Today we’re going to talk about what remains the BIGGEST hurdle in most people’s lives – Time Management (second only to procrastination, a deadlier time problem).

And we’re going to look at a hidden problem that most people don’t think about when it comes to using their time well.

In a perfect world you would have your day scripted, your phone turned off, and you’d work until noon without even checking email…

But there might still be one big problem.

You could be working on the WRONG projects.

When you break it down, the best time management strategy is to make sure you are using your time for the right things.

There is a difference between being busy and being productive.

Many people, as Dan Kennedy says, confuse “activity” with “accomplishment”. Writing things down on a white board is activity. Actually getting stuff done is accomplishment.

BIG difference.

Here’s how you can use your time better. Start by asking yourself these questions:

1) What is the most profitable work I can be doing?
2) How can I spend more time on what is most profitable?

The answers to these questions should be major “A-Ha” moments for you.

I can’t imagine that using Facebook or Twitter would be the answer to question #1. Is it?

No, of course not. Spending time in concentrated thought devoted to your copy, your selling strategies, possible joint venture partners, and new product creation are all more valuable.

Think about that the next time you are tempted to update your social media status.

There’s another Kennedy quote that is burned into my brain that you can use a great evaluator for anything you do.

The question is, “Where’s the profit in that?”

Apply that to all of your daily work activities. Is there profit in checking Facebook?

If not, leave it for your leisure time. Don’t let it distract from your work.

Is there profit in reading seven blogs and news websites per day? If no, stop, and again, designate to leisure time or toss from your workday. If any of them are essential to your business, that’s fine, you can read them during work time, but be brutally honest with yourself.

Listen, the bottom line is that if you’re not happy with where you are right now, then you need to start making better use of your time.

If you’re struggling to get your product done, you need to STOP PROCRASTINATING.

Create an outline. Fill in the sections. Get it Done. The harsh truth is that you just have to glue yourself to a chair and get it done.

Or, if you’re filming a product, simply invest $300 (NON- refundable) and rent a hotel conference room for a certain date. Then prepare to film the content there. If you aren’t ready and don’t film on that date, you lose the $300. But I’m sure no one who follows that advice will let the date go by without getting it done.

(By the way, I’m taking my own advice. I have booked a hotel room and film crew to record a new set of online videos for ETR readers later this month. The hotel and crew are booked and paid for. Now it’s just up to me to follow through, and you better believe I won’t be wasting this opportunity.)

There’s NOTHING stopping you but yourself, and that’s a pretty flimsy excuse.

You can do it. Just get it done.

You can always make your product better in the future.

Do the right things at the right time.

[Ed. Note. Craig Ballantyne is the Editor of and Financial Independence Monthly. He also coaches executives of companies with sales over $1 million. Later this summer, Matt Smith and Craig will be offering a new virtual private mentoring program for Financial Independence Monthly subscribers.]


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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