Saving Lives With Checklists

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

It was a good week.

I’m not always as productive as I would like to be — I know multitasking is a business requirement these days, but I’m more of an “eye on the prize” kind of guy (I like to do one thing at a time and do it well) — but I felt I got a lot done last week.

One of the things I’ve been experimenting with is checklists. Yeah, I know, it’s nothing new or unique, but I’ve found they really do help me stay focused on what I’m trying to accomplish. In an article called “Seven management benefits of using a checklist” that appeared on Hartfordbusiness.com, author Andy Singer summed it up nicely.

Sometimes even with simple steps involved we can get distracted and forget one or more of the required procedures.

It is easy for us to forget things and recovery is usually more complex than getting it right the first time.

A simple tool that helps to prevent these mistakes is the checklist.

Singer then identified — you’ll never guess — seven benefits of using said checklist:

  1. Organization.
  2. Motivation.
  3. Productivity.
  4. Creativity.
  5. Delegation.
  6. Saving lives.
  7. Excellence.

I found point No. 6 particularly intriguing — here I thought that “go to gym” was solely for my benefit. Obviously, I don’t know whose life I saved by accomplishing that task this past week, but you can be sure I walked around with my head held a little higher knowing that somebody owed their continued production of CO2 to me and my invigorating chest workout.