A 100-Year Old Routine For Stress-Free Productivity

Procrastination is almost synonymous with a feeling of being overwhelmed. Because there’s too much to do, we lapse into a kind of paralysis and end up not doing any of it.

The Ivy Lee method is an effective way of overcoming this problem: You list the most important tasks for the day, start with the most important, and don’t move onto the next until you’ve finished it. It sounds simple, because it is, but this method has been used by countless businesses and entrepreneurs to boost productivity.

In fact, the Ivy-Lee method is perhaps most famous for helping the president of Bethlehem Steel Corporation, Charles Schwab, turn his failing business into the second largest steel producer in America.

Instead of charging an up-front fee, Ivy-Lee told Schwab to try his method for three months, and then pay whatever he thought the productivity gains were worth. Schwab paid $25,000, which was a lot of money in the early 1900s, but given that Schwab himself amassed a personal fortune of over $200,000,000, Ivy-Lee should probably have asked for a percentage…