Why You Need to Use Checklists
I'm going to let you in on a secret - I LOVE checklists! Ha! I know, it's no secret! I always have loved a good list, even as a kid. There's something about putting a checkmark next to something or drawing a line through it! That sense of accomplishment is huge!! But, I know for many people a checklist isn't your thing. I get it. They can make you feel tied down. They can make you feel guilty if you aren't going through the list quickly enough. And for some, they see checklists like to-do lists - sitting there waiting for them all day. But throw all that away! Let's look at checklists in a different light!
They'll Save Your Butt(ocks)
No really!! Think about it like this: Airplane pilots have to complete very important checks on their lists. And if they didn't?? Yeah, we don't want to think about that. Instead of seeing them as a problem, pilots see checklists as part of the solution, as an important part of their day that will keep them out of trouble. Your checklists will help you when you're rushed and doing 20 things at once. You can look at them and double (or triple) check that you have not forgotten anything!
They Give You More Brain Space
You know how you still remember that jingle for the Fig Newtons commercial you watched over and over in 5th grade?! It's funny, but it's taking up brain space! Then, when you really need to remember something, poof - it's gone. UGH! Checklists free your brain for more important things you need to remember. If it's on the checklist, you can always refer to it to help jog your memory and keep things running smoothly. I don't what to tell you to do about the Fig Newton song.....sorry!
Checklists Save Time
Have you ever gotten to a job site, only to remember that you left 3 things at the office? It's so frustrating to have to go back!! But a checklist would avoid that. Instead of running back and forth to accomplish one simple task, you can check that you have everything and that you've taken the steps you need to take. Boom! No do-overs!
They Will Increase Productivity
Remember when I said I like (ok, love!) to check things off a list? Scientists have come up with a term for it - gamification! It's the theory that things are easier and more fun if you turn them into a game. The human mind sees checking things off as a form of gameplay. That satisfaction and sense of accomplishment actually inspires you to keep going! It makes you want to check off more things - so it's a win-win!
They Keep Your Team on the Same Page
Having checklists for your major processes is absolutely key! Everyone on your team can see what needs to be done, and if you do it right, they can also see what THEY should be doing. Assigning and delegating need to be part of your checklist creation process - you want to be sure that people like your subs know which role you expect them to play. Or your assistant needs to know which parts of your checklist she should take over. It makes for a seamless process and a happy client when things run smoothly!
To help you with that, you can download my FREE Delegation Checklist here. (SEE? I told you I love checklists!) It will help you keep your team on track and it will keep YOU from being overwhelmed! One thing to check off your list!