optimistic, especially if you are sleep deprived, and baby wants to vent at 3am . Never the less the advice you gave remains the same, your business, your time work it the best way you can.

But well done you...

Look forward to the updates... btw the second one is easier.. 🤞
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JeffreyBrown Premium
Mine is very hard to describe, let's just say that I get a lot done! Not making a total ton of money or anything, but getting things done that have to be accomplished!

Very well done with how you manage things and still are able to give your son the attention he needs, Nathaniel!

Jeff
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