Why Checklists Work
Checklists make handling any situation, from everyday tasks, to emergencies, easier. They reduce stress and anxiety by providing clear, concise, and straightforward steps to complete a task.
Everyday or regular tasksMany of our everyday and regular tasks require the consistency and efficiency machines provide to be completed at the level of quality we desire. Checklists help to guard against that all-too-human tendency to add steps here and cut some there.
Everyday thousands upon thousands of surgeries are conducted worldwide. In the bestselling book, The Checklist Manifesto, Atul Gawande details how using a checklist before surgery improved the outcome by cutting major complications after surgery by 36 percent.
If checklists can improve the quality of outcomes for surgery just think of what they can do for your team.
Infrequent tasksIf parts of our everyday tasks are so easily forgotten think how much we forget about infrequent tasks like quarterly reports or proposals over time. This explains why sometimes we absolutely nail every detail and, yet, a month later forget that crucial detail and cringe when our boss spots the error.
Set up a checklist for infrequent tasks. Then each time the task is performed there is no anxiety, stress or loss of quality.
Emergency tasksPeople generally don’t read manuals. Even though a manual has beautiful prose and details on how to handle an emergency no one will spend the time to get the information they need.
Simple to read. Simple to follow.
This is why airplane pilots have been using checklists for years to deal with emergencies.
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