1. Identify the longest continuous carbon chain in the molecule. This chain is the parent chain and the name of the alkane is based on it.
2. Number the carbon atoms in the parent chain starting from the end closest to the first substituent. If there are multiple substituents, number the chain in such a way that the substituents are assigned the lowest possible numbers.
3. Name the substituents using the appropriate prefix (methyl, ethyl, propyl, etc.) and indicate their position on the parent chain using the appropriate number.
4. If there are multiple substituents of the same type, use the appropriate prefix (di-, tri-, tetra-, etc.) to indicate the number of substituents and use commas to separate the numbers.
5. If there are two or more different substituents, list them in alphabetical order and use commas to separate them.
6. If there are substituents on both sides of the parent chain, use the prefix "sec-" to indicate that the substituent is attached to a secondary carbon atom, or "tert-" to indicate that the substituent is attached to a tertiary carbon atom.