A checklist is probably one of the most commonly used productivity tools. We are accustomed to writing a to-do list and checking off tasks as they are completed.
Writing these lists helps us to avoid common mistakes like forgetting an important document on the day of a big presentation (or leaving your laptop’s charging cable at home). Used correctly, these lists should help us remember things better by freeing up mental bandwidth and helping us focus on the present moment.
Normal checklists are not effective past a certain point. Here are two tweaks that will help you write effective checklists (and actually get things done on time):
Make Your Action Steps Explicit
This kind of checklist follows a certain process. If you are setting up an email campaign for a new website or writing a regular blog post – this list will outline the steps you need to follow. This will ensure that you are not forgetting the vital elements of the task at hand.
Make it a habit to document the tasks that you complete on a regular basis.
Commit Certain Checklists To Memory
Keys, check. Wallet, check. Phone, check.
You do not require a written list to remember certain daily routines. They are committed to memory.
It helps to still create a mental image of what is required – a visual checklist.
When you are about to leave to the airport, you might have a simple 3-step process to check that you have the most important things you need – passport, phone, wallet, keys, laptop, chargers. These are the essentials so you will commit them to memory and recall this list before catching an international flight.
Using checklists is an effective way to stay on top of your tasks. Make these simple tweaks to ensure you are getting the most out of them.
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