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The Perfect Day Formula: How to Own the Day and Control Your Life

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Most people are stuck. Every day we seem to just go through the motions, following our usual routine without ever stopping and thinking why we do what we do, or what we'd rather be doing instead. But sometimes, we have that one day - that Perfect Day - where everything just clicks. We feel great. We are unstoppable. And at the end of it we think, "Why can't every day be li Most people are stuck. Every day we seem to just go through the motions, following our usual routine without ever stopping and thinking why we do what we do, or what we'd rather be doing instead. But sometimes, we have that one day - that Perfect Day - where everything just clicks. We feel great. We are unstoppable. And at the end of it we think, "Why can't every day be like this?" "Everybody wants to live the perfect life but fail to understand you do that by designing and living the perfect day, day after day. This book shows you exactly what you have to do to create that day." - Larry Winget, author of Grow a Pair "Like his site Early to Rise, Craig's book relies on ancient wisdom and classic thinkers - including my favorite, the Stoics - to help you organize your day and run your life." - Ryan Holiday, author of The Obstacle Is the Way


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Most people are stuck. Every day we seem to just go through the motions, following our usual routine without ever stopping and thinking why we do what we do, or what we'd rather be doing instead. But sometimes, we have that one day - that Perfect Day - where everything just clicks. We feel great. We are unstoppable. And at the end of it we think, "Why can't every day be li Most people are stuck. Every day we seem to just go through the motions, following our usual routine without ever stopping and thinking why we do what we do, or what we'd rather be doing instead. But sometimes, we have that one day - that Perfect Day - where everything just clicks. We feel great. We are unstoppable. And at the end of it we think, "Why can't every day be like this?" "Everybody wants to live the perfect life but fail to understand you do that by designing and living the perfect day, day after day. This book shows you exactly what you have to do to create that day." - Larry Winget, author of Grow a Pair "Like his site Early to Rise, Craig's book relies on ancient wisdom and classic thinkers - including my favorite, the Stoics - to help you organize your day and run your life." - Ryan Holiday, author of The Obstacle Is the Way

30 review for The Perfect Day Formula: How to Own the Day and Control Your Life

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kris Muir

    Personally, for maybe 3-5 years, I have experimented with hacking my day, managing my energy (instead of time), and trying to build "the perfect day." One of my key insights after reflecting on my 2015 year was that I find the most satisfaction in the challenges and rewards that stem from the rituals of my daily grind rather than the fleeting happiness of the grand moments of celebration. I don't like "time management" theories too much but I can appreciate approaches that challenge assumptions Personally, for maybe 3-5 years, I have experimented with hacking my day, managing my energy (instead of time), and trying to build "the perfect day." One of my key insights after reflecting on my 2015 year was that I find the most satisfaction in the challenges and rewards that stem from the rituals of my daily grind rather than the fleeting happiness of the grand moments of celebration. I don't like "time management" theories too much but I can appreciate approaches that challenge assumptions about how we conceive of how we spend our days. Coupled with the fact that I had read the author's work over the years in fitness publications and the Early to Rise business newsletter, I was drawn to this book. The book can be "preachy" at times, selling you on pure inspiration and a bias toward action. But, I give it a 4/5 because it is rooted in Stoic thought, it is a quick read and it provides some concise ideas for "approaching" the perfect day. For example, I appreciate the clarity of the premise to (1) control your mornings (2) conquer your afternoons and (3) concentrate on what matters most in the evenings. Ballantyne says "success is simple once you accept how hard it is." I buy into his idea of success only possible from a kind of daily grind in which you pride yourself on the routine of doing both what you love and what is necessary to align with your values. Another key insight: create a list of daily rules for yourself of things you will do and things you will not do. Also, if you have trouble sleeping at night, consider the 10-3-2-1-0 rule. 10 hours before bedtime, stop consuming caffeine (so far = sleep afternoons for me). 3 hours before bed, no alcohol or heavy food. 2 hours, no work (have a shutdown ritual). 1 hour, no screens/TV/phones. 0 = number of times you will hit the snooze button if you follow this plan. Last insight: create a goal that you want to achieve in the next 90 days, now create 3 process goals that will help you achieve that goal. Don't create year-long goals. Create 3-month goals. Less is more. Most importantly, align what you value with how you use your resources (time/energy/money). As Stoic philosopher Epictetus said, "to live a life of virtues, match up your thoughts, words, and deeds."

