Checklists Love or Hate Them?

Checklists: a love-hate relationship?

Checklists love them or hate them, there is scientific proof they deliver success plus they save you time. This is a WIN-WIN in my book! Your business may not have people's lives at stake, think pilots and surgeons who all use checklists, but if you consider checklists are also used by successful leaders, at least give some good hard thought to trying out a couple.  Think of how many brain cells you'll free up or the 500th time you'll be saved from answering  'what's next' .

Here's why checklists could save you time, frustration and headaches:

  • Consistency - Checklists are like a recipe, so if you have multiple people on your team everyone is 'baking' the same cake when it matters, when customers and clients expect it! If you are the team, then it helps you not spend any of your precious time remembering what's in the 'recipe' so you can focus on actually the doing part!
  • Delivery speed - If you know the steps required to deliver your services, you'll be able to deliver quicker instead of re-creating 'what's next' each time the same service is needed.
  • Free Time - If you can make a checklist that can be handed off to someone else to check or do pieces, you'll free up your time. Your free time can be spent on those things that aren't on the checklist or the things that only you can do that you can't hand off to anyone else.
  • Workflow - A checklist with timing can help you or your team plan out their days.  This means you'll have a better idea of when you'll need more time or more resources to do the work.  It also helps spot critical time points if an activity on the checklist goes off the track. You'll know when to look for it so you can resolve quicker.

Checklists can even help you price your service. Depending on the type of checklist, you can see all the pieces  required to deliver a service which gives you an excellent idea of time and resources.  This helps avoid forgetting about pieces that take your time and then wishing the price you quoted was just a bit more!

Where to start?

A list of checklists to consider to keep your business focused and free up some of your time:

  • Blog and social media pre and post publish steps
  • Client intake
  • Client invoicing
  • Expense tracking
  • Returns/Refunds
  • New Project set up (useful if you use a project management tool like Asana)

I find checklists are useful for personal things too. If I can save time on my personal activities, it'll free up time I can use to grow my business.  I've created checklists for scheduling home maintenance, credit cards with recurring charges, travel and camping too.

Yes, you can go overboard and have so many checklists you can't get the work done. Find the right balance of checklists that help deliver quality work, efficiently and save you time!

Tell me your biggest need for a checklist on Twitter and I'll help you create it pronto!

Keep killing it in your biz!