Why Checklists are the Secret Ingredient

Tue, 2014-06-10 09:10

Every day brings tasks that must be accomplished, be it at work, with your family, or with outside organizations to which you are a member. Those who accumulate responsibilities, whether family, career, or community, also accumulate things to do. Creating a few questions to ask yourself at the end of every day can help you evaluate how your time is spent, keep you on track with your goals, and help you prioritize future tasks. This may sound like common knowledge but all too often this seemingly obvious practice goes under-utilized in the workplace.

It’s important to measure the daily progress you achieve in working toward a set of goals. Daily reflection can allow us to identify areas of improvement both personally and in our organization. If your goal is to be a better project manager, questions you ask might include:

  • Did I make progress on my top three prioritized tasks today?
  • Do I understand what each individual of my team is working on and where they stand with their work?
  • What were the barriers to success for today?
  • Did I notice any new risks?
  • Are there any elements of the project that are falling behind schedule?

Answering these questions can enable you to stay focused and avoid having to put out fires later on. Holding yourself accountable in your day-to-day activities allows you to brainstorm solutions to problems that you may have otherwise addressed from a reactionary, fire-fighting standpoint later. It can give you the opportunity to come up with ideas on how to deal with client complaints, unresponsive team members, and other difficult situations. By identifying and addressing these issues sooner, rather than later, you can circumvent a “heat of the moment” response with a well thought-out plan of action.

If you would like to learn more about how project management training can help you better achieve your goals in the workplace, visit our Project Management page.

By Danielle Whitman


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