Although using a paper checklist is an easy way to get started, software-based approaches can be more efficient in spite of the learning curve. These can remind you of events or tasks that will soon be overdue, they can also be synchronized with your phone or email, and they can be shared with others on your team, if you’re collaborating on a project.
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.
What you put on your checklist and how you use it will depend on your situation. For instance, if you’re in a sales-type role, a good way to motivate yourself is to keep your list relatively short, and aim to complete it every day.
Mastering procedural processes and repetitive tasks with checklists allows you to focus on the larger goals at hand. It’s the minutiae of the workday that can be easily forgotten at the detriment of other important projects.