Ever wonder how you could be more productive and make the most of your day?
So did steel magnate Charles M. Schwab, one of the richest men in the U.S. In 1918, as president of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation, he wanted to increase the efficiency and productivity of his company. He invited public relations pioneer Ivy Lee for pointers.
As the story goes, Schwab brought Lee into his office and said, “Show me a way to get more things done.”
“Give me 15 minutes with each of your executives,” Lee replied.
“How much will it cost me?” Schwab asked.
“Nothing,” Lee said. “Unless it works. After three months, you can send me a check for whatever you feel it’s worth to you.”
During his 15 minutes with each executive, Lee explained his simple method for achieving peak productivity:
- At the end of each workday, 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.
Three months later Schwab was so satisfoed with the results he wrote Lee a check for $25,000 ( the equivalent of a $400,000 check today)
The classic Ivy Lee Method is super simple, and that is why, even a hundred years later, it really works if you try.
Song for today: Valerie June – Workin’ Woman Blues