Checklist Manifesto

In relation to everything in life – its good practice to have checklists. Recently I read a book entitled “The Checklist Manifesto” by Atul Gawande, that chronicled his journey through hospitals around the world collecting data on if a simple checklist could improve patient health. The book itself was not as good as a reader would hope, however it had one epiphany inducing take-away: MAINTAIN CHECKLISTS FOR IMPORTANT THINGS.

This simple notion has become almost my mantra as I plan for important items both at work and home. Last week, I was the chair of a nonprofit built committee that put on a statewide conference for teachers and nonprofits. What I always referred to before we began the two day event, was the bullet points 1-5. When it came to the beginning of all the madness, I was preparred and collected. Sure some things popped up, but all the details and major concerns were taken care of because I made a visible attempt to not forget anything on the day of the conference.

So here are some quick tips to remember when making your own checklist:

  1. Keep it short! (anymore points than 7 and you’ll need a checklist for your checklist.)
  2. Have simple goals/points. (Break the complex down, and if you can’t then get rid of it!)
  3. Keep it handy at all times. (If you don’t know it, you will not follow it.)
  4. Make sure they get you to your overall goal! (Edit, re-read, make sure its working for you and not against you!)

Do you have a checklist manifesto that you follow? Are there examples on how this has helped you at work or home? I have always found that physically checking off items makes me happier and well prepared for that goal I’m looking to achieve.


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