It’s a always a helpful reminder to make a list and check it twice.
I recently read Atul Gawande's Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right. I must agree with the author, tragic mistakes can be sharply reduced with just 3 things:
I happen to use the iPhone Reminder App...and I use it daily.
I learned from Gawande that, “The volume and complexity of what we know has exceeded our individual ability to deliver its benefits correctly, safely, and/or reliably.”
It's hard to count on people. Can you relate? A select few I know I can always count on to follow through - they are the exception, not the rule. If you want to be a leader here's some advice:
For so many years I have made To Do Lists, or simple Checklists, to keep myself on track so I don’t forget basic basic tasks that I meant to do, but for some reason just omitted. I write down No-Brainer tasks which are STUPID but CRITICAL. I’ve been criticized for listing such mundane tasks, but simply stated, “It really helps me to remember to get it right!”
I can’t stand it when I don’t do something that is very easy, just because I had too much on my mind to remember to do it.
The excuses are endless: “It takes too much time to make a list,” or “What’s the point? If I forget to do something, then it wasn’t worth remembering.”
The truth is, checklists only take a few minutes to create and they have the potential to keep you on track for your entire workday. In addition, people (especially those who rely on you) really appreciate it when you do the things you say you will do (add your Ethos to the checklist while you’re at it).
Here's a thought, if your To-Do List gets too long, consider a Not Right Now List.
I figure if Pilots and Surgeons utilize checklists to get their jobs done, perhaps those of us serving in positions of leadership ought to follow suit.
Paul Hill, Ph.D.
I design, plan, and evaluate economic development programs for Utah State University.
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