Now before you make fun of me and call me names like “Anal Retentive”, “Dork”, or “Old School”, let me tell you, I very rarely forget anything and some would call me the nicest a****** they know. Why, because, my strength lies in two things, I think? They are my communication skills with people and my follow up skills. When coaching, folks ask me many times, how do you remember that stuff or I can’t believe you keep talking to me about that. Why, it’s simple, I am a checklist fanatic. Yep, I got a checklist for everything….groceries, work, bills….you name it, and my checklist even has “play with the dog” on it. Let the name calling and mocking begin. I even have a checklist that reminds me to complete all my checklists.
Now before you get too deep in clichés let me remind you of some of the most important checklists out there.
How about pilots…..
Fuel – check
Flaps – check
Flight plan – check
Rudder – check
Engines – check
How about Doctors……
Blood Pressure – check
Temperature – check
Pulse – check
Now, no one makes fun of those dudes, because frankly they deal with life or death measures so they have to have a list, right?
Now, I wonder when the last time one of these redundant checks actually came up with something missing. Probably not often, but I bet you if they didn’t do the checklist every time, something at sometime would come up not complete or accurate, and guess what, someone would get hurt or maybe worse, and than the public would be asking, “Don’t they have a checklist or something that would have prevented that from happening?”
Fly or operate by the seat of your pants, I don’t think so….
I work in the restaurant and coaching biz and yep checklists abound, and for the sake of my clients and guests, I use my checklists every time, religiously. They never seem to appreciate it when I use my checklist but I can tell you they get mad as hell when I don’t.
Next time you find yourself wondering, “How did I forget to do that?” think to yourself, “Self, maybe I should have had a checklist.”
Some great best practices for putting together your life or death daily non-negotiables for your clients, customers, or guests might be:
Make it easy-for some it’s a yellow pad and paper, some it’s a computer program – whatever it is make it something you WILL do, not something you won’t do
Categorize – work, personal, groceries, projects, etc
Mark off your items as soon as they are done – a feeling of accomplishment will come from knocking out your list of things to do. You will gain speed as you accomplish even more and more and more
Every day things you have to do go at the top - when you realize there is something missing add it so you never miss it again
And most importantly……and I can’t reiterate this enough….
Do the worst, hardest, most difficult thing first as soon as your day starts.
The rest of your list will seem like nothing.
I use a couple of programs that you might want to consider, “Things” and “Evernote”. Both programs that my team hates that I use to follow up on them, but love the fact that we stay ahead!