The Ivy Lee Method: A 100-year old, 15-minute routine for stress-free productivity

The Ivy Lee Method: A 100-year old, 15-minute routine for stress-free productivity (
Here’s the 6 step method Ivy Lee recommended for achieving peak performance and high productivity on a daily basis:

  1. Clearly define your vision, goals and objectives for your life, business, health etc.
  2. At the end of each, preferably in the evening, write down the six most important tasks that you need to complete the following day to achieve your vision, goals and objectives.
  3. Rank and prioritize these six tasks in order of importance.
  4. Each morning, begin with most important task on the list and do not move onto the next task until the previous one is complete.
  5. Work your way through the six tasks on the list in order from the most to least important task. If at the end of the day you don’t finish a task, move it to the new list of six tasks for the following day.
  6. Rinse and repeat this process every day.

The power of the Ivy Lee Method

Here are 3 of the most important principles that make the Ivy Lee method effective for peak productivity:
Its simplicity makes it easier to take action. Contrary to popular belief, complex plans may actually make it harder to start new habits or take consistent action. Conversely, simplicity removes the friction of getting started, especially when you slip-up from your habits and need to get back on track. Simplifying decision-making is also a powerful strategy that has been used by successful entrepreneurs, CEOs and leaders, like Mark Zuckerberg and Barack Obama for peak productivity.
It builds momentum for consistent action. It’s much easier to take the next step after taking that first step. The Ivy Lee Method helps you to take that first step and build the necessary momentum to maintain consistency – much like a domino effect or keystone habit.
It forces you to focus on just one thing at a time. We live in a society that is obsessed with multi-tasking. Unfortunately, this busyness with multiple activities in any given period of time has been characterized with high levels of distractions and a severe lack of focus. As suggested within the book, The One Thing(audiobook), keeping your focus on the most important thing — one at a time, instead of multi-tasking — could drastically improve your odds of achieving success with your goals. If you struggle with the overwhelm of having too many ideas or tasks, trim away everything that isn’t absolutely necessary to regain focus.

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