11 Easy Checklist Secrets to Save TIME

by Syd Stewart

Where does your time go? Are you constantly fire-fighting? Frustrated? Do you have time to do these long term improvements? Are you always having to correct mistakes and lapses... humans will always fail especially when they under pressure, tired, or inexperienced?

Just imagine if you could readily and quickly:

Checklists are your answer to the above issues. Checklists are so simple. They will save you time.

Airline pilots use checklists all the time. Checklists permit good professional practice.

Here's how to create checklists that will save you time:

  1. Take a simple task where things are being forgotten or missed and create a checklist. Start in a small way and build it up. Don't worry about getting everything right first time.
  2. Make a list of tasks to be done in the correct order on a sheet with check boxes to mark off that the tasks that are completed. Just write down what you are doing now as a starter. Incorporate instructions into your checklist.
  3. Break down complex tasks into small manageable building blocks. Try to break up the task into pieces where minimum or low risk links or interfaces exist. Keep it simple.
  4. Use diagrams. Remember, a "picture is worth a 1000 words."
  5. Use checklists to control the interface between staff and departments. Failures often occur at interfaces.
  6. Involve your staff in the creation of the checklist. Remind staff that checklists mean no loss of esteem. Staff involvement will also lead to their commitment to use the checklist.
  7. Maximize the use of experience within and outside your field. Use other peoples ideas. Don't try to reinvent the wheel. Find out what others do. Beg, borrow and swipe checklist ideas.
  8. Request your staff check off the checklist with their initials and date. File your checklist as record of your good practice. If someone challenges your performance, you've great evidence to demonstrate that you were not negligent in any way.
  9. Modify the checklist to close any gap, if mistakes are still occurring. Keep doing this until you can reproduce the task without lapses. Checklists just make this so easy.
  10. Make sure you use the correct checklist. Introduce a system that ensures your staff will always use the most up to date version of the checklist. If not old lapses will recur. Keep the latest master checklists in a clearly titled folder (paper or computer).
  11. Make the checklists readily available. You can use folders for different areas or processes of your business, so that your staff can readily find the right checklist for the job.

Simple checklists yield so much power. Remember prevention is better than cure.

Start today, create your first checklist and start the process of saving time and building a better, happier and safer workplace.

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About the Author

Syd Stewart is the author of "Smiling Owner How to Build a Great Small Business An Evolutionary Business E-Handbook". He has been an owner and manager for over 30 years. He Knows What Works and What Doesn't. Visit his site to find out how you can 'Build a Great Small Business' at http://www.smilingowner.com

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