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Getting Organised

Having attended the IPPA Annual Conference on Sunday in Lyrath Estate, there was one thing that stayed with me from two of the speakers in particular. Out of all the knowledge offered and out of all the ideas put forward Padraic and Sonia Deasy‘s presentation reminded me of a story I once heard. The Deasy’s spoke of being organized through the software, ‘Studio Plus’ I think it was. Then Padraic said something that I thought was very telling. He mentioned that his father use to say: “If you cannot run your business between nine and six, you are doing something wrong.”

IPPA AGM, Lyrath Estate, Kilkenny

Padraic & Sonia Deasy speaking at the IPPA AGM in Lyrath Estate Co. Kilkenny

This reminded me of a story:

Charles Schwab, when he was President of Bethlehem Steel many years ago, called in Ivy Lee, a consultant, and said to him, ‘Show me a way to get more things done with my time, and I’ll pay you any fee within reason.’ Lee replied, ‘Fine. I’ll give you something in 20 minutes that will step up your output by at least 50%.’

With that, Lee handed Schwab a blank piece of paper and said, ‘Write down the six most important things you have to do tomorrow and number them in order of importance. Now put this piece of paper in your pocket. First thing tomorrow morning look at item one and start working on it until you finish it; then do item two, and so on; do this until quitting time and don’t be concerned if you have only finished one or two. You will be working on the most important ones anyway. If you can’t finish them all by this method, you could not have done it by any other method either, and without some system you’d probably not even have decided which was the most important.’

Then Lee said, ‘Try this system every working day. After you’ve convinced yourself of the value of this system, have your men try it, then send me a cheque for what you think it’s worth.

Several weeks later Schwab sent Lee a cheque for $25,000, with a note, proclaiming the advice, ‘the most profitable he had ever followed.’ The concept helped Schwab earn 100 million dollars and turn Bethlehem Steel into the biggest independent steel producer in the world at the time.

I have used a similar “To Do List.” I have found that the list helps me accomplish more and accomplish it faster. It keeps me focused and I avoid wasting time on the less important things. So whether it’s a fancy studio database system or something as simple as a pencil and paper, if you think it’s all getting a bit much;

– Write it down
– Number the items in order of importance
– Get to work

It’s not going to save your life but it might help a little.

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