I ran across an interesting new book over the weekend, called the Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande. The premise of the book, is that in our increasing complex world, we need checklists to keep us from making mistakes that can be disastrous or even life threatening. He gives example from surgeons, airline pilots, and skyscraper architects. Each profession requires a checklist or written guides that allow all participants to make sure each step is competed in the right order.
I have always been a big proponent of creating to-do lists. You write down the tasks of the day and check them off as they are completed. Yet a full scale checklist might go a little further. A checklist might list all the steps in a task. It might list the mundane things we take for granted. It might save us from taking shortcuts or forgetting a take-for-granted item.
Have you ever gone on a trip and forgotten your cell-phone charger or electric razor. A travelers checklist can easily alert you to these things before you leave. Do you ever have to give presentations? A presenters checklist can help you remember the little things like laptop connectors and memory sticks that can help you avert disaster in front of hundreds of people.
I think we can come up with some creative checklists that can help us on a daily basis. They will need to be flexible yet all encompassing. They need to have room for additional steps along the way.
I’ve ordered Atul’s book and I look forward to applying it to my daily routine.
Bonus Material: Printable Checklist
Extra Bonus Material: The Failure Printable Checklist
My question today: What specialized application would you want to see a checklist for?