Anybody who knows me knows I am super organized and efficient. What most don’t know is I am a list maker. I create a list for almost everything I do. Why? I don’t know about you but the older I get the harder it is to remember things. Have you ever headed up the stairs only to get there to forget what you were look for or called someone but completely forgot who’s number you dialed as it was ringing?
Surely I am not alone here, right?
It’s hard to remember things so when I figure out how to do something I create a checklist. This way the next time I have to do that task I can easily follow the checklist.
Since time is the small-business owner’s most precious commodity you have to figure out ways to use it wisely. Can a simple checklist save you time? Can a simple checklist create a system for business success?
My answer is YES!
You can use a checklist for anything in your business. From creating your newsletter to how to conduct a free strategy call. The point is you need to plan effectively.
Using a checklist to document your process helps to manage your time. It’s easy to sit down at your computer with the intentions of getting things done. Without a plan or a process you can spend way too much time getting ready to do the task without ever getting anything done. Having your checklist in advance you can follow the steps or tasks one by one only working on that thing until you are done.
Here are 5 simple steps to using checklists to manage your business:
- Use an online tool to document the steps. You can use Word or other desktop document tools but I prefer online tools as much as possible. With online tools you can access them anywhere or anytime. My favorite no-cost tools for mind mapping, brainstorming and documenting steps is Mindmeister.
- Pick one task to focus on at a time. Don’t try to document your entire business at one time. Trying to create a checklist for everything at the same time will only frustrate and confuse you.
- Print the list. Don’t think about the steps just do them. It’s important to see the steps and physically check off the items. As you work through them each time you can make notes on steps that need to be modified or deleted.
- Use the list to delegate effectively. You know the saying if you want something done right do it yourself?Unfortunately you can’t do everything so that doesn’t work to help your business grow.
- Schedule time to review. Now that you have created your checklist take time to review each list frequently. Look for ways the checklist can be automated. There may be tools available to accomplish some or all of the steps for you automatically.
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