One gentleman shared that his company’s president, strongly motivated by the following story, attributes all of his success to it.
In the early 1900′s, Andrew Carnegie, a wealthy industrialist, hired a young consultant to help him increase the productivity of the office employees. After observing them work for almost a month, the consultant advised Mr. Carnegie that most of the people wasted time in the morning getting started. It was as if they weren’t sure what needed to be done and in what order.
Mr. Carnegie didn’t expect a simple solution but the consultant was confident that his suggestion would work. Mr. Carnegie agreed to try it for a month and if it helped he would send the consultant a check for whatever he thought the idea was worth. After a few weeks of using the method (and before the month was up) Carnegie impressed by the dramatic results in his own productiveness and effectiveness that he sent the man a check for $25,000 (conservatively, that amount would equal $1,000,000 today).
Carnegie developed the habit completely, then began sharing it with his employees. Morale, attitude and profitability from this single, simple activity was also so remarkable that Carnegie continued to use these simple steps the rest of his life believing it to be among the most valuable advice he had ever received.
What was it that so greatly impressed this wealthy industrialist?
- Each night before bed, write down six things that you must accomplish tomorrow, then prioritize them by importance.
- Upon awakening, begin immediately to work doing the first thing on the list until it is completed, then move on to the next one.
- Complete each task in order. Do not allow anything to distract or redirect your efforts as you work down the list until every task on the paper is completed.
- In the evening move any items yet unfinished to the top of the list and add tomorrows 6 “must do” items.
- Make your list each night and every day work it so that the process becomes habit.
Why it is said to work: Your brain needs to calm down before sleeping. Thinking about what all you have to do tomorrow and trying to solve problems can keep you awake. This simple system, in which you write down your top most important tasks each day, will allow you to get a good night’s sleep as it is all laid out, allowing your rested mind to think clearer in the morning.