Productivity made simple!
I’m never more creative than when I’m dreaming up an excuse to push back a “to-do” list item.
I’ve tried a bunch of different things to increase my personal productivity. Apps, special notebooks, alarms, schedule assistants, and many others. I can find a way to avoid all of them with ease. The more complicated, the less of a chance that I’ll use them at all.
So, when I came across the Ivy Lee Method, I was in love with the simplicity. For the short attention spans out there I’ll just get on with the method!
The Ivy Lee Method
- At the end of each work day, write down the six most important things you need to accomplish tomorrow. Do not write down more than six tasks.
- Prioritize those six items in order of their true importance.
- When you arrive tomorrow, concentrate only on the first task. Work until the first task is finished before moving on to the second task.
- Approach the rest of your list in the same fashion. At the end of the day, move any unfinished items to a new list of six tasks for the following day.
- Repeat this process every working day.
It’s so easy and straightforward to implement. Whether for you or a team of employees, the Ivy Lee Method has been shown extremely useful. It takes away the noise of all the other crap that you may have to do that lays outside the top six and forces you to focus on only the most critical.
This method first gained traction with Charles M. Schwab in 1918 when Lee taught it to his corporate team. Their team showed incredible results as a company when it was implemented.
When Schwab asked Lee how much he owed him for this lesson his answer was “nothing, unless it works. After three months you can send me a check for whatever you feel it’s worth to you.”
Three months later Lee received a check for $25,000 which when adjusted for inflation is about 400,000 in today’s terms. The beauty of it for both parties was that it took 15 minutes to teach each executive.