My boyfriend is a pilot and when he takes me flying I can’t help but notice the detailed checklists he follows. There is a laminated sheet with checklists for pre-flight, take-off, landing and emergencies. And he follows it exactly. If it says “flip this little switch thingy off and on again” (I’m paraphrasing) he flips it off and on. As tedious as it sounds, it ensures he never forgets anything.
I think there’s a lesson in there that can apply to the rest of us:
For instance, to a process you repeat regularly – like your morning routine. Repetition of anything can lead to carelessness and forgetfulness, you’ve done it so many times you’re on auto-pilot and the next thing you know you’re in the car without your lunch. Following a checklist eliminates that.
Or to any particularly busy day, event or week. Why do you think event planners use checklists as well? Being stressed and overwhelmed can lead to slip ups. The next time you have a busy day or event coming up, channel your inner pilot and grab a piece of paper. Write out every single thing you need to do, to the last detail. Even put them in order. You’ll be surprised how much it takes off your mind and how much it will help you remember.
Once you’ve written it out, all you have to do later is follow your own instructions.