Being a creative person comes with its own set of perks and challenges. Anytime an issue arises you are the first person people turn to for a solution. However, having a mind full of endless ideas can often put a strain on your productivity and ability to accomplish goals.
They May Say That I’m A Dreamer
You are an innovator, a dreamer, a master creator, a bottomless pit of amazing new creations!
Sometimes it seems like the flood of ideas will never subside and that, my friend, can be your biggest downfall! I have struggled for years to learn how to balance my internal chaos. Learning to turn things from an idea to reality is a constant struggle.
A Century Old Productivity Method
Recently I opened one of my favorite emails from Amy Lynn Andrews where she linked to this post by James Clear. This efficient to-do list is known as the Ivy Lee method. Ivy Lee was hired by one of the richest men in the country to teach his staff how to accomplish more and be more productive. His method is so simple and it works. ( need more time and productivity help? Check out this amazing Bundle of resources)
The Ivy Lee Method for Maximum Productivity
- At the end of each work day, write down the six most important things you need to accomplish tomorrow. Do not write down more than six tasks. I personally only write 5 tasks because my work day is from 9am- 230pm. If your day is longer you could probably handle 6.
- Prioritize those six items in order of their true importance. This is extremely important. List time sensitive items first.
- When you arrive tomorrow, concentrate only on the first task. Work until the first task is finished before moving on to the second task. I find that having such creative mind I get distracted very easily therefore often times I don’t accomplish things. Seeing each item through to completion has been life changing for me.
- 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. Surprisingly, most days I accomplish all 5 items and don’t have to move them over. But if I do it’s usually only one. It’s ok if you have to move 1 or even 4 items over. The important thing is actually accomplishing something instead of bouncing around from task to task.
- Repeat this process every working day. It’s super important to remember to keep making your list the night before. If you run out of the printable I provided use a notebook. (it’s also fun to look back at everything you’ve accomplished)
One last step: I make sure I cross things off that I complete. Seeing that big check-mark is very satisfying and motivating!
[clickToTweet tweet=”Have you heard of the Ivy Lee Method? Now I can really get stuff accomplished!” quote=”Have you heard of the Ivy Lee Method? Now I can really get stuff accomplished!”]
Why does the Ivy Lee Method Work so well for Creatives?
It’s Simple. Just as James Clear suggests the Ivy Lee method is extremely simple. There’s no bells or whistles to this plan. As creatives, we tend to have so much swirling around in our heads already having a complex system often makes us want to abandon ship!
You Have to Prioritize. When I first committed to making a daily to-do list I used this one , But I quickly noticed it had one major flaw! I was able to put a ton of things on that list. I never accomplished them all in one day and sadly I could never check off my entire list. It left me feeling defeated every single day. James Clear says it best “I find that the single best thing to do when you have too many ideas (or when you’re overwhelmed by everything you need to get done) is to prune your ideas and trim away everything that isn’t absolutely necessary. ” When you try to focus on everything at once you often accomplish nothing!
Multi-Tasking is a Productivity KILLER There is a total myth going around in our society that multi-tasking is the key to getting things done. Oh boy, can I ever tell you that it isn’t? You may actually get several things done but ask yourself are they done well.. are they even really done at all? For instance, if you multi-task by cooking dinner, typing up an email and helping a kid with homework can you honestly say that you’ve done all 3 really well. If you can then you are amazing. I, however, can’t say that! The quality of the things I do tanks when I multi-task. I have to focus on one goal or one task at a time in order to complete it and do it well.
Time Blocking was another method I tried and failed at. I would create a time limit for each task and then move to the next task when the time was up. That was a huge problem for me personally. I ended up with a bunch of half-finished items on my list. I find it much better to complete the task and then move on to the next one.
* A few notes about this printable.
When you click on the photo above and enter your email you will have access to all the color options below. Print as many as you want but please do not sell these or distribute them as a work of your own.
Also, you will fill out your top 5 every day but take note you can add in small tasks on the right-hand side and plan appointments. If you have appointments just adjust your list to shorter tasks or be prepared to move items over the next day. (it’s ok!)
That’s really it. It’s a super simple method that truly works! Go print yours off today and start getting things done. For real, this time!