Today I learned of a simple productivity technique called the Ivy Lee method, created in 2018 but still relevant.

  1. At the end of each work day, write down the six most important things you need to accomplish tomorrow. Do not write down more than six tasks.
  2. Prioritize those six items in order of their true importance.
  3. When you arrive tomorrow, concentrate only on the first task. Work until the first task is finished before moving on to the second task.
  4. Approach the rest of your list in the same fashion. At the end of the day, move any unfinished items to a new list of six tasks for the following day.
  5. Repeat this process every working day.

There’s an app that makes this easier, appropriately named Ivy. I really appreciate the retrospective graphs. A few months ago I started using a simpler productivity system - weekly planning and retrospectives. For the latter, I look at what I accomplished vs. what I committed to. Retrospectives highlight my mistakes, which I try to avoid in my next round of planning.