I love checklists. They are great for keeping us on track and there is a little adrenaline rush everytime we check something off. There is a reason that pilots have preflight and postflight checklists. In fact I have my own “pre-flight” checklist that I use each morning. This checklist insures that I start my day off with a clean slate ready to tackle whatever else may come my way. I’m also quite motivated because I can see that I’ve already accomplished a number of things.
The Physical Checklist: Although I do have Shadow Plan on my Palm, I don’t use it for my Daily Preflight Checklist. This checklist was developed in Microsoft Word using large checkboxes for bullets beside each item. I’ve printed it to a half page (5-1/2″ x 8-1/2″) of 110lb. card stock and then laminated the card. This allows me to use a whiteboard marker to check the items off each morning. When I’m finished I just erase the card and it’s ready for the next morning.
The Items on the Checklist: You’re probably wondering what sort of things are on my list. Well, here goes:
- Daily Bible Reading
- Read Dilbert Desk Calendar
- Process Side Business Voice Mail
- Process Side Business Email
- Sync Palm
- Process Personal Email
- Empty Today’s Tickler File
- Process Desk Inbox
- Update Jornal
How It’s Working: I’ve been using this list for a couple months now and it works great. It takes from 15-30 minutes to complete each morning but it’s all stuff that I need or want to do anyway. You’ll notice that I have business items, personal items, pleasurable items, spiritual items, and organizational items. I find that I don’t resist doing any of these things because they are all so easy to do since they are broken down so simply. I don’t always do things straight from the top to the bottom, either. I can mix them up for variety as long as they are all checked off in the end.
Your Own Preflight Checklist: I would love to hear ideas about your own preflight checklist, what’s on it, how you use it, and how it’s improved your life. If you aren’t using one, give it a try and then come back in a couple weeks and let me know what you think.