In the professional world, checklists are a huge component to the daily work of pilots and surgeons. Detailed step-by-step checklists help fight complacency in the cockpit, and maintain safe operation of the aircraft during all phases of flight, from gate to gate. In hospitals, medical teams use checklists to ensure surgical procedures go smoothly.
To-Do Lists are particularly useful when you have a small number of tasks that you need to complete. However, they can become cumbersome when you have too many items on them, or when you need to progress multiple projects. At this stage, it’s worth starting to use Action Programs, which are designed to manage more complex situations reliably.
But in you’re in an operational role, or if tasks are large or dependent on too many other people, then it may be better to focus on a longer-term checklist, and "chip away" at it day-by-day. Many people find it helpful to spend, say, 10 minutes at the end of the day, organizing tasks on their list for the next day.
Keeping a properly structured and thought-out checklist sounds simple enough. But it can be surprising how many people fail to use them at all, never mind use them effectively. In fact, it’s often when people start to use them effectively and sensibly that they make their first personal productivity breakthroughs, and start making a success of their careers. The video, below, gives some tips on how you can start to use To-Do Lists more effectively.