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$500,000 Worth of Productivity Advice

$500,000 Worth of Productivity Advice

What if we told you there is a way that you, and everyone you know, could increase their productivity exponentially in mere minutes?

Would you be intrigued? Remotely interested?

Would you laugh if we told you that this productivity tip was over one hundred years old and works today as well, if not better, than it did way back then?

Go ahead…laugh! But then, read on!

The Ivy Lee Productivity Tip

As the story goes, in 1918, Charles Schwab (yes, that Charles Schwab), the president of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation, the largest shipbuilder and the second-largest steel producer in America at the time, arranged a meeting with a highly-respected productivity consultant by the name of Ivy Lee.

Mr. Schwab had a very real request of Mr. Lee…“Show me how to make the company more productive.”

Shocking right?

Mr. Lee’s response, “Give me 15 minutes with your management team”.

Of course, just as you would today if you went searching for some guidance and mentorship, Mr. Schwab inquired about cost.

Mr. Lee said, “Nothing! Unless it works. After three months, you can send me a check for whatever you feel it’s worth to you.”

Even the worst of businessmen would take this deal right?

So the 15-minute training took place and Mr. Lee shared the following productivity tips with the company’s management team. (Remember, they didn’t have Nootropics back then, so that wasn’t a part of Mr. Lee’s suggestions.)

How to Get More Done in Less Time

Step #1 – each night, before bed, write down the six most important “tasks” you want, or need to accomplish the next day.

Step #2 – after you’ve compiled your list, number the tasks in order, based on priority, #1 being the most important.

Step #3 – the next day, begin on task #1, until complete, before moving onto task #2, and so on.

Step #4 – carry any unfinished tasks from the day over to the next day when you begin to make your list at night.

That’s it! These four steps, repeated, day in, day out will increase efficiency and productivity for anyone, immediately.

This simple little routine forces you to prioritize that which you must get done, and eliminates the need to think about what must be done first, when the time comes to get started.

“Knowing is half the battle.” – G.I. Joe

Honestly, when you know what needs to be done, getting it done simply becomes a matter of taking action, right?

Although this strategy sounded so overly simple, Schwab implemented it at Bethlehem Steel.

Three months later, Mr. Schwab was so excited at the company’s progress, he wrote a $25,000 check to Mr. Lee as a payment/thank you.

A $25,000 check written in 1918 is almost the equivalent of a $500,000 today.

More importantly, where is the Charles Schwab organization today? (See if you don’t already know.)

So, do you think this overly simple productivity tip was worth the money Mr. Schwab spent? We sure do!

Do You Really Want to Increase Your Productivity

What do you think? Can you bring yourself to create this habit either at the end of each workday, or each evening right before bed?

If you can, we can almost guarantee that you will see an exponential increase in your efficiency and overall productivity.

There is no question, there is an absolute power in knowing, when you start each day, exactly what it is that you must or want to accomplish.

These four, easy-to-follow steps can make almost anyone, anywhere, more productive overnight. But wait, we aren’t quite done yet.

Paper vs Technology

One last thought! While we recognize that some people still like to work with old fashion pen and paper, we would highly suggest that you utilize something more virtual, more mobile, such as your smartphone.

And yes, if you tend to jot your ideas, reminders, thoughts down on paper, or stickies, the below suggestion can still be put to use. All you have to do is transfer the reminders to from paper to technology as you plan and prioritize each evening. 

Using some things such as your Reminders app for your calendar will allow you to maximize efficiency over the long term.

If we were going to make a simple suggestion on setup for this process, we would say…

Reminders App Setup

  1. Create 3 lists on your reminders app of choice (Inbox, Today’s Tasks, Up Next)
  2. Your Inbox should be set to your default list so that whenever you create a new reminder it gets dropped in here, waiting for you to file accordingly.
  3. The Today’s Tasks list should be self-explanatory, but this is where your six prioritized tasks will be moved each night for the following days attack.
  4. The Up Next list is where everything to be done will sit and wait, until it becomes part of Today’s Tasks!
  5. Each night, when you perform your productivity processing, simply move the 6 Top Tasks to the corresponding list AND empty your Inbox (moving items added to the proper list, either to be done tomorrow, or in the future)

That’s it! It really can’t be any easier than this.

One Final Productivity Tip & Trick

Set a reminder to check/update your reminders and tasks!

Sound silly? A reminder for reminders?

Maybe. But until it truly becomes habit, a reminder, set with an alarm, every night, at say 9pm, will ensure you are notified and get it done.

Remember, we live in a day and age where information overload is a huge issue.  There is a good chance, even for those with the best of intentions, that a failure to properly plan a process will lead to missed deadlines, opportunities, and responsibilities.  

Now, get to it! Start tonight! No delay!

Just 5-10 minutes this evening and see how much more smoothly tomorrow goes. Enjoy!

Always Remember…

You only have one life to live, one body to live it in…so take care of it. Progress, not perfection. Good, better, best with your food intake, and some form of “movement” daily. Get your nutritional foundation from food, supplement where necessary, and drink plenty of water. We are here to help so feel free to drop us comments or questions as often as you’d like… And, don’t forget, always consult your physician before making any changes to your diet or exercise regiment.

Live a 3D Life…Decisions Determine Destinations!


  • Asraful, we are happy to hear that and, by all means, share away!

    The 3D Labs Support Team on
  • Thanks so much for sharing a beautiful, informative article with us. The principal element of this article is about $500,000 Worth of Productivity Advice. It’s really amazing that you covered this subject so well in your post. I have learned a lot from reading your post and gained a lot of knowledge about it. I like The Ivy Lee Productivity Tip of the points mentioned in your article. I will try to follow these tips and build myself more productivity that I learned from your article.
    Finally, I would like to say that i have enjoyed the article, so I would like to share the detailed tips on how to build productivity in a person on my Facebook group so that everyone can know these and make themselves productive.

    Md. Asraful Islam on
  • By all means, let us know if you find it useful once you begin to implement it! 🎯

    The 3D Labs Support Team on
  • Thanks for the great article. Although, I am a productivity fun I always find myself to do well when it comes to other people and situations rather than myself. You have made a point about replacing paper with technology. I think it will be a great idea for me as I always get destructed and instead of doing an important task, I rather go and do something far less important. Small tasks bring small results and that I must change.

    Nektarios on
  • By all means Charne, please let us know if/what you decide to give a try and how it works for you.

    The 3D Labs Support Team on
  • Love the advice that you offer regarding productivity. There are so many factors that contribute to productivity in general. I remember when I was in University that we learned about the different motivational factors that in turn can lead to increased productivity and that it is not always money that motivates. It is however a very strong driving force. I will be sure to make use of some of these tips. Thank you in advance.

    Charne on
  • We are thrilled to hear that Ibrahim! Please, by all means, let us know how it goes!

    The 3D Labs Support Team on
  • I really needed some productivity tips like that. I wrote the four steps down to use at night later when I’m ready to start implementing them because I surely have no doubt this works but organization is key. The $500,000 Worth of Productivity Advice, is really worth it as long as we put in some practice. This story gave me some insight on how to market as well, thank you for that.

    Ibrahim on

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