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mario Tomic

    Nice short book on how to organize your day. I enjoyed the ideas on structure vs. flexibility and the advantages of having a routine. It certainly goes hand in hand with the research I've seen on productivity as well as personal experience. Overall, it's an easy book to read or listen to. The ended features a lot of cliches which you've probably heard more than 100 times if you love to read personal development books. I would imagine that for most people that section would be a nice reminder of Nice short book on how to organize your day. I enjoyed the ideas on structure vs. flexibility and the advantages of having a routine. It certainly goes hand in hand with the research I've seen on productivity as well as personal experience. Overall, it's an easy book to read or listen to. The ended features a lot of cliches which you've probably heard more than 100 times if you love to read personal development books. I would imagine that for most people that section would be a nice reminder of the basic concepts of personal achievement and success. :)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Alisha

    This book was okay. It had many practical things in it, but it was also very repetitive. The entire last chapter was him trying to get me to register for one of his exclusive seminars... uh no. In defense though, I did learn a lot and will definitely write down and implement many of his suggestions. They just make good sense.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Joe

    A very short book recommended to me. Nice quick inspirational read. It goes beyond the perfect day and in to having a perfect lie. Wake up early Create a vision Write your rules - such as never have more than 2 drinks, healthy eating, exercising Write a not to do list (about not wasting time on the net) Set the your goals Focus on your priorities Wind down plenty of them before bed and go to sleep at a sensible time 10 hours before bed –No more caffeine. 3 hours before bed –No more food or alcohol. 2 ho A very short book recommended to me. Nice quick inspirational read. It goes beyond the perfect day and in to having a perfect lie. Wake up early Create a vision Write your rules - such as never have more than 2 drinks, healthy eating, exercising Write a not to do list (about not wasting time on the net) Set the your goals Focus on your priorities Wind down plenty of them before bed and go to sleep at a sensible time 10 hours before bed –No more caffeine. 3 hours before bed –No more food or alcohol. 2 hours before bed –No more work. 1 hour before bed –No more screen time (turn off all phones, TVs and computers). 0 –The number of times you will hit the snooze button in the morning. The best to-do list sticks to a handful of very specific, actionable, and non-conflicting items. Schedule your number one priority first. Attack it immediately in the morning. Start there and you will win your morning hours and you will own your day. Your script also requires you to set start and end times for all tasks, phone calls, and meetings. This prevents time vampires from sucking your schedule dry.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jure Brkinjač

    I've had the privilege to learn from Craig for the past 6 years and his lessons eventually had a big impact on my life. I'll admit, at first I was hesitant. How can creating rules and structure for your life translate into having more freedom? It sounds counterintuitive, but when you think about it again, this is really the only way to be productive and proactive, as opposed to drifting and reactive. I.e. Implementing clear rules, routines, and goals will free up your mental highway and enhance I've had the privilege to learn from Craig for the past 6 years and his lessons eventually had a big impact on my life. I'll admit, at first I was hesitant. How can creating rules and structure for your life translate into having more freedom? It sounds counterintuitive, but when you think about it again, this is really the only way to be productive and proactive, as opposed to drifting and reactive. I.e. Implementing clear rules, routines, and goals will free up your mental highway and enhance your decision making. I can't emphasize this enough. Once you have a roadmap for your life, every decision what to do when you reach a crossroads is easy. I'm glad Craig put these invaluable lessons in this easy-to-digest format. Do yourself a favor -- whether you're looking to become more productive to increase your wealth, improve your health, or any other aspect of your life, pick up this little gem of a book.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kristin

    While it is really simple in theory, there are some good reminders in here. You’ve got to have a vision and goals for your life, otherwise life will to you and not for you.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Dave McAuley

    This productivity book is just over 150 pages and is an excellent guide to gaining more control and structure to your life. Gives thought provoking exercises and clear, actionable steps toward "owning your day" This productivity book is just over 150 pages and is an excellent guide to gaining more control and structure to your life. Gives thought provoking exercises and clear, actionable steps toward "owning your day"

  8. 4 out of 5

    Vasilis d1af Apostolou

    Provides a clear path of action for structuring your day for increased productivity and satisfaction. It was a quick read. Probably will read this again and complete all the exercises.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Beth Borzone

    Quick easy read. Useful ideas on how to develop good habits and routines to help you accomplish your goals.

