Getting Things Done


GTD. The new shorthand for “getting things done”. Are you GTD this week?

One of the ideas that I hold sacred has to do with making intentions. I believe that there is SO much power in making a solid intention, and writing it down or especially  speaking it aloud.

In fact, last week I had a wonderful visit with a dear friend who told me that she remembered a lunch date with me where I “made her say out loud” an intention she had. (Of course I’m sure I didn’t make her say it out loud. I mean, not like at gunpoint or anything.)

She went on to tell me how that one intention unfolded over time into an amazing outcome (almost miraculous!!) that she is thrilled about. She recognized, and expressed to me that, “It all started with that one intention, and saying it out loud.”

I value this idea of making an intention and speaking it out loud.

After that intention is made, and written down, and spoken aloud, what next? Next, we must take action, and sometimes often imperfect action.

So, I was talking to my Handsome Sweetheart this morning and mentioned my super excellent productivity device.

He said to me, “Blog post idea!!” And, yeah, I agree. It fits perfectly here, with this idea of following up those powerful intentions with solid action.

You will most definitely benefit from hearing about it and then using it yourself. It is by far the most effective tool I’ve used for getting things done, no matter what I’m working on.

It is completely low tech, it’s very simple. And it’s brilliant and time tested.

I give this to ALL of my clients, no matter what their goals are.

It’s a well-known story in the business world, and it can be used with great effect on your own specific goals and intentions. Here it is, in a nutshell:

Nearly a hundred years ago, Ivy Lee, considered the father of modern public relations and time management, was doing some work for Charles Schwab, the head of Bethlehem Steel. Schwab wanted to make his managers more effective and help them better utilize their time.
Schwab agreed to try Ivy Lee’s ‘system’ for 90 days and then send Lee a check for what he thought the idea was worth.
Lee advised Schwab to have his managers list their top 6 priorities for the next day. Number them 1 to 6 according to how important the task was. On the next day, take the task in the priority order. Not proceeding until a task was completed. Any task not completed was put on the list for the following day. At the end of the 90 day period Schwab sent Lee a check for $25,000.

The check that Charles Schwab sent to Ivy Lee was written in 1922. The inflation calculator I used says that would amount to nearly $350,000 in today’s economy.

Okay, so how’s that for a $350,000 idea? Do you think you could try out this tool this week and see how things change for you?

What if you were to use it to create better health? If tonight before you went to bed you jotted down the 6 most important things you could do tomorrow to improve your health and then actually did them, do you see how your health would improve?  Maybe they’d be really simple things, like drinking more water, eating a vegetable, or meditating.

What if your 6 items were the top things you could do tomorrow to improve your relationship with your partner or spouse or child? Do you see how your relationship would just have to get better if you acted on those priorities. What could you put on that list? Write a love note? Make a phone call? Do a small favor? Give a hug?

How could making this list improve your productivity at work, on the job, in your career or if you are a student, in your educational pursuit?

I encourage my clients to create a “doable” list. Not 6 big items that no person on earth could accomplish in a day. Just the top 6 things you need to get done. Then get it done.

Some people like to put the most disagreeable tasks first on the list to get them over and done with. Some people like to ease into the list with the more pleasant tasks first. I say you already know what the most important ones are, the top priorities, just make the list and follow through.  Don’t make this hard. 🙂

The thing I’ve found is that once this tool of making the Top 6 List becomes a habit, you’ll be pretty much unstoppable as far as getting things done. It’s simple. I keep a special little tablet and a pen near my bed and make sure I’ve got my list ready for each day. Maybe you’ll keep your list on your desk in your office. Do what works for you.

And don’t worry about sending me a check, just send me an email and let me know how it worked out for you.

And speaking of productivity…


I’ve been brainstorming new products for you, booking Virtual VIP Day Retreats, and writing up a storm.

My latest article is featured in the current issue of Wild Sister magazine. This month’s issue has the theme of Forgiveness.

This issue is beautiful and inspiring. If you haven’t treated yourself to a copy of Wild Sister, consider doing it now.

You’ll love it, it’s a treasure, and I’m honored to be a contributor.

Love & Magic,






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10 Responses to Getting Things Done

  1. Great post, Cindie!

    I’ve been experimenting with a rolling tasklist in Gdocs that I share with my VA. I’d been having a lot of difficulty getting things done in time to get them to her so that she could do HER job well for me.

    This seems to be helping quite a bit: plus, it gives her visibility about all the the other things I’m doing each week and gives her a chance to let me know if there are additional things she can help me out with.



  2. This sounds like an effective way to keep myself accountable when I say I’m going to do something (and don’t follow through), I’ll give it a go, thanks!

    • Cindie says:

      Hi Melissa,
      Yes! I hadn’t thought of it that way, but having that little list staring at you is indeed a good way to keep yourself accountable, especially when you don’t want to keep moving something to the next day’s list over and over!! Thank you for reading! Let me know how the system works out for you. 🙂 xo

  3. Heather says:

    I love this post – Fabulous idea and something that I know really works. Great reminder. Will be looking forward to reading more of your posts.

  4. Thanks Cindie!! My hubby would say.. I have been telling you this!! But sometimes you just have to hear it from someone else!

    • Cindie says:

      LOL! That’s funny, Joy! 🙂 I think we “hear” it when we are ready 😉 Sometimes the Universe has to send quite a few people with the same message to me. lol. I wish you BIG success! xo

  5. Jade says:

    Hello Cindie,
    I love lists. In fact I am THE list writer in my family. Tick lists, to do lists, packing up lists, and even help lists. My most current one is the 3 things I will do to assist my teenage son at school, its on the fridge, where i read it every morning when I’m getting lunches sorted. It reads, Jade helping Curtis, 1) Check in each day to overview diary use. 2) Check in 1 x week about learning goals 3) Every day BE NICE. (I really like that last one, because sometimes I get my aspirations for my childrens lives confused for theirs.) I will give the 6 top priorities list a go, I’m always up for a new list idea.
    Regards, Jade

    • Cindie says:

      Hi Jade,
      I love lists, too! Looking forward to hearing how the Top 6 list works for you 🙂 Thank you for reading! xo

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