How’s your end-of-the-year “things you want to accomplish list” coming along?
You know the one I talked about last week…
And if you’ve decided you’ve done enough this year and you need a break – good on ya – that’s cool.
If you’ve got your list and getting things accomplished, I’m thrilled for you.
And if you’re anything like me, it’s been a bit more of a struggle. I’m letting too many things distract me. So I’ve upped my productivity game and doubled down on the strategy that never fails me – it’s called the Ivy Lee 6 method.
Have you ever heard of it?
It’s been keeping me organized and more productive than anything else I’ve ever done. That’s why I wanted to share this with you!
It’s actually over 100 years old. It dates back to 1918 when productivity consultant (Ummm wow, they had these back in the early 1900’s – wow!) Ivy Lee was hired by Charles M. Schwab, the President of Bethlehem Steel Corporation, to help improve his company’s productivity and efficiency.
What’s interesting about the story is Lee offered his method for free to Schwab. And after three months, Schwab was so enamored with the results that he wrote Lee a check for twenty-five thousand dollars.
This method is so simple, and the reason it’s stood the test of time is that it forces you to plan ahead and make some tough decisions on what you will work on the next day.
Here’s how it works –
Before leaving your office for the day, write 6 things you want to accomplish the next day. List them in order of importance – most to least. And don’t write down more than 6.
Other insights – don’t make your tasks big like – “Write my book” or “Finish XYZ project” because you probably won’t accomplish that in a day.
Instead, write down something like – “Create the table of contents of my new book.” or “Write 3 content emails to my list.”
You want your 6 items to be things you can check off and get done in a day. Plus, you want to put them in order of importance and prioritization.
You can enhance this even more by having your big sheet of goals with your overall to-do list. These are things you want to accomplish for the year. Then you pull out your 6 tasks each day from your overall goal and to-do list.
The real key is to do your Ivy Lee 6 BEFORE you leave your office for the day. The reason is that it easily sets up what you’re going to do the next day.
This way, there’s less of a chance of distraction or asking – “Oh, what am I going to get done today?” Said a lot of people before they started using this method!
I’ve been doing the Ivy Lee 6 Method for over 10 years now and swear by it.
I’m old school – Here’s a stack of my notecards from the past year. (I write on 4×6 note cards. And yeah I save them for a year or more. I really like seeing how much I’ve accomplished.)
I do one each evening. Sometimes I add create separate categories for work and personal – all still adding up to 6 things.
Then I use my green highlighter when I’ve completed something on the list and my red sharpie when I have to get it done by a specific time that day.
Something else that you can do is if you haven’t finished everything on your list – you can carry over any item for the next day.
Also, to help myself stay on track, I have my little Timeular buddy that helps keep track of time spent on specific tasks.
I like this little gadget a lot because it sits on my desk, and I flip it any time I change tasks. It helps me keep track of daily, weekly, monthly, or annually where my time goes.
Happy Almost Thanksgiving! (Yep, it’s a week away – yikes! Where did this year go?!)
Thanks for being here! We’re definitely on this journey together.