I first read about the power of The Six List in Sarah Mae’s book, 31 Days to Clean. The story goes, a man by the name of Ivy Lee shared his secret time management technique to a manager of a steel company in the 1920’s. He charged the company nothing for his secret however asked to be payed what they thought to be fair after 90 days. When the time was up, Ivy Lee was given $25,000 along with a note saying that this was the most profitable business lesson they had ever learnt.
The secret you ask?
At the end of each day, write a list of the 6 most important things (in order of priority) to accomplish the next day.
That’s it! You can read the whole story here.
Feel like it’s not enough? So did I, until I tried it for a week. All those things that I had been putting off for months, I finally got around to doing. Do you go to bed thinking, ‘Oh no I forgot to do (insert really important thing here) today’? Me too. Every night!
I am a big list maker but my problem was I had too many lists. I would write a huge list for every little category of my life. Then I would wonder why at the end of the day I had still forgotten to make an important phone call or pay a bill.
I think I have finally found the perfect solution for all your time management and productivity problems.
This is my Six List for today –
- Unpack and Wash Clothes (We had a lovely weekend away but playing catch up is the worst)
- Email Jasmine (This is for work, something I have been meaning to do for a couple of days)
- Respond to text messages (I have a really bad habit of reading text messages then forgetting all about them. I try to schedule a text session every couple of days)
- Buy a present for Little H’s Friends Party
- Buy printer ink
- Post Dad’s birthday card
As you can see, contacting people is usually on my Six List.. Some days I am terrible at communicating, I am so flat out during the day that by the time I remember that I have to call or message someone it is 10pm. I don’t want my relationships to suffer or to get behind at work so I make it a priority.
Each day I work through my list, starting at the top (the most important) until I have completed them all. Don’t worry if you can’t get them all done, just put those on your list for tomorrow. The first couple of days you might only get three things crossed off, don’t fret. Once you get used to doing the most important things first, you will be able to get through them without a problem.
I need to keep my six list in plain view each day or I get distracted (usually by an organising project). So I made up some super cute printables and keep them on a clipboard on my kitchen bench. That way I can see it all day and know what I have to do next.
The Six List is now available in my online store as part of the Lists Kit.
You could use them on a clipboard, put them in your day planner or your Home Management Binder. You could even put one in a frame and use a dry erase marker like we did with our Cleaning Checklist. The options are endless.
Do you have a HUGE to do list but never seem to accomplish anything as well? I hope you can make use of these printables and start working through your list.