Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Life Lists

I have met 2 types of people in my life. The first are people that are organized and always seem to know what needs to be done next. The second (people like me) are seen as scattered and can barely remember where their office is.

Ok I know that is a simple view but looking at the extremes of human behavior can lead all of us in the middle with helpful tools to navigate life.

cockpitchecklist.jpgWhy make Life Lists in the first place? It is human nature to forget little things that are done repeatedly and the little things are what make people successful. As a pilot, I recall watching a plane land without the landing gear down.

The plane was totaled but the pilot was thankfully OK. I asked him what had happened and his reply was classic. “I was so focused on the landing that I forgot the checklist.” This event cost that pilot $390,000 in damages and it could have been worse. Have you ever been so focused on something that you forget the details? Yes we all have!

Just as pilots have a great responsibility for lives we also have a responsibility to be the best people we can be. Forgetting the CEOs name or showing up late to a meeting can cost your company money or you your job. Missing a birthday because you forgot could destroy a year's’ worth of dreams. Below are some examples of Life Lists and how to start making them so you can be the best you.

success.jpgStart simple and make a life list for your morning routine or one for before you go to bed. Try a before a customer visit or what you do when you get an order. Any task that has steps can benefit from life lists.

While you are doing the task just document the steps. When this opportunity comes again pull out your draft and see if any steps need to be added.

After one or two tries you will have a reliable life list. Remember they do not need to be paper notes. They could be reminders on your calendar or a bookmark folder with all the websites you need to visit Daily.

As you implement more life lists your time will not be wasted with repeated mistakes and you brain will be free to work on the tough problems without the danger of forgetting the little things. As manages you lists can be used to delegate tasks without the need for your direct oversight.


Make life lists fun and embrace them. After a little effort you will be free to succeed!

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