The $25K Executive Time Management Technique

In the early 1900’s, management consultant Ivy Lee visited Charles Schwab, the president of the Bethlehem Steel company (it’s NOT the investments Charles Schwab that you’re probably thinking about 🙂

Ivy Lee asked Schwab what it would be worth to him if he could raise the productivity of his managers by at least 20%. Schwab said that he didn’t know the exact figure, but it would definitely be worth a substantial amount.

Lee then said that he would teach Schwab a simple time management technique in less than 10 minutes that would raise the productivity of his staff by at least 20%, if not more.

Lee insisted that he didn’t want to be paid up front. After a month of using the technique, Schwab could decide for himself how much it was worth and send him a check.

Schwab agreed without hesitation.

Lee then said, “First, write down all the tasks that you need to do. Then at the start of each day, select the six most important items you want to do that day and rank them in order of priority.

Start working on the first item and don’t stop until you are done or have gone as far as you can.

Then, reprioritize the remaining items based on the reality of the day and start working on the next highest item.

If something comes up during the day, only stop working on your current task if the new item is more important; otherwise just add it to your list.

If you don’t complete all the items on your list, don’t worry, just start again tomorrow in the same way.”

Schwab taught the technique to all his staff. After just one month, he was so impressed with the results that he sent Ivy Lee a check for $25,000, which is about $300,000 in today’s dollars… Not bad for a day’s work!

How can you put this technique to work for you?

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