Have you ever run into a problem where you are having a difficult time doing things right over and over again? Like a morning routine, a work operation, or even a technical activity in your hobby of choice?
Let’s be even more specific. Say you need to communicate to someone at work, someone who has no idea how to do what it is that you are asking them to do, and you still need them to accomplish the task. And for this example, what you are asking them to do is probably within their ability level, but just outside their understanding of the right steps to take. How do you delegate that task to them without losing momentum in your own day by having to train them, and to successfully see completed on the task that you have passed off to them?
Well, the answer is simple: Checklists.
When surgeons make sure to wash their hands or to talk to everyone on the team… They improve their outcomes without increasing their skill. That’s what we are doing when we use a checklist.
“Cook” from The Checklist Manifesto
The things I picked up while reading The Checklist Manifesto, as a checklist:
- Build a database of checklists
- Checklists should no be longer than 7-9 items long, 15 tops.
- Refer in moments of pause, known as pause points. (PROTIP: Set Alarms with Names)
- They should focus on KILLER ITEMS, no filler.
- They need to be tested in the real world.
- The “pilot not flying” initiates the checklist. (PROTIP: Google Keep is a robot assistant)
- Checklists don’t need a tick box.
- And there are two kinds of lists:
While I wish that this book was a little more streamlined as a text, the facts behind this doctor’s experiment to implement checklists have seriously made me re-think nearly every aspect of my business, my day to day life, and even this blog.