in Life, Self Development

The Ivy Lee Method:The 100 year old method to maximize your productivity

In this world of cut throat competition, in order to reach to the cream of the cake, you need to make sure that you utilize each and every second of your life to the best. And that is a test of your productivity. All great entrepreneurs and leaders of the world, who have stood out of the crowd have worked immensely on increasing their productivity. So, here is a 100 year old method to increase your productivity that has been tried and tested by famous people like Barack Obama and more.

Who is Ivy Lee?

According to James Clear, Ivy Lee was a businessman who was approached by the CEO of Bethlehem Steel Corporation, Charles M Schwab, as a productivity coach for his team back in 1918.

Ivy Lee wished to talk to each of Schwab’s executives personally for 15 minutes without charging any fee. He told Schwab to send in a cheque of any amount later if he felt that his conversation with the executives was fruitful.

After few months, Schwab sent Lee a cheque worth $400,000 which implied that Lee’s method was a huge success.

What is the Ivy Lee method?

It is a small modification of our ‘to-do list making’ process that is simple and if applied without an err, will give you the best possible results.

Things Required for the Ivy Lee method:

A pen and a paper, that’s all.

The Ivy Lee Method:

Step 1: Find a pen and a paper and write six important things that you want to do the next day. Make sure you write them in the order you want them to be done. Also, do not make this list on the same day of its execution. Try making it the night before.

Step 2: Start your day with the first thing that you have scribbled down on that list and do not move to the next until the previous one is complete.

Step 3: Proceed this way until all the six to-do things are done and then plan out if you wish to do more work or not.

If you couldn’t finish all the 6 things you wanted to do by the end of the day, postpone it to the the next day.

Step 4: Repeat this for a month to see if it works or not.

Why the Ivy Lee method works?

  1.  Because it helps you prioritize your tasks so that you don’t waste time doing work that can wait and not doing work that is urgent.
  2.  Because you do the decision making a night before, you don’t waste  your time and energy the next day thinking about your work.
  3.  Because it doesn’t allow you to procrastinate (unless you are a hardcore procrastinator).


 Give it a try because you don’t have to pay $400,000 to Ivy Lee if the method works for you. 

Do you have a secret productivity tool that you swear by? Have you tried this Ivy Lee method before? Did it work for you? Comment below.


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