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Achieve maximum productivity: How the Ivy Lee Method can work for your company

By Alan Helquist

This is one post about company productivity. Read about the value of a daily huddle for more. 


A more productive company is a happy company.

In today’s multitasking society, it’s often difficult to stay focused. Distractions abound, and many of us think that the more we do at one time, the better. This may not be the case. There’s a method that works for our company, and we think it will work for yours too. The Ivy Lee Method is simple and achieves maximum productivity. Since we first learned about it from keynote speaker Verne C. Harnish, we use the method daily and recommend it to our clients and their leadership teams.



In 1918, well-known productivity consultant and public relations pioneer Ivy Lee introduced his method to the president of The Bethlehem Steel Corporation, Charles M. Schwab. Schwab, one of the richest men in the world at the time, was searching for a way to increase productivity and get better results. He set up a meeting with Lee, who revealed his simple method to Schwab:

  1. At the end of each workday, write down up to six of the most important things you need to accomplish tomorrow. Do not write down more than six tasks.
  2. Prioritize those six items in order of their true importance.
  3. When you return to work the next day, concentrate only on the first task. Work until you finish the first task before moving on to the second task.
  4. Approach the rest of your list in the same fashion. At the end of the day, move any unfinished items to a new list of six tasks for the following day.
  5. Repeat this process every working day.

Seems easy enough, right? The method is amazingly simple and can work for you and your company. Every step in the method is sequential, and if you follow it, you will get extraordinary results. In fact, this method worked so well for Schwab, he allegedly wrote a $25,000 check to Lee just three months after their initial meeting (the equivalent of about $400,000 today.)


When prioritizing your list, you can make necessary adjustments based on which task has the greatest financial impact for you and your company. If a task can make or save the company $300,000, focus on that task before one that has less value to the company. A $300,000 task is more important than a $50,000 task.


We’ve had great success incorporating the Ivy Lee Method into our company, and we know it will work for you too. We call the tasks “Daily Must-Dos,” and our team members post them in their Slack channels each day for added accountability.


The experts at Axia Public Relations can help you get the most out of your investment in PR. Download our complimentary e-book Maximizing Your Public Relations Investment today to further the reach of your PR campaigns and optimize your media coverage.

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Alan E. Helquist

Alan Helquist is an entrepreneur and marketing professional with extensive experience in copywriting and public speaking. He graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelor of Arts in English and passionately writes and speaks on anything from sports to public relations. Alan has been a member of the Axia team since June 2017. Connect with Axia on Twitter @axiapr or tell us what you think in the comments below.


Featured Image Credit: 123rf.com

Topics: public relations

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