Are you spending hours preparing for a big presentation, and your laptop battery dying before you even start preparing for the presentation? With the help of checklists, a person can form good habits for himself, reminders about regular drinking of water, active participation in sports, training, etc. You’ve tried to outsource a time-consuming task like creating a large-scale advertising campaign. In this case, you need a life checklist.
Why are checklists effective in daily work?
Checklists can effectively help you avoid a large number of significant mistakes and make certain tasks easier to complete. It also frees up some of your mental space so you can focus on more important tasks, getting them done consistently. Checklists are important productivity tools. Whether you’re a manager at a large company or you’re running your own business, two checklists will help you avoid mistakes and complete important business tasks faster.
Checklist 1: Read-Do
When you’ve made dinner from a recipe, you know the checklist to read and follow. It describes the steps necessary to achieve a specific result, for example: making a pizza. When you’re creating Facebook ads for your business, a checklist like this should include detailed information on how to properly set up your ads to maximize performance and results and to carefully track your return on your ad investment. You can also use a reading checklist to delegate tasks to other members of your team or other employees. After all, if they’re worth hiring, they need to be able to follow your recipe for success. Make it a habit to document the key tasks you perform regularly to achieve specific results.
Checklist 2: Do-Confirm
The Do-Confirm checklist contains those key tasks that need to be memorized. Pilots use the Do-Confirm checklist to make sure they don’t miss things like checking all the aircraft’s mechanisms and systems are in good working order. Essentially, this type of checklist helps pilots safely operate aircraft without relying solely on memory. You’re unlikely to forget to write your speech or exercise, but how do you make sure you have enough printed materials for your attendees and that your presentation remote is charged and working? A thoughtful free online to-do list can help you avoid unpleasant, avoidable problems at work. When you travel a lot, this type of checklist can help you make sure you have everything you need (like your passport) before you leave your home or office.
How to write a thoughtful, logical, and understandable checklist?
Checklists can be documented on paper, in spreadsheets, or in several online tools that are important and useful in providing relevant checklists in one accessible location. Make sure your checklist is legible and easy to understand. Also, avoid long lists. A good checklist is only five to nine points long and fits on one page. You may not get the checklist right the first time, so practice and refine your checklist as needed. You may not be a writer, but an effective checklist might include checking off work done over the weekend, writing a book at the end of the month, or grading reports properly. To create your first checklist, ask yourself what tasks you do regularly, identify the relevant tasks, then turn them into a relevant checklist of things you must complete within a specific time frame.
What are the key benefits of a thoughtful checklist?
Simply put, a checklist is a list of actions with the ability to mark them as complete (and the ability to check their progress). Checklists are a relatively simple way to efficiently execute even the most complex processes. Checklists help keep things organized. You can also compare the current state with the model that is the best. In this case, the list also includes the option to add a compatibility rating. Among other things, checklists are also used to control occupational health and safety. The key advantage of checklists is the simplicity mentioned above. It is also the most effective way to improve communication when teamwork is especially important. With a checklist, you can easily record the next steps of the process and at the same time minimize the risk of losing important data. Checklists help to organize further activities and have a disciplinary effect.
How to create a checklist?
The effectiveness of a checklist depends on many key factors. One of them is the complexity of the checklist. Items presented in the checklist should be as specific and detailed as possible. It takes time to create such a list. Nowadays, people and employees of many companies and business organizations are increasingly using checklists to relieve their brains of remembering dozens of tasks by making a well-thought-out list of certain actions that need to be checked. The orderliness of the compiled items provides a reliable opportunity to cope with complex tasks much easier and their consistent execution, and thanks to modern technologies, checklists are always nearby, wherever you are.
When should you create a thoughtful checklist?
Additional checklists that contain only those items of interest to managers can be useful to supplement the main checklist. These lists mainly serve to improve the quality of management activities and facilitate the administration of team activities. A checklist is a versatile tool. This tool is widely used in aviation, finance, medicine, space, control systems, etc. In everyday life, we come across the simplest checklists that help in solving everyday household tasks. Checklists help you stay organized.
