Is there such a thing as a productivity hack? Can you squeeze more work out of each day? What if you could accomplish more and still have more time to spend with your family?
Sounds amazing, right?
Well, then it’s time to make the Ivy Lee method a new habit. No, we’re not talking about joining Ivy League Schools, what we’re offering is far easier than that. Although we’d bet that many Ivy Leaguers have taken advantage of this 100-year-old productivity hack.
Learn all about the Ivy Lee Method of Productivity here.
The story goes that Ivy Lee, a productivity consultant, sat down with Charles M. Schwab, one of the richest men in the world in 1918. He offered his productivity method to Schwab for free, telling him to pay him whatever Schwab felt the method was worth after 3 months of trying it.
Schwab was so delighted that 3 months later he wrote a check for $25,000, the equivalent of about $400,000 in today’s dollars!
You might expect a productivity hack this valuable to involve something rather complex. After all, you are effectively trying to cheat time and squeeze a few more minutes out of your day.
Rather, the simplicity of the Ivy Lee method is what has allowed it to catch on and work for people in all walks of life.
All you have to do is take a few minutes each evening and write down 6 tasks you need to accomplish the following day. Rank them in order from hardest to easiest and place the list at hand for the next morning.
In the morning, tackle the list, dedicating your attention to each task until it’s finished before moving on to the next one. If you don’t finish, move the unfinished tasks to the top of the next day’s list.
That’s it! No sacrifices to the god of time or any other such rigamarole.
Getting started each morning can be a bit of a drag. You need to gather your thoughts, look at your schedule, plan your day….oh! and check Facebook real quick. Suddenly a half an hour has gone by and you haven’t done anything but look at funny cat videos online.
By planning your day the night before, you eliminate this step from your morning routine. You also eliminate decision fatigue. You might not be the type that gets easily distracted by the Internet (liar!), but you almost certainly will have trouble deciding what to do first. Most people tend to be indecisive about these kinds of things.
If you’ve already planned your tasks out the night before, you can immediately get to work in the morning.
It’s so simple that you might not think it would work, but give it a shot and you’ll discover an amazing hack that has been working for over a hundred years. The best part is, we won’t even charge you $400,000 for it!