Thursday, November 10, 2011

Why Completing A Daily Checklist Is Important

As I have mentioned in the past, I work for myself. I do have help for certain things and I appreciate that very much. But as a business owner, I think about my work 24 hours a day seven days a week. Because of that, I have looked for ways to not think about what I have to do as much on a daily basis. One of those ways has been completing a daily checklist every day.

The reason I strongly recommend putting together a daily checklist is because it forces me to figure out what done looks like. Often times, work never seems done. That's because a lot of work is ongoing. But the other reason is because we haven't quantified our actions that need to be done on a daily basis to move things forward, it feels like we must always work.

To get out of this feeling, it helped me to write down everything I did each day in the form of a checklist. These checklists helped me figure out a beginning and ending to my day. So instead of working with an alotted time and letting the work expand to fill it, I figured out the work and then tried to reduce the time needed to do it.

So the first benefit of a daily checklist is defining what done looks like for each thing you do.

The other reason that I think completing a daily checklist is important is because it takes all that stuff that you keep in your head and removes it. For me personally, I always had this nagging feeling that I forgot to do something. Once you do something hundreds of times, you might not feel like you need a checklist because you can remember it easily.

Even so, I urge you to not think that way. Get it out of your head. All of it.

The difference between a GTD'er and a Black Belt GTD'er is getting everything out of your head.

Study your day. Keep track of every step you take and write it down on a pad of paper. Next put this list of items in a word document in the order you do each task and print it out. Keep it by your side each day. Add things you forgot the first go around. Reorder things to streamline your list. Delete things that don't need to be done.

Start today. You will be glad you did.
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