This extremely simple invention revolutionized many areas of human activity, from the military to medicine, including aviation. Many companies and organizations today find their way through risk management systems and quality control processes, ultimately arriving at the principles of time management and achieving goals with elaborate checklists that include a list of activities that ensure the realization of a specific task or the achievement of a desired goal. The key checklist tasks are planned chronologically and in the correct order so that you don’t miss anything and that you complete them in the correct order. Checklists have several key benefits:
- Simplicity and ease of use;
- Ability to standardize behavior and work methods;
- Provide an opportunity to reduce the duration of activities on tasks;
- Provide an opportunity to reduce the risk of making any mistakes;
- Create a culture of discipline;
- They allow me to remember every little thing.
Four key principles of creating checklists
Checklists should be short and simple. Ideally, you will only use one sheet of paper, you can format it for better understanding. The checklist should be accurate, efficient, and easy to use even in the most difficult situations. The checklist should focus on the most critical steps to avoid additional errors. Before you begin the process of creating a checklist, you should describe all the details. Each step of the checklist should state exactly what needs to be done. There should be no room for ambiguity or interpretation. Once the checklist is created, it needs to be tested. You can get an idea by testing the list a few days after creating it. Here you can find out exactly where you need to make corrections or add or remove something. It is better to leave a few days for finalizing the created checklist. When the deadline is over, go back to the checklist and ask yourself the following questions as you analyze. Need this item on your checklist? Why did I mention this? If your answer is no, you should consider deleting it. Is this item a specific action that can be taken and deleted? Is each point clear enough to give this procedure to someone else to follow without explanation? If you answer no, then you need to work on explaining each step. (1)
Key features of working with checklists
Improvement of work efficiency. Multitasking doesn’t mean productivity. Studies show that multitasking can reduce productivity by up to 40%. Checklists organize, sort, and prioritize your activities so you can focus on one activity at a time. Checklists give you more room for creativity. A checklist allows you to create something like a little cheat sheet that you can refer to for repeated actions. This frees up some of the attention that should be devoted to memorizing each important step of the task. Thanks to this, you can focus more on other, more creative activities. Simplified delegation of tasks. Delegation of responsibilities is an important part of teamwork.
Checklists make task allocation much easier. Prepare a checklist to assign specific steps and tasks to team members. Orders and priorities are usually assigned. This increases the chances of a successful mission, especially if you recommend someone for a new mission. The control sheet is a kind of guideline when assigning new responsibilities. It directs the work to be done. Validation of procedures. Just because you do something a certain way doesn’t mean it’s the only or most effective way to achieve your goals. For example, when we observe our work and examine even the most repetitive and automated actions, we see that all previous steps are useless. Maybe some of them take too long or need to be rearranged. A handy checklist comes to the rescue. The process of its creation is an effective opportunity to test and improve existing practices.
Checklists make it easy to track your progress
Using this method requires constant monitoring of progress and review of where you are in the process. Without evaluation points, there is no point in using checklists. Especially in teamwork, getting stuck on a task can delay the completion of other activities. To create an effective checklist, there are a few rules to remember. This makes it a tool for teamwork and individual work. First, identify areas where a checklist is a useful exercise. It makes sense to keep permanent records of repetitive activities that are an integral part of our work. Once you’ve identified areas where a checklist can help, break it down into individual steps and prioritize.
Also ask yourself if some of these activities seem so mundane that they distract us from time to time, without them. The various small details and adding them to the checklist are very important. This will save you from having to remember all the details that could potentially become important. A good checklist is a simple checklist. A checklist that is too long can cause more confusion than simplify and save time. Checklists are not instructions that describe specific actions in detail. Use this tool to focus on key activities that need to be done in a specific order or that can easily be missed. To be useful, a checklist should not be overly complex.
The words and phrases they contain must be understood by everyone who uses them. Talk to your team to make sure everyone understands what’s going on and when to act. There are two rules to keep in mind when it comes to content and format. Avoid long words – the content of the checklist should be easy to understand. Find important words and abbreviations that are commonly used in teams and organizations Avoid rejection – your checklist should clearly state what to do, not what to avoid. Once your checklist is ready, share it so everyone can use it. The digital version of the checklist is much easier for large groups. This is especially important for checklists tailored to your team’s needs. (2)
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