The Importance of Checklists

I wll follow the rulesAs an entrepreneur, many of my days are filled with client commitments, meetings, training preparation, client proposals, writing Blog entries, and doing bookkeeping… I could go on and on.  To some extent, every day is different, depending upon if I’m in the office or working with a client.   However, the more that I work in my business (and on my business); the more and more value I see in establishing and maintaining some sort of routine.  Without systems or processes or “rules”, I can forget important things!  Checklists are also an easy way to remember what needs to be done – even for those tasks that we are pretty comfortable with.   Regardless if you are a small business owner, individual contributor, or team leader, these checklist ideas may help you reduce your stress and increase your workplace efficiency: 

  1.    Write a checklist for those tasks you do frequently.  For example, when I prepare for a training program, I need to do several things, including,  discover training needs, write an outline, create participant materials, develop slides, and design customized case studies. With checklists, I can estimate how long these activities will take – which helps me plan more effectively.
  2.  Review your checklists with others.  A friend and colleague in the training field will be sending me her checklist – I may want to incorporate some of her ideas in my process.  I will send her my checklist!
  3. Update your checklist as needed.  Sometimes certain activities can be automated, or delegated to an assistant or even assigned to a team member, or even deleted altogether!  Other times, we need to add important tasks to our checklists.   Be sure to update your checklist – deleting or adding items as needed.

You can experience more freedom (and carve out more time) when you follow checklists - enabling you to focus on creative brainstorming - something that many of us never seem to get around to doing!