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 can help you get, and stay, on top of important projects and piles of tasks or decisions. For instance, imagine you’re heading a team that’s working on a project. There are so many tasks to do, and so many people doing them, that staying on top of it all seems overwhelming.
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.
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.