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Posted in  Checklists

I am not sure where I learned to use checklists, nor do I recall when I first realized the importance of checklists. I vividly remember as a child my father and mother making lists for the many trips they took me on. We visited Mexico, Canada, and nearly every state in the nation during the 60s, and that was a time when you did not have 24/7 anything. Those AAA trip kits were something else, and another something from days long gone.

Checklist Continue

The complexity of the world that we live in has gotten to the point that it exceeds our ability to wing it. Many scientific studies and medical advancements have added to the health and longevity of mankind; however, when it comes to surgical procedures, consistent use of basic and complex checklists before, during, and after a procedure saves countless lives. If you want to reduce the number of deaths in a surgery, follow a checklist. Stress and chaos will always happen when the unexpected occurs, and so accept a reasonable level of pause, shock, and awe. But then, get back to work by finding and following the procedure manual.

Focus points should be for focusing, not for figuring out what to do next. The time saved by not having one’s mouth open out of confusion is enormously important and critical to the patient on the table. Engineering, construction, criminal justice, medicine, and investment advisory services are all run on checklists. And traveling is far safer when one is focused on movement rather than this, that, or the other thing that comes to a distracted mind. A moment of prevention would save much money, time, effort, and lives.

Life is a Checklist

The phrase “bucket list” is a checklist. What one does when one wakes and starts the day is based on a checklist. And while one does not need to get crazy about it, there is something that every one of us must know and realize. Checklist work and those who do not use them will never reach their full potential.

Chaos is a waste of time. Anarchy is a waste of time. Doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result is a waste of time. Making mountains out of molehills is a waste of time. But creating, refining, adjusting, and following checklists is not a waste of time. Building and following checklist is the start of what is called: project management. Checklist are not a waste of time, but instead, they are liberating.

Routines develop from repetitive use of checklists and routines provide the freedom to think, do, and enjoy the people, places, and things in life that would otherwise be missed.

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