  10. 4 out of 5

    John

    Good advice, but not a lot of original material. You've probably heard 90% of this material before, but it's Craig's spin on it. He's a likable guy. Good advice, but not a lot of original material. You've probably heard 90% of this material before, but it's Craig's spin on it. He's a likable guy.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Rick

    Nothing life changing but some good reminders and tips on getting the most out of each day. And it's a quick read. Nothing life changing but some good reminders and tips on getting the most out of each day. And it's a quick read.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Angelica

    If you feel like you're just waking up and going through the motions of your day feeling like you are getting nowhere, then you may want to check out this book. The author starts with many ideas to get your morning started off right. Too often, I hit the snooze button, barely get breakfast and then run off to work hoping to get there in time. Like many other people, I tend to be more reactive with my mornings instead of taking charge of them. In the Morning section, he discusses the idea of Rule If you feel like you're just waking up and going through the motions of your day feeling like you are getting nowhere, then you may want to check out this book. The author starts with many ideas to get your morning started off right. Too often, I hit the snooze button, barely get breakfast and then run off to work hoping to get there in time. Like many other people, I tend to be more reactive with my mornings instead of taking charge of them. In the Morning section, he discusses the idea of Rules for Living, aligning it with your goals both for your life and day. After attacking the morning, the author discusses the chaos of the afternoon and ways to avoid it. Finally the author examines goal setting in the last section of the book. He presents ideas a person should consider when setting goals and how to break them down into digestible pieces. The philosophy of Epictetus is cited throughout the book especially in the morning section. One of my favorite quotes cited in this book from Ben Franklin- "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail." While I can't plan every possible detail in my life; I can definitely plan to have a better day with the tools presented in this book.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Briana

    Excellent, practical advice. Excited to implement the information in this book in my own life.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Honoree

    This book contains lots of advice I’d heard before and repetition is always welcome. Also enjoyed several gems and nuggets of distinction that will stay with me for a long time. Well done, recommend.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Reba

    I've been following Craig Ballantyne on social media for a while now, and have purchased his workout videos for Turbulence Training and Home Workout Revolution, and his other book The Great Cardio Myth. So of course I had to get this book too! Before I started reading the book I had already started putting some of his suggestions into practice for myself. Craig, and other life/business/health coaches that teach at IIN or that I've talked to all say the same thing. Get up early, do YOUR THING for I've been following Craig Ballantyne on social media for a while now, and have purchased his workout videos for Turbulence Training and Home Workout Revolution, and his other book The Great Cardio Myth. So of course I had to get this book too! Before I started reading the book I had already started putting some of his suggestions into practice for myself. Craig, and other life/business/health coaches that teach at IIN or that I've talked to all say the same thing. Get up early, do YOUR THING for an hour, then go about your day. I have a "day job", that takes a lot of my time lately, I'm also starting my own health coaching business, and I'm taking part-time classes. That hour that I have first thing in the morning is my time to do things that I need to do for my business, which is still in its infancy. My "day job" requires me to work a lot of overtime, and takes time away from my evenings that I could be building my business, so now I have that hour in the morning to work on it. I normally wake up around 5 naturally anyway (the benefits of a paleo lifestyle!) but I used to lounge in bed; or horror and nightmares! even used to get up and watch an episode of something on Hulu or Netflix! I wasted that whole hour or more before I would start getting ready for work. I've also structured the rest of my day so that I always have time to read, and always have time to check my emails. I commute to work by bus, and it's only about 20 minutes, so in the morning I read a book, and on the way home I check my personal and business emails, because there's no time while I'm at my day job to be able to waste *their* time on my personal business. I'm a work in progress, it takes time to change bad habits into good ones. But I really appreciated Craig's Perfect Day Formula, I think it could work for pretty much everybody who is prone to procrastination and laying in. Even if you can't use every single suggestion in the book, there are things we can all do that are better uses of our time than binging on Netflix or laying in bed hitting snooze 6 or 7 times every morning. If you're too tired to get up when the alarm goes off, then go to bed earlier! Seriously, you'll get so much more done. If you hit snooze every morning and lay in even just an extra 5 minutes, over the course of a year you've wasted 3 DAYS! What could you do with that "extra" 3 days?

