We are all familiar with the concept of a checklist, your team may already use a checklists to help run your venues, but it is also one of the most effective changes you can make to your own daily routine.

A few years ago, after simple things kept falling through the cracks,  I finally got frustrated enough to look for a way to stem the flow. I am not naturally an executor, so the system needed to be simple and effective.

I picked up a book called the “Checklist Manifesto” by Atul Gawande which charts the history of checklists and how they literally save lives in the worlds of aviation and medicine. The application to my own life was immediately apparent and I now use them daily.

5 minutes is all it takes to complete in the morning, I do it before opening email, looking at messages or the world at large. My list has evolved over time as it became ever more part of my daily routine (I do it at the same time as I have my morning coffee) – this is how it looks now:

Morning Checklist

  • Calendar – look backwards and forwards 3 days, any actions I need to take?:
  • Go through lists and assign todays tasks (NA) – what are the 3 most important things?
  • Resistance – mental contrasting, identify obstacles, what’s the hard part? – “when I am tempted to this, then I will do that (when/then)”:
  • Attention Management – proactive, active, inactive:
  • How am I going to use my talents today?
  • Set intentions for the day:

It pulls from a number of sources in the GTD (Getting Things Done) community, attention management for example – I am most active before lunch so I don’t schedule early meetings and slot in my most intensive tasks to do in the mornings. The consequence of this 5 minutes has been a marked improvement in my day to day performance, things rarely fall through the cracks, of course, there is always room for improvement but I find I can rely on myself more than I used to be able to.