August 15, 2015 by Jeff Lowen
Are you a list maker? I mean… Are you a “Lists” maker? It’s easy to get overwhelmed in with the sheer volume of things that need to be accomplished in our lives. Do you find that when you write a list of things to do, it ends up being a short story or even a novel? Then, you get a few of them done and not the most important ones at that. Here’s something that will not only transform your productivity, but help you focus on doing what matters.
Many years ago I was introduced to the concept of the Critical Six in an audio program by Earl Nightingale called, Lead The Field.
In the program, Earl tells the story of Ivy Lee, who met with president of Bethlehem Steel, mogul Charles Schwab. Schwab, proclaiming he needed more efficiency and higher productivity, Ivy Lee offered him a tool that would guarantee that he and his team would be more effective. Although he’d heard it all before, this piqued Schwab’s curiosity. So much so, that Lee offered the tool for free. All he asked was that Schwab and his team use it for 90 days and if it worked, send a cheque for whatever he thought it was worth.
The tool was this:
At the end of each day, write down the six most important things you need to do to achieve your objectives.
Put them in order of importance (1 – 6).
Then, starting the next morning, start on number 1. When 1 is finished, move to two. DON’T start on number 2 until number 1 is completed. Continue for each item. If the day ends and the full list is not completed, then the remaining items become the most important for the next day.
Three months later, Ivy Lee got a cheque for $25,000 in the mail (Which at the time, over 100 years ago, was a pretty impressive sum). Click here for what that’s worth today!
Note: Notice there are six things. Not ten. Not fifty. Just six. Try this for one week and see for yourself if Charles Schwab was on to something!
I think he was…
And if you’re lucky enough to find a copy of Lead The Field, by Earl Nightingale; Get it! I found it in my twenties, and I wondered why they don’t teach this in schools!!