Lisa Rayford March 29, 2020 Checklist Template
Determine your overhead actions (we call them "Placeholders"). These are routine actions including meals that fall within duty hours, routine errands (like picking up the kids), exercise, etc. Overhead actions are part of life but do not move you towards your goals. Estimate the time to FINISH each action. Write each task and its duration on a Daily Planning Sheet. Overhead Tasks are placed separately from your Goal Oriented Tasks.
The traditional checklist, a long, handwritten list of tasks, has evolved along with new technologies. In the past, we would relish in the act of crossing off each task as it is completed. But in today`s technology-driven world, the checklist takes on a new form. Today`s checklist is probably typed into a computer or a Day Planner, and the emotional "cross off" has been transformed to the harsh tapping of the delete key. Despite technology, regardless of where you are moving, a checklist will be needed to help you get there.
Planning and Working are separate activities. We should not really mix the two actions. It is best to Plan and then Do. It is also best to plan early (either the morning of or the evening before). You do not work 24/7. So it is important to establish your duties hours. This can be your work period on the job, or even extend beyond our standard office time. For work-at-home folks this period may begin early and end late. You should establish a specific start time and an end time.
Humans have an incredible capacity for memory, we remember to do the basic things to keep us alive, we remember multiple tasks on a daily basis at work, even if we do not have checklists to remind us, and we remember all our personal and family responsibilities. Yet, we live such fast paced lives that, without reminders and checklists things will, and inevitably do, slip through the cracks. People lose their keys, forget their jackets and even sometimes forget to pick the kids up.
You can do all this with a Daily Planning Sheet (you may have to create one), a pen, a timer, a calculator and a decision. It is best to do this on a computer and there is no more ideal tool than a Spreadsheet like Excel. You can work up a template (simple or complicated) that will allow you to do all the above points in just a few minutes (literally less than 5).
Decide ahead of time how long you will devote to a specific task. That way as you are working on it, the knowledge that your allocated time is limited will hone your focus and sharpen your mind, allowing you to concentrate more fully on the task at hand. When you make appointments with other people, use scheduling software or a calendar to keep track of these time-bound events. Likewise, since you have taken the time to plan your day, be meticulous in keeping to your scheduled tasks. Do not let yourself be distracted.