THE IVY LEE METHOD + HACKS FOR PRODUCTIVITY
For many, the idea of working from home or setting the tone for your day ahead is daunting, to say the least.
Office spaces surrounded by your colleagues can create, perhaps, a bit of a positive mob mentality when it comes to productivity.
What’s more, is the sheer amount of change and uncertainty that 2020 has seen already might have a few of us feeling a little unfocused at the best of times.
Some of us are continuing with the new norm, working from the comfort of our homes (/beds – guilty), whilst others are back at it, arriving at your desk at 9 AM, takeaway coffee in hand.
Regardless of your situation, the abundance of tasks the day ahead holds can seem overwhelming when you’re the only person keeping you accountable for when they get done. This is why we’re religiously coveting the Ivy Lee method.
The Ivy Lee method couldn’t be simpler. Back in 1918, a wealthy businessman and CEO Charles M. Schwab hired consultant Ivy Lee in a bid to make his team more effective and productive.
Lee sat down with each executive for 15 minutes and talked them through an unbelievably simple protocol that changed the way the company operated completely. So much so, Schwab paid up big time for the unofficial training.
James Clear, the author of the best selling Atomic Habits (a great and inspiring read for your book club), does a much better job of telling the story, but you get the idea.
So, what was this magical method?
- Before you go to bed, write down SIX and only six tasks that must get done the following day. Why six? It is believed that when we whittle down our never-ending to-do lists, we zone into the most important tasks.
- Speaking of important, prioritise them. The most urgent task must sit at the very top.
- Work your way through completing each task and ONLY move on to the next once you have completed the task that sits before.
That’s it. That’s the method. Simple. But so simple that it actually works.
We live in a world that demands a lot of us. From the multiple tabs open at all times and pride ourselves on our abilities to multitask. This method is so effective because it focuses you to focus on one thing at a time, finishing it to competition instead of hopping from task to task, half-heartedly getting jobs done.
By completing your list the night before, you erase that awkward dance of not knowing where to start when you wake up.
We so often start the day dipping in and out of unimportant to-dos that the big, important projects get left until the end of the day, when we’re tired and quite frankly, can’t be bothered.
BONUS PRODUCTIVITY HACKS
- Pop your phone on aeroplane mode and hide it somewhere far from your desk. If you need a timer to stay on track, invest in an analogue clock or time block. Do not touch your phone until your current task is complete.
- Balance your blood sugar to keep energy levels high. Ensure that every plate has a sufficient balance of protein, fat and fibre and always pair carbohydrate-rich foods, such as bananas, with a fat source. Avoid sugary snacks and don’t eat too late at night.
- Meditate just before the part of the day where you find yourself the most distracted. Mediation increases GABA which thus, increases mental cognition (read more about brain health here). It really is the easiest productivity hack around + it costs nothing.
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