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rich

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I just recently read the Miracle Morning and maybe that's why I gave a two star review for this. The book has some good information. Alot of common things with the Miracle Morning. I would say it could be written a bit better. It seems like this is just a compilation of a bunch of articles more than an actual book. This is a pretty quick read though, with a lot of good actionable items and takeaways that you can quickly digest. The key things are to control, conquer, and concentrate on the day. C I just recently read the Miracle Morning and maybe that's why I gave a two star review for this. The book has some good information. Alot of common things with the Miracle Morning. I would say it could be written a bit better. It seems like this is just a compilation of a bunch of articles more than an actual book. This is a pretty quick read though, with a lot of good actionable items and takeaways that you can quickly digest. The key things are to control, conquer, and concentrate on the day. Control begins in the morning, doing your most important task when you first wake up and setting yourself up for success the night before. Conquer focuses on his 5 Pillars of Success - Planning and Preparation, Professional Accountability, Social Support, Incentive and the Big Deadline Concentrate is determining what matters to your life - creating your vision and living that vision out by setting goals. There are 4 areas we should develop - health, wealth, social self, and personal enrichment. Each goal should have three progress goals that can be measured. Share these goals with others and you can achieve them!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Cathy

    Not a ton of new ground here, but I don't mind that. Reminders never hurt. A couple of stand out ideas include making a set of rules for yourself (e.g. I never have more than two drinks, I write 500 words every day) and making a not-to-do list, which is an interesting concept. Very quick read. Worth picking up. Not a ton of new ground here, but I don't mind that. Reminders never hurt. A couple of stand out ideas include making a set of rules for yourself (e.g. I never have more than two drinks, I write 500 words every day) and making a not-to-do list, which is an interesting concept. Very quick read. Worth picking up.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    OK, only beginning really talked about Perfect Day A lot of this was fairly standard advice. I really wanted something that focused in on nitty, gritty of setting up perfect day. A few useful tips though.

  19. 5 out of 5

    DeLaney

    This book exponentially increased my productivity rate. Not just in business, but in my hobbies and with my relationships as well. I learned that structure is freedom, what that truly means, and how to build a life structure in order to have more freedom. Must read. Must do.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Greg

    Good framework for self-improvement, even if not all the ideas I buy hook, line, and sinker.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Marcus

    Short and worthy of a second look.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lela

    Excellent book. Great points on how to manage your life. Worth reading.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Chad Harris

    Obviously this isn’t anything new or rocket science, but there are some good tips on how to live life by design instead of default.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Debby Brown

    A quick dose of inspiration. A reminder to get busy with what matters.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Raphael Collazo

    Solid read on how to orchestrate your day.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ruchi

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Stop thinking that success is easy. Accepting that it is going to be hard, requiring persistence, and effort. Once you're accepted that, it wil become easy. What a paradox! Stop thinking that success is easy. Accepting that it is going to be hard, requiring persistence, and effort. Once you're accepted that, it wil become easy. What a paradox!

