In 1918, Charles M. Schwab, president of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation arranged a meeting with Ivy Lee, a businessman and highly respected productivity consultant.
Schwab wanted a way to increase his team’s efficiency and get more things done.
Lee asked him for 15 minutes with each of his executives.
Schwab asked, “How much will it cost?”
“Nothing”, Lee replied.
But after three months, you can send me whatever you think it was worth.
Lee spent 15 minutes with each executive explaining his daily routine for getting more done:
1. At the end of each day, write down the six most important things you need to accomplish tomorrow. Do not write down more than six tasks.
2. Prioritize those six items in order of their true importance.
3. The next day, concentrate only on the first task. Work until the first task is finished before moving on to the second task.
4. 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.
5. Repeat this process every day.
Schwab was so pleased with the results that after three months he wrote Lee a cheque for $25,000 which is the equivalent of around $400k today!
The Ivy Lee method works because it’s very simple to do. It saves you time and it forces you to make decisions, prioritise and focus.
The most important thing to remember is to do your most important task first thing in the morning.
The Ivy Lee method can help you to be more productive and make more money at work and in your side hustles.
“Adapted from Atomic habits by James Clear”