by Casi Yost | Featured Contributor
We all complain about not having enough time to do our work. I don’t think we really have an issue with time, but rather how we use it. I stumbled upon this efficiency method years ago but didn’t know the name of it. Now I do and I can’t wait to share it with you.
Before you start, prioritize. We all know our own schedules and the priority of things that need to be done. So essentially you and only you know which items are the most important. This is the one thing that you have to think about and the rest is easy. I promise.
I’m talking about the Ivy Lee method. Lauryn Evarts from The Skinny Confidential talks about it, James Clear, author of Atomic Habits talks about it in his book and tons of other successful people use it to cut through the noise and get things done.
How it works:
- You have a list of items you have to do right? We all do.
- What you do is you list the top six most important things in order that they need to be done.
- The kicker is that you can’t move to the second item or anything else until the first item is done. You also need to remove any distractions and focus completely on the task at hand until you are done. Then you can move to the next item.
This is extremely effective and I think is the perfect antidote to all of the technology, calendars, noise and social media that gets us off task in the first place.
If you’re someone who has your to-do list on three different calendars, sticky notes, two notebooks, and a planner, then you really need to boil it down to one central place.
For me, I have a google document that I essentially word vomit onto and list all my goals, ideas, to-do items, and keep it there. I pull the most important things out of it and put on my list for the day.
To be clear, I look at my google doc and physically write down my list of six items on a piece of paper. Then I don’t have any of the other items distracting me.
I usually do this the night before. I look at my calendar and see what I have to do the next day, what items are needing me to do them right away, and those definitely get priority.
This method isn’t complicated but that is the genius in it. It is so simple and easy to do that you eliminate “decision fatigue” and can get rolling right away on your work.
Anyone ever stare at their inbox and wonder what they should start working on? Yep. Same here. This method allows you to just list all the things you need to do, prioritize them and get them done. Nothing weighing on your mind or distracting you.
Let me know if you employ this and how effective it is for you! I would really love to hear!
Any other methods that work for you drop them below!
All the best,