How Often Do You Use A Checklist?
In 2009, Atul Gawande released the book “The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right“.
And it was a best seller.
How could something as simple and mundane as a checklist be the subject of a best-selling book?
checklist is one of the most mundane and unsophisticated things in the
world. Just a bunch of words on a piece of paper that we wrote
ourselves. In most cases, it’s not even worth as much as the paper it’s
written on. It has practically no intrinsic value.
And yet, depending on what we use it for, it can save us money, make us more productive (perhaps enough to get a promotion or raise), and even save lives. So if we use it wisely, its extrinsic value is tremendous.
yet, it’s often not utilized as much as it could be. Or at least not in
the most productive way. For example, we have wish lists, which are
practically buy lists for ourselves. And sometimes, even a list of new
year’s resolutions, though they should be more of a plan rather than
just a list.
But in our daily lives, there are lists that can really help us.
our To Do’s can let us focus on doing things efficiently, instead of
focusing on just remembering what we’re supposed to do.
could also have a list of questions to ask or information to look for
before investing. Or a list of questions to answer before buying a
luxury item. 🙂
They can also serve as inspiration and
guide post. By listing our life goals and placing it here we can see it
everyday, we can focus our time and resources on what is really
important to us.
|life goals on your shirt?
A checklist for all occasions
And it’s quite versatile too. We can have a simple list for things like shopping and grocery needs.
if our time is limited, we can have a list with priorities to get sure
we get the important things done first. We can rank the items by order
of importance, or simply put High, Medium, Low next to the items.
more complicated sets of tasks or a really busy lifestyle, we can have a
matrix. A square with four areas: urgent and important items on the
upper left, urgent but not important on the upper right, important but
not urgent on the lower left, and the rest in the lower right.
Personally, I use checklists a lot. I’ve always got one or two lists everyday for different things. And I’m not even the forgetful type. But letting a piece of paper do the job of remembering details keeps my mind fresh for the more important stuff and lets me focus on being efficient, rather than just getting them done.