When I worked as personal trainer in my early 20s, I noticed something very unusual about my most successful clients.

These clients almost effortlessly achieved their goals and built the bodies that they wanted.

How?

They created a strong personal philosophy that made decision-making easy and stress-free.  They planned their diets and workouts in advance so they didn’t have to think about doing the right thing.  And so I did for my business what they did for their bodies.

My personal philosophy revolves around planning and ruthlessly eliminating all distractions during the day.  I don’t check email before noon.  I refuse to do a phone-call unless it’s scheduled and there is a clear agenda for the time.  I don’t surf the internet and I don’t have a cell-phone at my desk.

But outside of my 50 hour workweeks, I have a lot of fun.

When I’m not working, I travel.  (I’ll be in Lithuania and Croatia in a few weeks).

I exercise daily and maintain a single-digit bodyfat %. I spend time with my family and our dog on the farm we have outside of Toronto.  I read about 50 books a year and I keep up deep relationships with friends around the world.

But during my (short) workday, none of that happens.  There are no distractions and no deviations from my schedule.  I script my day the night before so that when I wake up I can hit the ground running.

Here’s what an average day looks like: I wake up and start writing for a few hours.  After that, I walk my dog and workout.  Then in the afternoon I schedule phone calls, meetings and emails with my remote-working employees in both of my businesses.

Both businesses are profitable with revenues of more than 1 million USD per year.

This strict schedule helps me get a boatload done, and I can talk to you more on the record about it if you’d like.  It’s really the key to all of my success.

My 3 best daily tricks/habits are:

1) At the end of each workday, I script out my next day of work.  In 30 minute increments so I know exactly what I’ll be doing and won’t have to worry about “deciding” to work.

2) At the start of each workday, I attack the most important item on my list.  Once that gets done, I’ve built up a pile of unstoppable momentum that carries me through the less important tasks. I also stay out of my email until I’ve been at work for at least 5 hours.

3) I go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.  I get just under 8 hours of sleep per night and I wake up every morning feeling rested and energized.  (This is an important quick-fix that can help a lot of people get more done quickly)

So each day, I exercise, manage both of my businesses, take the time to read and relax with family.  I can do all that and still get plenty of sleep because I take time each day to plan my work and then I work my plan.

Hope this helps.

Craig Ballantyne

PS – For more specifics on the ultimate time management plan…

…read my:

Politically Incorrect Scheduling Tips at EarlyToRise.com

And get one thing done first thing in the morning!

Craig Ballantyne

Craig Ballantyne is the author of The Perfect Day Formula: How to Own the Day and Control Your Life. Craig has been a contributor to Men's Health magazine for over 17 years. Today he teaches his gift high-performing entrepreneurs how to squeeze more out of their days, increase their income, and make more quality time for their families in his Perfect Life Workshop and Work-Life Mastery programs. Craig used his own advice to overcome crippling anxiety attacks in 2006, and he'll teach you his 5 Pillars of Success so you can increase your income, decrease your work time, and live the life of your dreams. Learn more about Craig at craigballantyne.com