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Running a blog for profit is a lot of hard work. Starting a blogging business takes a lot of focus, dedication, time, patience and of course, productivity.
If you’re not productively using your time your business will go nowhere. That’s why productivity methods are so popular!
This one that I have for you today is called the Ivy Lee Method. I’ll go over who came up with it, what it is and how to use it. (Feel free to skip ahead if you’re not interested in who came up with it!)
Who came up with the Ivy Lee Method?
The Ivy Lee Method was created for a businessman named Charles Schwab. He was considered to be one of the richest men in the world by 1918. He was the president of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation, the largest shipbuilder and the second-largest steel producer in the U.S. at the time.
The story (according to historian Scott M. Cutlip) starts in 1918 when Schwab calls for the help of a man named Ivy Lee, a productivity consultant.
Lee was a widely known businessman himself and Schwab, being the businessman that he was, wanted to improve his companies efficiency.
The story goes that Schwab brought Lee up to his office and told him to “Show me a way to get more things done.”
Lee responded, “Give me 15 minutes with each of your executives,”
“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.” (Source)
How does the Ivy Lee Method work?
As promised, Lee spent 15 minutes with each executive and explained the simple method he came up with for achieving peak productivity. This is what he told them.
- At the end of your workday, write down six tasks you want to achieve for the next day. Do not write down more than six.
- Prioritize those 6 tasks, ordering them from least to most important
- When you come to work tomorrow, only focus on the first task. Do not work on anything else until you’ve finished it.
- Then move to the second task, finish it, and so on. Move any unfinished tasks to a list of six new tasks for tomorrow.
- Repeat this process every day you work.
Even though the strategy sounded simple, Schwab and his team decided to give it a try. Three months later, an overly-pleased Schwab called Lee back into his office and wrote him a check for $25,000- which is about $400,000 today.
That is an insane amount of money. As you can see, this method was very effective. But why?
Why does this method work?
–Forces you to focus on prioritization
It forces you to focus on one thing and allows no room for multi-tasking. Many people think multitasking is a good idea when in reality it is not. And with only 6 tasks you can do for the day, prioritized correctly, you have no choice but to focus on what’s most important, not what’s most urgent.
For me personally, if I don’t have a clear plan of what to do and I have tons of ideas or tasks I want to get done, it makes my head spin.
I get so frustrated on what to do first and where to start, that I end up staying on the couch, too overwhelmed to even begin. Which, makes me more frustrated that nothing is getting done…. Which makes even less get done. If you’re like me, you’re basically shooting yourself in the foot when you don’t prioritize and have a plan.
–Simple, but effective
Your methods for getting work done don’t always have to be super complicated with a ton of steps. Sometimes simpler is better.
Come up with 6 important tasks, finish one before moving on to another, repeat! Plus, the simple method makes it easier to get back on track when you’ve been met with daily distractions.
–Allows you to start the next day with less thought
Less time being wasted is more time to be productive, right?
When you end your day with a plan for tomorrow, you’ll have an easier time starting the day. Sometimes getting out of bed or off the couch and actually starting is the hardest part. This method takes away the hard part. Plus you may go to bed with a little bit more confidence and sleep better knowing exactly what you’ll be doing when you wake up! (I know I do!)
On top of that, trying to make your to-do list in the morning could be a little difficult. You’ve had quite a few hours away from your desk, in which you’ve had to sleep, make dinner, deal with the kids or whatever home-life distractions you may have.
This break away from your desk could make you remember less about the things you accomplished yesterday, and kick you out of your “Work-mode”.
Whereas, if you create your to-do list the night before, everything you’ve done for the day is fresh in your mind. You’ll be more likely to make informed decisions about the steps you need to take tomorrow to get to that ultimate business goal.
-You can’t multitask
Lots of people love multitasking (guilty as charged!) so this method may be hard for some as it was for me when I first started.
I love having 10+ tabs open on my computer at all times. My mind is always 2 steps ahead of my body. Which, despite what many may think multitasking can actually hinder your productivity, not enhance it.
The reason being, you can’t be great at one thing if you’re attention is divided with 10 other things.
Are you going to try out the Ivy Lee method? What is your method for staying productive? Let me know in the comments below!