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Celebrating National Checklist day with your own productive checklist? Check ✔️
29 October 2021 | All locations
Tomorrow is National Checklist day: a day that celebrates the power of checklists. And rightly so! Our lives have never been so complex, filled and fast-paced as today – making it easier to make mistakes and forget things.
The checklist is a simple way to make your (working) life a lot easier and more organised. We will tell you more about it.
The history of the checklist
Chances are that as an employee, entrepreneur or freelancer you have 1001 things to think about. And do you try to remember all those things yourself? There is a big chance that you will forget crucial things. Enter: the checklist! This handy tool was ‘invented’ during WWII, to better ensure the safety of pilots.
The very first checklist came into existence because of a fatal crash. The reason? The pilot had forgotten a simple task in his haste, with disastrous consequences. A study in the ‘90s described the checklist as necessary for several key elements of aviation safety: think of standardisation and a safety net for failing memory or absent-mindedness.
And when you know that checklists make it possible for us to enter the airspace safely… then it does not sound as a bad idea to use this tool to organise our own (professional) lives!
Checklists give mental strength
These lists provide you with a ‘big picture’ of everything you still have to do. By using the checklist, you can prioritise your tasks in a simple way, making it more easy to draw up your daily or weekly schedule – without forgetting important things.
In addition, checklists have many benefits for your mental well-being! Each time you tick off a task, you will feel a sense of accomplishment. This in turn will inspire you to tick off the next task – leading to an overall increase in energy and productivity!
Finally, checklists also reduce mental strain because you no longer have to remember every little task. In other words, checklists reduce stress and increase productivity. That is worth all the effort, isn’t it?
Two types of checklists, both extremely effective
Before you start working on your own checklist, it is best to determine the type that best suits your needs. In general, there are two different categories.
As the name suggests, this checklist will change on a daily basis. Each morning you will draw up a new checklist to determine the priorities for the day.
Project for checklists
As a freelancer, entrepreneur or start-up, you will most likely have to deal with big projects or campaigns. This kind of checklist is ideal to arrange such assignments from A to Z without overlooking anything. These checklists are indispensable to successfully complete major projects.
Of course, you have to choose which checklist works best for you – one or the other, or a combination. As long as the checklist brings peace of mind, you’re good to go!
A good checklist in five steps
Whatever type of checklist you choose, the process of making it up is always the same. And it goes as follows!
Step 1: brain dump
The very first step is the so-called ‘brain dump’. In other words: write down all tasks, to-do’s and don’t-forgets. Don’t think yet about how or when, just let yourself go: you want to end up with a long (and especially: complete) list. The goal? To put everything on paper that haunts you.
Step 2: organise and prioritise
Have you written down everything you can think of? Then it’s time to start setting priorities. You can do this, for example, by attaching labels to your tasks: A stands for urgent, B for important – but can wait – and C for nice to have done.
Step 3: arrange on a timeline
Organise the tasks according to date and time. Arrange deadlines and give them a separate colour so that they stand out. If necessary and possible, you can also arrange them by time: leaving for the office at 8.30 a.m., meeting at 11 a.m., drawing up invoices at 4 p.m., etc.
Do you need to make an appointment with your client next week? Then make this a task too, so you don’t forget.
Step 4: cross off when you have finished something
The best part of a checklist? Ticking things off, of course! Do this not only at the end of the day, but after each task. This creates order in your mind – and a clear view of your progress through the selected period. You will also see whether your goal is achievable or not – and you can make adjustments where necessary.
Step 5: if you think of something new, add it immediately
It would be nice if the end of your checklist meant that you were ‘done’. But, admit it, there are always new things to do! Thinking of something new or getting a new deadline? Add it to your checklist instead of sitting on it. This way, you keep the peace in your mind and you can immediately update your priority list, if necessary.
And do you want to complete that checklist productively? You can do that in the Greenhouse co-working space, of course!
Once you have created some peace and order in your head, it is time to get to work. And you prefer to do that in an inspiring work environment, so you can finish that checklist in the best possible way. Our co-working spaces in Antwerp, Mechelen and Brussels are perfect for this. Book your guided tour in a hub of your choice today – and we’ll tell you everything you need to know. See you soon?