  27. 5 out of 5

    BeesReads

    An easy read. I read this AFTER Perfect Week by the same author. Most of what I said in that review applies to this. That said, I preferred this one and gave it an extra star. The idea of routines being freeing and setting up 'tomorrow' the night before is not new - I was an avid follower of Flylady starting around 20+ years ago and she is a great proponent of these ideas. He gets up at 4am and goes to bed at 8pm. Right now it is 3:12am and I haven't gone to bed yet having read two of his books thi An easy read. I read this AFTER Perfect Week by the same author. Most of what I said in that review applies to this. That said, I preferred this one and gave it an extra star. The idea of routines being freeing and setting up 'tomorrow' the night before is not new - I was an avid follower of Flylady starting around 20+ years ago and she is a great proponent of these ideas. He gets up at 4am and goes to bed at 8pm. Right now it is 3:12am and I haven't gone to bed yet having read two of his books this evening. I will NEVER be one of these early riser types - and I don't intend to try again - unless I am having a bout of insomnia (which I have now had two nights in succession). I am sure I read some research a few years ago that concluded that getting up before 07:23am (in your local time* - that is not even in time-zone time, but local to you) is bad for your health but I can't find any reference to it now. *An example of local time - when it is noon over London, it is around 11:49 local time in, say, Bristol (UK), approx 200km west of London, while it would be noon in 'official' time in both cities. It was the coming of the railways that set national times. All in all, I think Barbara Sher's "Wishcraft" which I read a few years ago is much better at all this stuff. Think I'll give that another read soon. I have one more Ballantyne to get through (the reason I'm doing 3 of his right now is I got an email from him linking to all 3 for free.)

  28. 5 out of 5

    Adis Sokolovic

    The whole book was a quick read, and that's the only positive thing about it. It was really repetitive, and it constantly felt like the author was desperately trying to make the book as long as it can be. Everything in the book could have been said in around 20 pages or even less. This book might be good for someone who is completely new to "self-help" books and new to habits/productiveness type of books. When it comes to me, I barely found anything that I can implement in my life. The first 1/5 The whole book was a quick read, and that's the only positive thing about it. It was really repetitive, and it constantly felt like the author was desperately trying to make the book as long as it can be. Everything in the book could have been said in around 20 pages or even less. This book might be good for someone who is completely new to "self-help" books and new to habits/productiveness type of books. When it comes to me, I barely found anything that I can implement in my life. The first 1/5 of the "The Perfect Day Formula" sounded(I was also listening to audio while reading) as a never-ending television ad. Craig was constantly trying to make this also like some sort of a "motivation book" but It barely motivated me to do anything. Just before reading this book I've read the "Atomic Habits" by James Clear and comparing Craig's work to what James wrote is like comparing Harry Potter books to some of my writings. Overall rating 2.5/5.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Deciden0w

    I wanted to read this book because of all the hype it got. After reading the book I have to say that I read better books with better systems and explanations than this one. Without turning my review as a comparison review I wanted to highlight a few things about this book specially that I liked and didn't like Pros: +The author did a great job with laying out the foundation of what a perfect day would be +Great useful formula (Better for beginners) +Great examples and real life scenarios to back up I wanted to read this book because of all the hype it got. After reading the book I have to say that I read better books with better systems and explanations than this one. Without turning my review as a comparison review I wanted to highlight a few things about this book specially that I liked and didn't like Pros: +The author did a great job with laying out the foundation of what a perfect day would be +Great useful formula (Better for beginners) +Great examples and real life scenarios to back up each lessons Cons: -Book felt like he was trying to sell his services too much. Especially in the last chapters..it read literary like a sales page -Basic concepts for beginners but not so much useful for people who has experience and want a bit more in depth knowledge and edge with the subject Overall a good book but average in total massage

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mariusz Turek

    I came across Craig through Ryan Moran's podcast and I really resonate with him as a person and as an author. Craig is a personal trainer-turned-coach that has a no-bullshit approach that I really like. As for the book, Craig makes it simple but effective. He argues that more structure in your day / life equals more freedom and predictable success and I fully agree. "I would do X but don't have time" is a mantra wherever you look - people that say it are same people that waste countless hours on I came across Craig through Ryan Moran's podcast and I really resonate with him as a person and as an author. Craig is a personal trainer-turned-coach that has a no-bullshit approach that I really like. As for the book, Craig makes it simple but effective. He argues that more structure in your day / life equals more freedom and predictable success and I fully agree. "I would do X but don't have time" is a mantra wherever you look - people that say it are same people that waste countless hours on social media and in front of TV. Craig offers an alternative- create your vision, mission and set of rules, then break your goals into digestible chunks and fill your calendar with tasks that bring you toward these goals. Simple yet effective - I can confirm that ;)

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