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The IVY LEE METHOD - For Productivity

Recently stumbled upon this wonderful technique and I'm so motivated to share this with you all because of the awesome results and personal growth.

Under the Ivy Lee method, you should focus on one task at a time, going from most important to least important, until you've accomplished your whole list. Any unfinished business should be moved to the next day's list of six tasks. This 100-year-old method still works for everyone.

The Ivy Lee Method

Ivy Lee explained his simple daily routine 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.

Why It Works

Most methods work much better in theory than in reality. The reason for that is the level of adherence to the plan. No plan is ever executed perfectly. The more complex the plan, the more imperfect the execution.

The biggest strength of the Ivy Lee Method is its simplicity.
  • It’s simple enough to actually work

  • It forces you to make tough decisions.

  • It removes the friction of starting.

  • It requires you to single-task.

Pro tip: emergencies and unexpected distractions will arise. Ignore them as much as possible, deal with them when you must, and get back to your prioritized to-do list as soon as possible. Use simple rules to guide complex behaviour.

Here are some templates if you wish to keep things digital. But my personal recommendation is to go old school. Take a notebook and write.

Ivy lee method to do list
Download PDF • 11.78MB


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