Running a successful work from home business requires discipline (see our top five tips…). One of the key areas we must show this is when deciding how to spend our working day. If we haven’t got a list of tasks that require actions or a diary filled with appointments then we run the risk of letting the day slip away from us with nothing to show from it. This might be ok if we are getting a fixed wage in a real world job, although I suspect not for very long. However when you are self employed not delivering each and every working day will see that pay check, and customer base, dwindle faster than you can say ‘broke’.
When I am training our Scentsy team leaders on time management and how to fit their business around family, other jobs etc I teach them the Ivy Lee method. I love this time management system as it is incredibly simplistic and effective – so much so I actually manage to follow my own advice on this one and employ it daily. Ivy who you ask? Ivy Lee was an efficiency advisor brought in by Charles Schwab, Bethlehem Steel (world’s largest steel producers), to show him how to manage his business better.
Lee told him he could teach him a skill in 20 minutes that would improve his productivity by 50%, the story goes that Schwab offered to pay Lee any amount (within reason) if it was effective. A week later Ivy Lee was $25,000 richer (a lot in the late 1800’s) and Charles Schwab was proclaiming Lee’s method to be the single most profitable lesson he had ever learnt. Lee’s method calls for us to priorities tasks and stay on a job until it is completed – here is the Ivy Lee Method.
- · At the end of your working day take a piece of plain paper and write on it all the tasks you have to complete the next day
- · Review your list and number them from one to however many tasks/goals you have
- · Rewrite the list starting with one and so on then fold the paper and leave it till tomorrow
- First thing tomorrow morning take it out and look at item number one. Don’t look at the others, just number one, and start working on it. And if you can, stay with it until it’s completed. Then take item number two the same way, then number three, and so on, till you have to quit for the day
- Don’t worry if you can’t complete all your jobs on the list using this method because chances are no other method would have got them all done either
- End your day by writing another list out
Try this method for a week and see how productive your days become. Chances are you will see productivity increase and your income will as well. For me this is the cornerstone for the time management of our Scentsy business and a lesson well worth learning – and thankfully its free one.
Going to try the Ivy Lee Method? – Let us know in the comments section how your trial went.