Ivy Lee Method: Applying the 100-Year-Old ToDo Productivity Hack in Pagico

The famous Ivy Lee daily routine has been proven to be a highly effective productivity strategy for getting more done everyday. It is surprisingly simple and quite actionable in Pagico. Here’s Ive Lee’s simple daily routine for maximizing productivity:

  1. At the end of each work day, write down the 6 most important things you need to accomplish tomorrow. Do not write down more than 6 tasks.
  2. Prioritize these 6 tasks in order of their true importance.
  3. On the next day, concentrate only on the first task. Work until the first task is finished before moving on to the second task.
  4. Get to the rest of your list in the same fashion. At the end of the day, move any unfinished items to a new list of 6 tasks for the following day.
  5. Repeat this process for every working day.

This absurdly simple technique has been proven quite effective in history. So, how do you implement it in Pagico? The answer is the Today view (invoked by clicking on the “Today” button in the toolbar, or keyboard shortcut Cmd + 0 (zero).

Here’s the same Ive Lee’s method adapted into the Pagico system:

  1. At the end of each work day, invoke the Today view and create your 6 most important tasks for the next day. To create new tasks here, click on the “+” button next to the “Tomorrow” section on the right (or use keyboard shortcut Cmd + T). When writing the task, be sure to include “tomorrow” so that Pagico will set the due date automatically. If certain tasks belonged to specific projects or contacts, set the save-to destination there so that the tasks are filed correctly.
  2. Prioritize the 6 tasks in the “Tomorrow” section by dragging and dropping the drag handle of each task.
  3. On the next day, open up Pagico and go to the Today view. Your 6 tasks should show up in the top section now and they will show up in the custom order that you set on the previous day. If you see the calendar view instead, switch over to the list view. Work on the first task and only move on until the first task is done.
  4. Get to the rest of your tasks in the same fashion. At the end of the day, move unfinished items into the Tomorrow group and Pagico will automatically shift their due dates to the following day.
  5. Repeat this process every working day.

What if you discover something that you kept on pushing off? The Ivy Lee method suggest that you get rid of the tasks that just aren’t that important. You can certainly do that. But with Pagico, you have one more option: Schedule it “Someday” (by right-clicking on a task and choose Snooze -> Someday). By doing so, this item goes to your Someday Tasks list (which is essentially your “Task Backlog”) that you can periodically review and clean up (or re-prioritize as needed).

Why was such a simple strategy so effective? James Clear, author of award-winning book Atomic Habits, identified the following strengths of this method:

  1. It’s simple enough to actually work.
  2. It forces you to make tough decisions and properly prioritize.
  3. It removes the friction of starting.
  4. It requires you to single-task (yes, you read that right).