Mondays are productivity days at SimpleProductivity blog.
Checklists are a great tool for productivity. They can save a lot of time and prevent mistakes. Here are 5 reasons to get checklists into your productivity system today.
- You don’t have to re-think something. Productivity is all about not wasting effort. By creating a reusable checklist, you won’t have to figure out all the steps to complete something you don’t do very often. Example: our weather is such that it is easy to forget to prepare the house and yard for winter. By having a checklist, we can make sure we get all the water hoses drained and the faucets turned off — even if they are covered by landscaping that removes the possibility of a visual reminder.
- You don’t have to waste time and energy remembering. Checklists show their power when you use them to prompt your for things you don’t often do. Example: by creating a checklist of pre-vacation items, I remember to do things like turn down the water heater, stop the mail, and bolt the garage.
- You can hand a task off to someone easily. Since the thinking has already been done and the steps listed out, you can hand the task off to someone else and be reasonably assured of the outcome. Example: my daughter, as a toddler, thrived on routine. When my husband was in the hospital, a friend, with the help of a checklist of evening activities, was able to feed her dinner and get her ready for bed — with no deviations from the normal schedule that would have caused a meltdown.
- You can tell at a glance where you are in the process. Checklists aren’t just for short term things. If you have something that will take place over a week or more, you can use your checklist to remind you of what step you are on. Example: Refinishing furniture requires multiple steps, and requires time between steps as well as the right weather to complete successfully. When we refinished our bedroom furniture (several pieces), we used checklists to determine which coat of finish needed to be applied when the weather cooperated.
- You can keep track of several concurrent tasks easily. Example: My husband’s entire family has birthdays in March. By having a checklist for each person, I can figure out if I need to buy a card or gift, or if I have mailed everything, or if I’m waiting for something to be shipped.
Do you have a use for checklists? Share your favorite below.
Photo by alancleaver_2000