Just Do You

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Checklists

Posted by georgiannasaysjustdoyou on July 22, 2010


Most people either love them or hate them.  Me?  I have a love/hate relationship with them. Last Spring I read a book called The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande.  It gave me a whole new respect for the concept and a new appreciation for its effectiveness when used properly.

The most commonly used written checklist is the grocery list.  But most of us have checklists in our head.  If you are good at keeping things straight in your head, then you are doing great.  I am going to make a pitch for written checklists for the rest of us.

The most successful people I know have written checklists that I see them refer to throughout the day.  I see people with index cards or paper in their pocket that they pull out and add to if they agree to do something in a meeting.  I see people use their phones/PDA’s to add to their tasks lists and I see people pull out their paper calendars and write to do’s on the calendar.  Each of them has a different system, but one that works for them.

I find that when I get lazy with my system, as I sometimes do, that I make mistakes.  Recently, I was supposed to meet someone for lunch.  I looked at my calendar to make sure I was available and then did not type in the appointment.  I had nothing going on that day.  Then 30 minutes after we were supposed to meet, she called my cell to ask me if I was on my way…  How totally embarrassing.  She was gracious and forgiving, but it was a fire under my butt to remind me to use my system.

I usually start and end my day with a checklist.  I look to see what I accomplished and even write in things that I did that were not originally on the list just so that I can check it off!  It’s soooo satisfying.  And I move things to the next day that I was not able to get to.  Part of my checklist is looking at my calendar to see what I have going on for the next day so that I do not get caught unprepared.  Business cards…check.  Brochures…check.  Gas money or lunch money…check.  What if you take the T to work but you need to go somewhere for an appointment that you need a car to get to?  A simple checklist keeps you straight…but only if you use it!

Keeping on top of things is a big part of keeping a peaceful life.  It reduces stress significantly.  Knowing where you are and what is on your plate is huge.  Even if your plate overfloweth…you know it.

I don’t have the answers, but I always have thoughts.  Won’t you share yours?

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One Response to “Checklists”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Women on the Verge, Just Do You. Just Do You said: Checklists keep you on task! https://georgiannasaysjustdoyou.wordpress.com/2010/07/22/checklists/: http://bit.ly/d04IGM […]

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