Checklists – Recipes for Success

Since I was a teenager (and that was not yesterday) I have used checklists for tasks I want to complete for personal and business development. They keep me on track and focused and make it easier for me to share thoughts and tools when I teach a seminar. Even way back when I took car engines apart to rebuild them I used checklists so I put things back together right. I used checklists when I was preparing for exams in university and lots more. When I use a checklist step by step everything works out just like a recipe for a cake. I consider checklists as recipes for success.

Now today I read about a new bestselling book that is all about how checklists can be used to make sense of all the complexity and volume of knowledge we have in this world and use it more effectively. In fact, the book has inspired a surgical checklist created by the World Health Organization and the checklist is said to be ‘the biggest clinical invention in thirty years’.

From myself, here are a couples of applications of checklists you may wish to consider:


You are going on vacation and you want to go stress free.

It may come to you as a surprise but many small business owners do not have a checklist of actions employees need to do when they start or end the work day this can lead to problems with inventory, planning and even a fire if someone forgets to turn off the office coffee pot. Create a checklist so that when you are not around you don’t have to worry. Simple yes, powerful yes.


You are training yourself to prepare properly for a … 

Fill in the blank with, for example, a wilderness hike. It may again come as a surprise how many people forget something that is important when they go out in the wilderness. It could simply be bug spray or water purifying tablets the lack of that could cause a health issue. If you had a hiking prep checklist you would avoid this. (I have one I use when I go on long distance hikes.)

Okay, you don’t hike but maybe you do some personal activity that a checklist could be a vital part of your peace of mind when you are out. Do you rock climb? adventure run? cycle long distances? A checklist can even be used when you are getting into the habit of a new fitness routine ( hydration,warm up, exercise, stretching…).

Okay, so this is my thought on this. Look at the tasks you wish to teach to yourself or to someone else and create a checklist and see if it makes the process easier.

You amy even want to check out Atul Gawande’s book The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right

Enjoy a wonderful day,