Let me start this story with one of the richest men that ever existed in the year 1918 known as; Charles M Schwab.
He was the president of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation, the largest ship builder and the second largest steel producer in America then.
In his quest to increase the efficiency of his team and discover better ways to get things done, he arranged a meeting with a highly respected productivity consultant as of then called Ivy Lee.
According to the story, Schwab brought Ivy in 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 is worth to you.”
NOW THE IVY LEE METHOD
Though this method may sound simple and easy but, it is coming from a well-known master planner of business and individual growth to success.
So, during his 15minutes time with each executive, the great Lee explained his simple principle for achieving peak productivity: ------
1. 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.
2. Prioritize those six items in order of their true importance.
3. When you arrive tomorrow, 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 working day.
As I told you before, the strategy sounded simple, but, Schwab and his co-workers gave it a try.
After three months, he was so impressed with the progress his company made that made him Schwab to call Ivy Lee into his office and wrote him a check for $25,000.00.
From my own perspectives, a $25,000.00 check written in the year 1918 is equivalent to $450,000.000 in this period of the year 2017.
Wow! How could something that seemed so stupidly-simple like this be worth such amount of money?
The Ivy Lee concept for prioritizing your to-do-list is so simple. And what do you think makes it so effective?
1. Makes you to use simple rules to guide complex behavior.
2. This simple rule forces you to make tough decisions.
3. The friction involved in starting your task is removed ( as a writer, I find it difficult to concentrate on what to write whenever I wake up, but having placed my to-do-list in a priority list, I wake up to have something to hook-on and start my daily activity)
4. It helps you to focus and avoid multi-tasking. Studying the lives of great people like athletes, CEOs etc., you will realized that these people never in any way lost focus, they single-tasked until they were able to get where they are today.
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