create and use checklist

Most of us have heard that a checklist is one of the first and most important tools which we should use. I am pretty sure that every manager faced up the checklist. Sometimes, we get it from the someone else. Other times, we create them by ourselves or we do not create it at all.

I would like to encourage you to try use it, at least once. Below, I prepared answers for questions which you could ask at the beginning.

Common questions about a checklist

Q1: Who should use a checklist?

There is no limit. Everyone could, and often should, use a checklist. Our brain is not able to remember everything. Oh, maybe is, but I know nobody who is able to use it in this way. This simple tool allow you to save the power of your brain. You will not waste your resources for remembering everything. It will allow you to focus on more important and productive tasks.

Q2: Where to keep a checklist?

In handy place. It might be your computer, mobile or piece of paper. The most important thing is to have unlimited access to the content of your checklist.

Q3: What I enjoy using checklist?

There are plenty of benefits. First of all, keeping updated checklists save you from missing the most important things. Creating them for the first time give you a small impression of planning. Marking the items as done give your the rush of success.

Q4: When I should use a checklist?

When it is possible! Each time you noticed that in the future you will have to do it once again. There is no point in creating checklist for everything. Especially, for trivial issues. If you do not want to waste your time for doing useless work, use this rule:

If you noticed that your are doing something more than once then create the checklist for it.

Q5: Why creating and using checklist is so important?

Making mistakes is natural for human beings. Unfortunately, it is wrong if you do not gather experience from the past. If you do not want to do the same mistake twice, than do something with it. Create a checklist. Next time, when you will do the same just take a look at your checklist. You will ensure that you thought about everything.


Advices

Are you wondering how to create and use checklist in the proper way? Keep focused and check below collected advices.

  • Use only short sentences!

Each time you will think about many connected issues, then create separated items for them.

  • Organise your items!

Every now and then, you should reorganise your checklist. Remove items marked as done and create new if needed.

  • Prioritise your items!

If you want to increase your productivity, then prioritise. It is impossible that everything is important in the same way. You could differ items by the time, cost or scope. Check your strategy and prioritise. It will help you to keep focus on important issues.

  • Keep a checklist short!

Do not try to put everything in one checklist. I will say that 10 items is often to much. If you feel that your checklist should have more than ten items then create separate one. Remember that on of the benefits is your feeling that things happened. If you will try to measure your progress on the 100 items then you will wait a long for reward.

  • Use it. If you do not use it then archive!

If you do not use your checklist for a long time then do not remove it, just archive. You do not want to keep all your checklist in handy place, because “the hand” is quite small. Keep only those checklists which are useful. Limit the items to important for this day or week, but nothing more.


Examples

Below you will find an example of the simplest checklist. Let us check the checklist for creating a checklist :).

The picture of checklist for creating a checklist

  • Other examples:

Here you have couple of nice examples from the Internet:

I hope you enjoyed this short summary of importance of using and managing the checklist. If you want to learn more, I suggest to read the book “Getting Things Done”  written by “Alen David”. This book is a nice example of self-managing method with checklist used as a managerial tool.

Lukasz Written by:

I am an adviser, project manager, consultant and business coach. I like to experience and learn about everything that is valuable to great leaders. I believe that the best result are possible by: practicing continuous learning, and sharing with others. I am always committed to my work. I like face to face conversation with customers, as well as public speaking. Oh, and what is obvious ... I love to read :).