The number one time management sin is that you are reactive and not proactive.

And this lack of planning ahead is what’s holding you back. For example, a lot of people get up in the morning and as part of their morning routine, they make their to-do list. Now, if you’re doing your to-do list in the morning, you’re already too late. You’re using the time of day when you have the greatest willpower, discipline, and intention to finally figure out what the heck you’re going to do all day. If that’s your approach to life, you’re taking the time when you could get the most done and you’re giving it to planning.

The planning needs to be done the night before so that you wake up and just go 0 to 100 miles per hour on the most important task in your life. That is what’s going to get you ahead.

It’s literally going to triple your productivity just fixing this once in.

The second sin is that you are easily distracted.

When you’re easily distracted by toxic temptations, you’re throwing away your time management. You’re not having ownership of your calendar and your time and that’s going to destroy you. So for example, it’s your phone, your phone is giving you so many problems.

Now, the way that we fix that and stop that from being a distraction is by physically removing the phone from our work environment or by using an app, like OPAL, which limits your ability to use apps, email, text, and all of those things, during work hours.

You can set it up so that you’re blocked from those things when you should be productive, I had a coaching client named Mike Zeller when Mike Zeller read my book, The Perfect Week Formula, he was able to write his best-selling book in 90 days just by opening up that morning magic time and being as productive as possible. This is a game changer when you can stop the distractions from destroying your time management.

Number three is that you procrastinate. And you’re procrastinating on important things like deep work blocks, where you can write that book, where you can write that video sales letter, where you can write those emails. They’re going to generate revenue for your business.

But you lack the systems in place and you get distracted or you just don’t have the plan in place to move into the activity and so you procrastinate.

You check the sports scores, you check the gossip, you check Twitter, you check the Facebook, you scroll everything and the next thing you know, that motivation that you had has been eaten away and you have your days full of activity, doing a little bit this, little bit of that, little bit of this, little bit of that, checking all these sites.

Not a single piece of accomplishment and that time management sin is going to destroy it.

The fourth time management sin is that you’re just living in chaos. You’re completely disorganized. You don’t know what to do. You don’t have your priorities straight, you haven’t planned ahead, you haven’t gotten rid of the distractions. Everything is just a complete mess, and you’re trying to wing it through life. And if you take a look at anything that you value, and get entertained by whether it’s a football game, whether it’s a movie, whether it’s a play, all of those things are completely scripted, right? The football team practices.

Every single one of their place, they script out their place, every single play. Nobody goes up there and makes up the lines as they go. Same with your favorite HBO Comedy Special, that comedian has practiced that routine hundreds of times, and yet you think you’re going to get up and just totally wing it. I don’t need any organization. Come on. That’s not going to work. I know because I have worked with so many clients that when we finally got them organized we reduced the chaos in their lives. They were able to scale.

I had a client in Boris. He owns a supplement company in France. He came to me doing three million dollars per year but his life was chaotic. He had no team meetings, no structured and we put that in place and he was able to scale from $3 million to $10 million dollars in 12 months. Tripled his business, an already good business, tripled it, because he had structure.

Structure equals the freedom that you seek.

Number five, you are staying up too late. You’re not using your reverse alarm at night to get to bed on time. Because you don’t get to bed on time, you don’t get up on time, you hit snooze, and you tell your hopes and dreams that they can wait.

If you simply get to bed on time, this is a keystone habit that will just knock down all the other dominoes because if you get to bed on time, you sleep well. You sleep well, you don’t hit snooze. You don’t hit snooze, you don’t start the day behind. You don’t start the day behind, you’re not reactive, you’re not in a bad mood, you’re not easily distracted and there is no chaos in your life, all because you got to bed on time.

Make that change, and add the reverse alarm one hour in the for bed. Turn off all the electronics, get to bed on time, sleep well, and you will dominate your days.

Number six, you don’t have any structure in place. You don’t have a scripted day. You don’t have morning magic time and you don’t have deadlines and cut-off times in the day for activities. So, you can take three to four hours to get something done. It only should have taken an hour. You let phone calls go from 20 minutes to 40 minutes because you had no deadline and you had no structure. And when you lack that structure, chaos comes into your life, there’s a great quote by a guy named Paulo Coelho, the guy who wrote The Alchemist, a famous author. He says discipline and freedom are not mutually exclusive, but mutually dependent because without discipline and structure, you sink into chaos. And I know, personally, I sunk into chaos when I didn’t have these things, I had my anxiety attacks and it was only through the anxiety attacks, forcing me to address and confront the seven deadly time management sins that I was able to change my life.

