If you have repetitive tasks in your daily schedule, I recommend using a checklist.

Sitting down to write a checklist may seem like a waste of time, but I have found the opposite to be true.  In fact, I get more done with a checklist than I do without one.  Checklists keep me on track ensuring I do not skip any crucial steps.

I used to hate checklists.  Then, years ago, I read The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande.  In his book, Mr. Gawande points out how airline pilots use checklists before take-off.  Until they have checked off every item on their checklists, the plane stays on the ground.  Wondering if he could apply the same standards to hospitals, Mr. Gawande tested checklists in emergency rooms.  Immediately, medical mistakes decreased.

After reading the book, I started paying attention to what I was doing with my time.  To my dismay, I found I was wasting more time than I cared to admit.  I started using a checklist and my productivity soared.

If you are feeling overwhelmed, I suggest you give checklists a try.  Pay close attention to your day.  Look for patterns.  Start building your own checklists.  You might be surprised how much more organized, efficient, and confident you feel when you have this simple tool at your side.

I should add, you may not need a checklist.  My wife seems able to carry around an invisible checklist in her head.  I suspect many moms do the same.

As for me, I am too forgetful.  I find checklists keep me on track.  Perhaps a checklist will help you, too.

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