I spotted it in the Tesco magazine and I’ve been trying to put it into practice for the last week or so*. (It has nothing to do with snowdrops, by the way. Those are just a little touch of Spring, to cheer us all up).
It’s the 100-year-old Ivy Lee Method and apparently it works because it’s simple, saves you time and forces you to make decisions, prioritise and focus. Lee was an American productivity consultant (yes, they had those things a hundred years ago!). The most important thing to remember, is to do your most important task for that day first. This is also known as ‘eating the frog’ (who knew?).
OK, so here’s what you have to do:
In the evening, list 6 achievable tasks you want to do the next day (note, achievable! If you’re too ambitious, you’ll just set yourself up to fail – ahem, I have learned this – so make some of them very small and manageable – a phone call to the bank, for example, or ordering that book you’ve been meaning to buy for ages – so that you get that satisfying buzz when you tick them off your list).
The next morning, start at the top of your list and complete the tasks one by one. The piece I read advised that rather than ‘book a holiday’ (I wish!), be more specific with your tasks, so you might put ‘search for the best places to stay in Majorca’ instead. If we turn that into something more writing-focussed, it might be ‘Draft a blog post’ or ‘Spend 1 hour researching women’s clothing in WW2 for novel’.
Also, you wake up each morning knowing exactly what you want to get done that day and limiting your list to 6 things means you don’t end up with a crazy, never-ending ‘to do list’. Six things should be achievable.
*I have not yet managed to tick off all 6 items on my list in one day but apparently, that doesn’t matter. Anything that’s left over, will help you to build your list for the next day. Or you can just start again from scratch.
What d’you think? Do you do this already or do you have a better method? Let me know!
“If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”
– Mark Twain