I work with clients like Adam Pearson. Adam Pearson read my Perfect Week Formula book at the lowest of his lowest. He’s an accountant, he had a million-dollar business. He came to me, he was working 50, 60 hours a week. He wasn’t paying attention to his family. He was falling asleep at the dinner table. He was standing in front of the mirror, almost passing out from panic attacks and we put that structure into place for him and he went from a million-dollar business, 50 to 60 hours a week to a 5 million dollar business, four days per week. Absolute game changer when he got the structure in place and this is an accountant, not a coach, not a consultant, not an online marketer, a person with real day-to-day business. We were able to help him by putting that structure into place.

And finally, number seven, do you have no accountability? You don’t have a mentor, you don’t have a coach, you don’t have a peer group, you have no one that you’re going to go to and say I need your accountability to follow through and when you don’t have accountability to follow through, knowing these others 6 deadly time management sins isn’t any good because if you don’t have accountability to sticking to them, then you just fall back on your old bad habits and that will hold you back. So you deeply disappoint yourself.

But if you get accountability to someone you deeply do not want to disappoint. Then you will move mountains in your life.

When I was young and I went to church every Sunday with my mom, I knew that I had to be good all week because on Sunday I had my accountability going to church and I didn’t want to look back on the week and feel bad about what I did. And when you have your accountability partner, you will know how to use your time and you will not want to connect with them and say, “Yeah, I just totally wasted my week. I was unprepared. I was reactive. I was chaotic.” No, you won’t be like that. You’ll finally stick to, you’ll take that information and finally put it into action because of the accountability.

Now, as I mentioned before that structure equals freedom and there is a true simple formula for becoming very proactive and having great time management and I call it the CB Square and I had to double down on this when I got married, had kids because back when I was single, I could still get away with a few mistakes but now my time is more valuable than ever.

So, CB Squared goes like this: cut, block, communicate, and batch.

Number one, the first seat, you got to cut the fluff from your leg, cut it, cut all that junk, cut distractions, cut the gossip at the scrolling, cut the Twittering, get rid of that stuff. Simply by cutting, you will have time management productivity through some traction.

Two B. First B, block. Block your time, and don’t work in 30-minute increments, because if you do 30 minutes of this and 30 minutes of that, it’s death by a thousand cuts through transition time, and that will eat away at your productivity gains. So, make sure that after you’ve cut the jump, you then block big chunks of time to work on a priority project.

The next C and CB Squared is communicate. You need to communicate your plan first to yourself and commit to it. You need to communicate your plan to your family, to your partner, your spouse, to your kids, about how the rules of engagement are going to work. If you’re working from home, when am I working? When am I not working? When can you interrupt me? When can’t you interrupt me? I’m doing this for you to be proactive with my time management so that I have more free time for us to do the things we love.

And finally, the second B, batch. Take those blocks of time and batch all of one project into the block. Do not transition repeatedly, don’t do 10 minutes here, 10 minutes there. But for example, when I film a YouTube video, I do a batch session of scripting a big block work session where I script out all my videos, I get in that mindset and I get it done, rather than trying to do a video here and a video there and video there.

Then we do a batch filming session, one entire afternoon for almost a full month of content. So I’m not going back, setting up the camera, setting up the mic, setting up the lights, setting up all that stuff because it’s death by a thousand cuts. So when you cut the fluff, you block your time, you communicate your plan and you batch your work, you will be the most productive person you’ve ever been in your life, that anybody knows in your life. This will move you ahead to the next level.

If you need to go deeper on this, I wrote the book Perfect Week Formula that will help you take 10 to 20 hours back in your week. Make sure you go and get it to CraigBallantyne.com/freebooks and drop a comment down below.

Let me know which one of these seven time management sins is most deadly to your life that’s holding you back so that I can write another article on this, go deeper on each one, and help you change your life!

Craig Ballantyne

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