Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Let Checklists Take The Strain

Hi it’s Dave. 

I hope that you are having a fantastic week!  I am very much aware that people are starting to think about booking holidays if they have not already done so. With this in mind it felt like now was a good time to post this piece. 

It is a known fact that a lot of people don’t like the stress of packing at short notice, for example - if they need to be on a flight to Italy tomorrow.

If you have a busy schedule, it is often hard to recall from memory what you need to take. Wouldn’t it be great if you could pack on auto-pilot without having to remember?

So here is a way to do just that:-

Let Checklists Do The Thinking For You

Now here you may think we are digressing from the main topic but all will become clearer as you continue to read……..

On 30 October 1935, the new Boeing 299 had a test flight in Dayton, Ohio. It was bigger and faster than any other plane the US Army had seen and they had already planned to order some. It was piloted by the US Army’s Chief of Flight Testing, an experienced pilot, and yet it crashed. Two of the five crew members lost their lives and yet there was nothing wrong with the aircraft. The investigation concluded it was ‘pilot error’ and the plane was simply too complex to fly.

That was when a group of test pilots decided they needed a checklist. Checklists take away the need to have perfect recall, so they are great to simplify repetitive tasks. Pilots still use checklists in the cockpit today.

Now packing a suitcase is nowhere near as complicated as getting a plane off the ground, the concept is the same: when you are doing something that you do a lot, make it as easy as possible to do it consistently well, every time.

The Packing Checklist

This packing checklist freed up a lot of brainpower. It was great not having to remember what needed to go into the case.  

Because I don’t travel as much for work anymore life is simpler, but for those who do then adding a checklist to an iPad or other device is a great idea.

Busy mums could create a packing list for their babies (and this can be adapted as they get older) as when you are sleep deprived you can’t really trust your memory to make sure that you’ve got everything you need for a weekend at Grandma’s.

Here are a few of the items the checklists could cover

Adult packing list:

  • Clothes/Toiletries
  • Tickets/Travel documents
  • Work stuff (laptop, charger)
  • Leisure stuff (including teabags or coffee)
  • Things to do before leaving (put out recycling, water plants etc)
Baby packing list:
  • Feeding equipment
  • Sleeping equipment
  • Travelling equipment (car seat, rain covers etc)
  • Changing kit
  • Bath and play time things
  • Clothes and toiletries
Perhaps this seems really easy and basic, but I suspect that once you try it you would not want to go back to the old way of using your memory.

3 Steps For Making Your Own Checklist

It is very easy to take the stress out of the tasks that you do regularly. Here’s how to create your own checklists.

1. Find something you do that is repetitive (you don’t have to do it every week) but that requires you to remember multiple steps or items. For example -

Packing children’s bags for school
Your cleaning routine
Planning for work meetings/events
Tasks at work such as writing monthly reports
Organising an event for a club or a group.

2. Break it down. Either create one big list that you can organise by category or write down the steps you take in the order that they should be done.

3. Check the checklist. - This part is important, because the moment you create your checklist you’re going to remember every last thing?

You can add more to your checklist as you use it.

Arriving in a foreign country with the wrong currency would be a disaster but if “travel money” was added to the list to the list then the problem would not be created so make sure you check it in plenty of time.

Stress-Free Task Management

With the tasks written down, the Model 299 aeroplane flew more than 18 million miles without one accident. The plane wasn’t too complex to fly; it was just too complex to remember everything under pressure.

Even if you don’t face the pressure of an airline pilot, our modern lives could do with a little simplification now and then to free up our brainpower for use on other things.

Over time you will probably find that checklists take a lot of the stress out of life which makes for a more pleasant experience for everyone.

Checklists can help you decide what is right in each situation because obviously you are not going to pack snowsuits for the summer holidays, but at least you would not have to think about what is right for the weather anymore – you just pick the right clothing off the list.

Now you have seen how simple it is, what other tasks are you going to turn into checklists?

So as we reach the end of this week’s post; thank you sincerely for taking the time to read through it.  I hope that you will find them useful as you move forwards in your daily life.

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The Fearless Life Guide is a new book written by a lady called M. J Robertson is available to buy via Amazon and clicking on the cover photo below provides a link to the page.  Molly is an amazing person and I am sure that you will also find her work of great interest

And whilst on the subject of books, sbown below is the cover image plus a link to my first book of inspirational phrases “Inspirations”

Have a fantastic day, live a life of Passion and Power.

And above all

Don't Predict The Future - CREATE IT!

DAve x

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