How to Turbocharge the Power of Checklists to Change Your Life

Everybody is talking about the power of checklists to improve overall productivity. But how can these simple productivity tools actually significantly improve quality of life?

checklists to make sure things get done.jpeg
Start Your Productivity Boost By Understanding How to Best Use Checklists
When you read things like the Checklist Manifesto and get bombarded by ads and email and newsletters about using task management, note, or to-do list applications like Evernote, Wunderlist, or Trello, it gets pretty confusing.
So, as information and knowledge become more accessible and complexity everywhere continues to increase, why is it that with all these tools and technology things still fall through the cracks?
Here is simple guide to harness the very powerful concepts and technologies around checklists to get an immediate boost in your productivity … and overall quality-of-life.

Step Back For a Minute

We all understand what a to-do list is, right? We have been using them for years. In fact, we have them all over the place – notepads, post-it notes, napkins, calendars. So, if we want to really begin the process of organizing our attempts at organization in a way that truly improves things, we need to understand 3 basic things:

  • Type: Do-Confirm or Read-Do checklists
  • Bite: Checklists with escalating urgency levels
  • Accountability: Checklist that keep track of execution

1. Do-Confirm of Read-Do Checklists

The first thing to understand as we begin to organize our action items as confirmation that we have done everything after we have actually completed things from memory (Do-Confirm) or actually have the checklist instruct us step-by-step the items that need to be completed (Read-Do).
For example, when an HR Manager is onboarding an employee, the steps to follow and complete are probably engrained in their day-to-day activities so they probably can proceed with the whole process by memory. The HR Manager would then go to the “employee onboarding” checklist, a Do-Confirm checklist, to check and confirm that all the steps where in fact completed, and to make sure nothing was forgotten.
On the other hand, when an IT Manager is planning a new project, the activities assigned to each team member are new. An IT Manager will define Read-Do checklists for each of their team members to ensure that the understand what has been assigned to them. This lists will help make sure things get done as expected.

2. Checklists with Escalation

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Escalation Paths Add a Level of Urgency to Any Checklist
Escalation is the next level of urgency that can be attached to items in a checklist. In addition to defining action items, assigning responsibilities, and defining due dates when an action item is assigned to a team member, we need to decide if we want to add a level of urgency by also defining an escalation path if an action item is not completed on time as expected.
This escalation path will help make sure things get done on time by preventing that other dependent action items do not get delayed as well.

3. Checklists with Accountability

The ultimate benefit that can be derived from the use of checklists in the workplace is that they can be used to drive a culture of accountability across the board. In addition to properly organizing action items into checklists, assigning and communicating what needs to be done and using an escalation mechanism to ensure timeliness, we can use them to drive accountability at the individual level.
We can drive better performance, more accuracy, and better quality by simply tracking checklist completion performance at the individual level and tying it back to their performance review or feedback/reward process.

Technology To The Rescue

Tools like Trello, Evernote, and Wunderlist are great at creating checklists and sending reminders. An accountability tool like CommandHound also adds the two additional levels: escalation and accountability.
CommandHound adds escalation and accountability
CommandHound Adds Escalation and Accountability to Turbocharge Your Checklists
CommandHound is a B2B checklist on steroids. In addition to managing checklists, action items, due dates, responsibilities, reminders and overall tracking and reporting, CommandHound also allows you to define escalation paths and escalation dates for when things fall behind, and to track completion performance at the individual and team levels.
Action items in CommandHound retain a green status if they are completed on time or turn yellow or red when they are escalated. CommandHound then allows you to see how individuals and teams are doing in completing things time and compare against each other. Hence, accountability.
Would you like to learn more how CommandHound can turbocharge the benefits you can derive from using checklists in your workplace? Click here an schedule a 15-minute oinline demo.


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