Chapter 6 – Daily Checklists

Why a checklist?  The answer is really simple. When you arrive at your workplace, life takes control unless you take control.  By putting a checklist in place and physically printing it, putting it where you can see it and ticking off your CRUCIAL TO DO LIST, you will get it done.  

These checklists are the spinal cord that sustains the skeleton of your business. Checklists are daily to do lists and when we go to work without to do lists we end up doing someone else’s to do lists. 

The benefits of using a checklist

  1. You will be more organized and not skip any important steps
  2. You will be motivated to accomplish more as you work through your list
  3. You will have more time in your day as the repetitive tasks are completed quickly and smoothly once they become habit ,thereby reducing constant “unexpected things to do”
  4. You will think more clearly as once the repetitive tasks are done you have less stress and can actually get creative
  5. You will take control of your TIME.  One of the biggest challenges facing people today is time management.
  6. Your colleagues will copy what you do, so if you complete your checklist and they see it completed they will complete theirs and this ensures a smoother run business
  7. You will focus on achieving EXCELLENCE in your service delivery by freeing up time to focus on the clients and their needs.

I would like to quote the Hartford Business Journal when encouraging people to use checklists “Checklists can literally save lives. When the U.S. Army Air Corps introduced the B-17 bomber during WWII an experienced aviator crashed the plane during its second demonstration flight. After this tragedy the Army required that pilots use a checklist before taking off. This is the same type of checklist we see pilots use today that helps to avoid crashes. 

Checklists also reduce deaths in hospitals. When checklists were implemented for use by surgical teams, deaths dropped by 40 percent. Similar results have been seen when checklists are required for doctor’s inserting central lines into their sick patients. 

The insertion of central lines can be a key source of infections and checklists have been shown to greatly reduce these infections. It was also noted that doctors would skip a step on the checklist 25 percent of the time. 

The solution was to assure a nurse also confirmed that the checklist was being followed by the doctor. Checklists are only as useful as our ability to action each step.

These examples of checklists being used in other job functions where lives are literally saved should motivate you enough to be committed to implementing and consistently completing your checklists DAILY.



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