I’m not sure what I forgot to do this time, but it was something important and my 16 year old daughter looked at me with concern and asked, “Do you want to know how never to forget anything ever again, mom?” And since I’m a lifelong learner always looking for new ways to do things, I said, “Sure, what can I do to guarantee I’ll never forget anything ever again?”
Here is what she said; …you’re going to want to write this one down.
Are you ready?
She said, “You see mom, if every night before you go to bed, you take out a pen and paper, and you write the things you need to do the next day on a ‘TO-DO List,’ and then when you wake up the first thing you do is look at your To-Do List and check off each item as you do them, you’ll never forget to do anything ever again!”
A To-Do List!
My brilliant daughter told me to get into the habit of creating a to-do list.
The truth is, I do use a to-do list… well… most of the time, and I even give a presentation on working smarter, not harder where I tell the story of Charles Schwab and Ivy Lee that Mary Kay Ash wrote about in her book “Mary Kay: You Can Have It All : Lifetime Wisdom from America’s Foremost Woman Entrepreneur”
Ivy Lee was a well known efficiency expert at the time and Charles Schwab was president of Bethlehem Steel. This was well over 100 years ago and Schwab wanted to increase his efficiency and the efficiency of his management team. He wanted to increase their effectiveness in business.
Ivy Lee told Schwab that he could help increase his people’s efficiency – and sales – if Schwab would allow him to spend fifteen minutes with each of his executives.
Schwab wanted to know how much it would cost him and Ivy Lee said, “Nothing, unless it works. After three months, you can send me a check for whatever you feel it’s worth to you.”
Ivy Lee met with Charles Schwab’s management executives, spending only ten minutes with each and to each he said, “I want you to promise me that for the next ninety days, before leaving your office at the end of the day, you will make a list of the six most important things you have to do the next day and number them in their order of importance.”
The Executives asked if that was it?
Lee said, “That’s it. Scratch off each item after finishing it, and go on to the next one on your list. If something doesn’t get done, put it on the following day’s list.”
Each executive followed Lee’s instructions and three months later, Schwab studied the results and was so pleased that he sent Ivy Lee a check for US$35,000. This was at a time when the average worker in the US was earning $2 per day.
Since this conversation with my daughter, I’ve returned to the habit of creating a to-do list in the evening and marking off each item as they are completed.
Are you willing to make this ONE Thing a habit in your business? Leave a comment below and let me know how you increase your efficiency in business. And if you find value in what you’ve read, please pass this post on to your colleagues and friends.
Next week I’ll share a little story about the invisible fences that will stop you from some something as simple as making a TO-DO list and I’ll give you a tool that I use to help keep me on track with my success.
Until next time,
Be GRATEFUL, THINK BIG, Take Inspired Action, and Enjoy the Journey!
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Dawn R Nocera, Success Mindset Mentor, mentors entrepreneurs in over 7 countries how to end frustration and overwhelm and exponentially grow their current businesses profits while leveraging their time so they can have the time and energy to do the things they really want to in life.