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Time management lesson

Updated on November 11, 2013

End Procrastination

Form a forwarded mail I read the story of a management lesson.

Charles M. Schwab, the president of the Bethlehem Steel told his consultant Mr. Ivy Lee that what they needed was not knowing more, but doing more. Lee told him that he could give Schwab a method in 20 minutes which could increase the effectiveness by 50% at least.

So Lee gave Schwab a sheet of paper and told him to wire down the six most important things he had to do the next day. Schwab wrote them down and Lee told him to number them in order of importance. He did.

Lee told him to take out the sheet at the beginning of the day and start work on item No.1. He was to look at the sheet every 15 minutes and look at the the item that he was supposed to be currently working on.

Lee also told him not to be concerned if he didn't finish all the items on the list that day, only that he worked on the most important item. Lee also advised Schwab take at least five minutes to make a fresh list of "MUST DO" at the end of every working day for the next day.

Once he was convinced that the method was sound he has to tell his men about it. Lee said to try out the method as long as he wished and to send him a check for whatever Schwab thought it was worth. Just 20 minutes of conversation, a small piece of advice.

Schwab sent Lee a check for $25,000 (worth more than $400,000 in today's dollars) two weeks after the conversation. In the enclosed note he mentioned that it was the most profitable management lesson he ever learned.

Follwing this method, Schwab turned Bethlehem Steel into the biggest independent steel producer in the world. Also he created a personal fortune of $100 million. In today's dollars, that is equal to more than $1 billion.

Procrastination means to delay doing something that you should do usually because you do not want to do it. Some times it becomes a habit and it will kill our growth. We procrastinate many things in our daily life. there are two way to do it. One is the right way and the other is the wrong way. The right way is to put off the unimportant things. Cleaning up after yourself is important. Cleaning the garage can wait. Students can put off their TV. They can put of playing one more game. If they put off the studies, it will be very difficult for them to complete their studies on time.

I have seen co-workers, employees, bosses take short cuts, not do thing they said they were going to do, put off important thins and they are going to affects others. No one trusts them and their reputation gets ruined. Do you think it is alright to commit to someone that you'll do something and never does that. Six year olds do that not the responsible adults. If you have any desire to have a happy, productive life, please don't do that.

The wrong way is to put off the important things like filing the tax returns, mowing the lawn or not replying to letters (Especially business letters). If you procrastinate these things, it will get worst. You have to do it eventually. Why don't you do it now, it could avoid unpleasant situations.


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    • Jaspals profile image

      Jaspal Singh 6 years ago from India / Australia

      Certainly nice lesson for management. One can succeed if he plan things properly. A goal without right planning remains just a goal - people have visions, intentions, ideas, dreams which never happen, because they are not planned.

    • jacobkuttyta profile image

      jacobkuttyta 8 years ago from Delhi, India

      Thanks Carol,

      I can wait till you will be able to pay. lol...

      Have a great day

    • Carol the Writer profile image

      Carolyn Blacknall 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Great hub! I wish I had $400,000 for you.I am supposed to be doing my taxes, but I am reading hubs. It is the October extension after the July extension. OK, I better get to it. -Carol

    • Cari Jean profile image

      Cari Jean 8 years ago from Bismarck, ND

      I have always been a procrastinator and it has usually caused unneccesary stress in my life. I'm trying to work on it although I do admit there are times I loiter on facebook when I should be working on my writing projects.

    • ediggity profile image

      ediggity 8 years ago

      I'm procrastinating right now. I've got 8 topics, and haven't done any writing for a couple weeks.

    • dohn121 profile image

      dohn121 8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      What a great story! I believe that all of us are procrastinators in some way, shape, or form (especially writers for that matter). Thank you for sharing this!

    • Bail Up ! profile image

      Bail Up ! 8 years ago

      I try to get the important things done first and then procrastinate on the not so important. That works for me.

    • profile image

      lyricsingray 8 years ago

      I admit it I procrastinate all the time, some tell me the most consistent thing I do is be inconsistent, :-D Thanks, great Write!