How to Harness the $421,000 Productivity Hack
This strategy was provided by consultant Ivy Lee to Charles Schwab, then CEO of Bethlehem Steel. Lee told Schwab to “try it, and then pay me what you think it’s worth.”
The Method. At the end of each day write down the six most important tasks you want to accomplish the following day in the order of importance.
The next day, begin working on those tasks one at a time. The strategy is proven for prioritizing your objectives. You’re forced to optimize. According to James Clear, the author of “Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones,” the strategy “forces you to make tough decisions.” You’re isolating your priorities and ignoring everything else until those tasks are complete.
The Money. Legend has it Lee proposed this strategy to Charles M. Schwab, president of Bethlehem Steel back in 1918. One version says Lee offered it for free and after three months, Schwab, pleased with it, paid Lee $25,000; or about $421,000 in today’s money. The other versions says Lee told Schwab to try it for a few months, then pay Lee what he thought it was worth.
Conclusion. You will find the strategy effective. I currently use it to run EMTech. The hardest part is knowing which priorities are the most important. Didn’t General Eisenhower have something to say about that?