Or, imagine you’re in a sales role and have a long list of people who you need to talk to. You write out a checklist of everyone you need to call and every client you need to see, and start prioritizing.
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.
There are many time management software programs available. At a simple level, you can use MSWord or MSExcel to manage your lists. Some versions of Microsoft Outlook, and other email services such as Gmail, have task lists as standard features. Remember the Milk is another popular online task management tool that will sync with your smartphone, PDA, or email account. It can even show you where your tasks are on a map.
Recently, The Art of Manliness provided an historical look at checklists, along with a detailed primer in deciding which lists will work for you, culled from the excellent, The Checklist Manifesto. You can implement the same routine in your daily work to help give you a greater shot at success.
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