Purpose Oriented Time Management

Perhaps one of the most impactful stories I’ve read the past few years has been that of Ivy Lee and Charles Schwab regarding purpose oriented time management. Lee was considered America’s first public relations man. He discussed a simple time management technique with Charles Schwab, one of Andrew Carnegie’s business partners:

In 1912 a management consultant, Ivy Lee, called on Charles M. Schwab of the Bethlehem Steel Company. Lee outlined briefly his firm’s services, ending with the statement: “With our service, you’ll know how to manage better.”

The indignant Schwab said, “What we need around here is not more ‘knowing’ but more doing, not knowledge but action; if you can give us something to pep us up to do the things we ALREADY KNOW we ought to do, I’ll gladly listen to you and pay you anything you ask.”

“Fine,” said Lee. “I can give you something in twenty minutes that will step up your action and doing at least 50 percent.”

“O.K.,” said Schwab. “I have just about that much time before I must leave to catch a train. What’s your idea?”

Lee pulled a blank 3×5 note sheet out of his pocket, handed it to Schwab and said: “Write on this sheet the six most important tasks you have to do tomorrow.”

That took about three minutes.

“Now,” said Lee, “Number them in the order of their importance.”

Five more minutes pass.

“Now,” said Lee, “Put this sheet in your pocket and the first thing tomorrow morning look at item one and start working on it. Pull the sheet out of your pocket every 15 minutes and look at item one until it is finished. Then tackle item two in the same way, then item three. Do this until quitting time. Don’t be concerned if you only finished two or three, or even if you only finish one item. You’ll be working on the important ones. The others can wait. If you can’t finish them all by this method, you couldn’t with another method either, and without some system you’d probably not even decide which are most important.”

“Spend the last five minutes of every working day making out a ‘must do’ list for the next day’s tasks. After you’ve convinced yourself of the worth of this system, have your men try it. Try it out as long as you wish and then send me a check for what YOU think it’s worth.”

The whole interview lasted about 25 minutes. In two weeks Schwab set Lee a check for $25,000—a thousand dollars a minute.

He added a note saying the lesson was the most profitable from a money standpoint that he had ever learned.

Did it work?

In five years it turned the unknown Bethlehem Steel Company into the biggest independent steel producer in the world and made Schwab a hundred-million-dollar fortune and the best known steel man alive at that time.

Do you have great information like this coming into your life on a daily basis? If not, then be sure to get your hands on the LIFE Leadership Subscription! It has a 30 day, money back guarantee and you will be filling your mind with great ideas like the one above! 

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Russ & Rebecca Climie are known to be the best at helping other people reach into the toolbox of leadership to achieve something that matters. They are famous for helping people live the lives they've always wanted, specifically those leaders who are driven to succeed in significant ways and are sick of the apathy, indifference and mediocrity they see all around them.

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Russ & Rebecca Climie are known to be the best at helping other people reach into the toolbox of leadership to achieve something that matters.

They are famous for helping people live the lives they've always wanted, specifically those leaders who are driven to succeed in significant ways and are sick of the apathy, indifference and mediocrity they see all around them.
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