Why is a Checklist Important?

5 Min Read
Why is a Checklist Important?

Why is a Checklist Important? Checklists are a very useful tool in your daily life but also very powerful in business. We all have recurring tasks that must be done again and again and again.

Checklists have been proven over and over again to organise and manage tasks, reduce errors, maintain consistency, increase efficiency and productivity, and ensure all steps in a task are completed. Especially powerful for repetitive tasks that must be completed

It may sound boring and far too simple, but checklists can make a huge difference in how you can ensure essential tasks get done! Whether you are ultra-busy with lots on your plate,  too much going on in your head and need to free up some space or have the memory of a goldfish, it is easy to skip an important step in a process without even knowing. This is why a checklist is important and could be the solution.

But before we answer the question “Why is a checklist important” let’s look at what a checklist is and when you can use one.

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What is a Checklist?

Many people think they’re the same as a to-do list, but a checklist is quite different. A checklist is a series of steps developed for repetitive task management and recurring process.

To-do lists and checklists must not be confused as they offer very different solutions. 

To-do lists are far more ad hoc in nature, used to jolt to the memory to not forget something like buying a pint of milk. A gentle reminder of our limited human memory.

This is a simple way to explain the difference between a to-do list and a checklist.

To-do list ‘what to do’ and a checklist ‘how to do’ it.

We generally like to compare them to baking a cake. A to-do list is the list of ingredients you need, whereas the method and steps you need to mix and create the perfect cake is the checklist.

When You Can Use a Checklist

You can use a checklist for everything, purely because everyone tends to forget things.

They ensure you get your daily, weekly and monthly tasks completed on time and keep track of tasks and deadlines while ensuring it is done correctly this is why is a Checklist important. With all steps documented, you can ensure steps aren’t missed in any process, as they are the guide to guarantee it is completed perfectly every time. 

You can use a checklist in the following situations:

  • Tasks that you need to complete in a specific order
  • Business Process Management 
  • Activities that are of a series of steps, each of which is equally important
  • Implementing Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)
  • Carrying out an inspection & Health and Safety procedures
  • Examining or verifying articles
  • Looking for the root cause of a defect and checking the cause
  • Analysing and verifying operations
  • Collecting data you need to analyse in the future

Why is a Checklist Important for Your Business?

Does the running of your business include several repetitive tasks? If there’s no guidance or procedure in place, some of the steps in the process can get forgotten. It could be because a person is distracted or they’ve simply forgotten. When something gets forgotten, it’s much harder to recover than if they’d completed the task right in the first place. A checklist or checklist software can reduce this type of mistake. There are several other advantages for your business.

Checklists Keeps Things Organised

Checklists provide detail for every step in a process, thereby keeping things organised. Can be used as a visual reminder, a way of prioritising tasks and scheduling everything that needs to be done so deadlines are not missed.

Simple, easy to use, and very effective in completing all the steps.

Check off the items as you do them to see progress and identify items missed or falling behind on.

Helps you stay on top of your priority tasks.

Checklists Keep People Motivated

A checklist makes your employees more efficient and effective and motivates them to take action and finish tasks.

That immense feeling of satisfaction when you have completed a long checklist of tasks to-do. The simple pleasure of crossing off items that you have completed on your to-do list give you such a blissful positive feeling and motivators you even more.

Positive results increase motivation. Every time we experience even the smallest amounts of success, our brains release dopamine which gives us a feeling of pleasure that makes us eager to repeat the experience.

Checklists Improve Productivity

Keeping track of daily tasks and completing tasks efficiently and quickly with far fewer mistakes allows you to accomplish far more things in your day.

Why is a checklist important? Checklists ensure tasks we set out to do during the day will be completed correctly by clearly outlining the steps we must not miss. Speed and efficiency help time management, and task management empowers teams to be productive.

Allows for Creativity

Free up your brainpower for more creative things.

Let process automation and technology take over repetitive and recurring tasks, as that is what they are great for, and take the pressure off of remembering. Giving way for more time to be creative, which computers are not so great at.

Having everything written down means you don’t need to spend trying to remember important steps.

The workplace is also less stressful because everyone knows what they’re doing and what you expect of them. An added advantage is that people are able to think clearly.

Task Delegatation

Gives you more confidence to delegate tasks because tasks have been broken down into simple, foolproof step-by-step guides. This makes delegation easier as you don’t need to worry that something will not be done right or mistakes will be made as the process has been documented.

This confidence will lead to more delegation, resulting in increased productivity.

Checklist Proven To Reduce Mistakes & Save Lives

Throughout history, a checklist has greatly impacted aviation, space travel and exploration, and safety standards in hospitals and reduced infection and errors within the surgery.

For instance, the development of the pre-flight checklist for pilots to use before taking off was introduced during WW11 following the crash during a flight demonstration of the  B-17 “Flying Fortress” Bomber when the plane was deemed “too difficult to fly” but it a pre-flight checklist was developed to fly the plane successfully. This improved safety and reduced pilot error and we still use a similar checklist today. 

They also use checklists in hospitals, where they also help to reduce deaths. They haven’t always been popular, but when surgical teams started using them, deaths dropped by 40%. Doctors also use checklists when they insert central lines into patients. The risk of infection is high, but they can reduce it when doctors follow a checklist.

After research from Atul Gawande, who produced the Checklist Manifesto.  The World Health Organisation (WHO) decided to implement the surgical checklist. 

The simplest way to prevent mistakes, reduce errors and save lives has been shown to use a simple checklist

Checklist Tool to Increase Productivity

Why is a checklist important? Use a checklist if you want a great tool to ensure that you won’t forget anything whilst ensuring every process and task you carry out, again and again, is completed perfectly every time, then use a checklist.

Checklists can make a significant difference for your business and can even be used to help save lives. Nothing gets forgotten or allowed to “fall through the cracks,” quality of work increases and your business can be more efficient, and productivity increases.

A checklist tool could help change your business.

Checkify Checklist App

Now you understand why is a Checklist Important? You can see why we just love the power of a simple checklist in business.

Checkify checklist app allows you to manage tasks,  automating workflow, collaborate on tasks with both colleagues and clients while increasing productivity using technology.

Checkify offers you both a checklist to manage your business processes, making it easier for anyone to step into the breach in case of an emergency or the need to work remotely. But also the ability to add one-off ad hoc to-do list tasks

Checklists offer you a great way of business continuity planning and documenting everything in case of a key person is hit by a bus.

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