On Monday, everything that could go wrong for one of our business partners DID go wrong. They were launching a new product, and despite knowing better, they just didn’t seem properly organized for the event.

The result?

A website that wouldn’t and couldn’t accept orders.

In fact, you couldn’t even access the website.

Someone just wasn’t organized.

There’s no doubt this mistake cost them tens of thousands of dollars. Sure, some of those orders will come back, but there’s also no doubt that some customers have been lost forever.

In contrast, my Monday went about as smoothly as it possibly could have considering I had to film four videos and record a thirty-minute audio program in a professional studio. I’ll admit, talking into a camera is not my first love, however after 300 youtube videos, 65 monthly workouts, and over 20 workout DVDs, I’ve become “not bad” at standing in front of a camera and explaining things.

In addition, I had practiced, practiced, and practiced all of the scripts, reading them each out loud almost a dozen times in order to eliminate tongue twisters and to memorize the proper inflection points for every important phrase. After all, these videos were for Early to Rise readers, and nothing less than my best work is acceptable for you. (I can’t wait to get these four free videos out to you in October…more details to come soon.)

As we wrapped up our filming session on Monday, the audio technician was relieved and thankful for my preparation. He described how his days often are filled with marathon sessions with unprepared clients who take three hours just to get through a five-page script.

I should also have been thanking him because his company was well organized with perfect lighting and professional feedback and suggestions on every take to make the presentation better and the message more compelling. While I spent four hours in the studio, it didn’t feel like I wasted a minute of my time.

Yesterday was no different. I filmed three brutal bodyweight workouts (for a new fat loss product) in just under three hours. Again, everything went smoothly because my team was prepared and ready to go.

In today’s busy world you have to be organized. You have to be ready to go. First, it’s just professional. And second, it allows you to get more work done in less time.

From planning your day to practicing your presentations, you’ll simply get ahead faster when you are organized. You need to organize your schedule and your workspace for maximum productivity.

You need to be prepared for every phone call, every meeting, and to be, as guest author Chris Lopez described yesterday, to be present wherever you are present.

“Wherever you are, be there.” – Jim Rohn

Being organized is a skill that anyone can acquire. It’s not a genetic ability like being six feet tall. It just takes practice and commitment. You can do it, even if you’re starting from a point where you don’t even have your socks matched in your drawer.

Don’t rely on your personal assistant to keep you organized. And don’t say you’ll get organized the day you get a personal assistant, either.

If you want to get ahead, get organized. Get prepared. Be professional.

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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