The Productivity Tip

Simple Can Be Powerful

Effectively managing your law practice rests on a number of factors, with maximized productivity sitting high on the list.

Today I’m going to give you one very simple strategy that you can use to increase your productivity on a day to day level.

It has been used by successful business men for eons, and that is because it works, and because it is simple to implement into a routine.

Are you ready for it?

Here it is:  Before the day’s end, write out your list of priorities for the next day.

That’s right, that’s it, it’s a to-do list!

But before you guffaw, keep in mind that Bethlehem Steel CEO Charles Schwab paid 25,000 back in 1903 to Ivy Lee, who consulted him on this manner.  Schwab credits it for bringing his company to the level of success it enjoyed.

Let’s break it down into its details and see why it is so effective.

The Process

As stated above, it is all about taking the time to plan out your next day’s activities.

Here are the steps as outlined by Ivy Lee:

  1. 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.
  2. Prioritize those six items in order of their true importance.
  3. When you arrive tomorrow, concentrate only on the first task. Work until the first task is finished 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.

Why It Works

It’s beautiful simplicity is truly what allows it to work.  It takes no extra skill set to implement and nothing beyond a pen and paper to get started.

What it does, is forces you to actively engage in, think about, and strategize with your priorities.  You have to make decisions and set your limits.

It may not seem like much, but the process will add a heightened level of focus and control over your workflow.

Furthermore, having this awareness of what needs to get done summons an inner resolve to prepare and organize yourself accordingly in finer details, like having your suit ready for a court day, or setting your alarm a wee bit earlier to get to a meeting.

You get the idea.

The more awareness you have, the better prepared you can be.

Best Use Of Time

Because you have put the energy into planning the night before, when you come in to your office the next day, you don’t need to go through this process.

You can start immediately.  You simply take the first task, and set to it until completion.

There is no guess work involved, nor a need to wade through brain-fog while you wait for that morning coffee to kick in.

Setting this tone first off carries throughout the day in a ripple effect.

Trust me on this, but better yet, try it out and see for yourself.


Of course you can’t be a robot about this.  You have to stay flexible and adaptable to unexpected things that come your way.

But, the point is that you have planned things out and prioritized them according to their importance or time relevance.

This way you can deal with the disturbance, and then get back to your focused prioritized set of tasks as soon as possible.

If you only have one large task that needs be done in the day, simply break it down into its action steps and individual components, and work through these.

Is It Worth It?

$25,000 back in 1903 would be in the hundreds of thousands today if adjusted for inflation.  What would you pay to increase your efficiency by 50{cf5d02f31badde63b68d55c0bed56ab5356094abc2057734bc0088249d8536d3} as Ivy Lee claimed it would, and Charles Schwab verified that it did.

Try setting this routine daily and get back to me on this, I would love to hear of your success!

Until next time!

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