The Ivy Lee method: The simple method for peak productivity.

Sakthitharan S
2 min readMar 31, 2023

The Ivy Lee method is a stupidly simple productivity planning method, yet the idea got him $25,000 in 1918. $2,500 in 1918 is worth $49,807.95 today. Charles M. Schwab, one of the richest men in the world in 1918 paid Ivy Lee for teaching this idea to his executives.

Ivy Lee

It was from then, called “The Ivy Lee Method”.

As I said, it is stupidly simple. It comprises 5 simple steps.

  1. Before leaving from the work in the evening or at the end of the day, write down the 6 important things you want to do for the next day. If you have many tasks pending, just choose the 6 most important tasks from the list.
  2. Now order them by priority from 1 to 6.
  3. Next day morning, start to work out the list from 1 then through to the 6th task. It’s better not to skip or reorder the tasks now. Just work through the list, one at a time. You are allowed to start 2nd task only if you finished the 1st completely.
  4. Work through the list, and try to complete them all before focusing on any new tasks for the day. Move the pending task if any to the next day’s list.
  5. Repeat the same process every day.

Simple right? But to make it effectively work, you need to remember the following 3 things.

  1. Be cautious about picking and prioritizing tasks. It only takes 5 minutes to work your list everyday evening.
  2. Little discipline and commitment to work through the list for the day.
  3. Need to do it consistently.

If you ensure the above 3, the Ivy Lee method will definitely lead you to peak productivity.

I compiled 20 reasons why the Ivy Lee method is an efficient system which will be posted soon. Stay tuned. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter which only takes 1 minute to read every single issue.