The Power of a Great Checklist


When it comes to organizing your life, there are a lot of great tools out there to help.  At a minimum every busy family needs at least some type of calendar and task management system.  But one tool that you may not have considered is the checklist.  A checklist when created correctly is a really powerful way of organizing your life and freeing your mind.

I rely heavily on checklists.  I use them for grocery lists, daily routines, and Christmas planning.  And this summer I plan on using them to keep my kids focused when I’m not around to supervise.  I just find them a really easy way of keeping all the clutter out of my head.

Because after all, when you are busy with kids, jobs, and projects there is a real danger of letting it all crowd your mind leaving you feeling overwhelmed, scattered, and not engaged with your life.

4 Ways Checklists Help You

When done correctly checklists are a really powerful tool that help you get out of the habit of rethinking everything and in the end save you a lot of time and energy.  Here are four reasons why they are such a powerful tool.

  1. They save you time and energy. It takes time and energy to plan birthday parties, get ready for vacation, and get everyone out the door in the morning.  And the reality is many things in life are simply a repeat of the same tasks and steps each time.  So why not save yourself time and energy by simplifying the planning process by using a checklist of those same repeatable steps each time.
  2. They help you be a more engaged parent. When your mind is filled with tasks, schedules, and worries, you have less capacity to be the parent you want to be.  You are more likely to snap at you kids or miss important moments.  Your kids need you to be present and they need you to know them.  One of the easiest ways of doing this is simply to clear your mind of the clutter and checklists help you do this.
  3. They give you a sense of peace and confidence. When you have developed systems that work and you trust, you will be amazed at how much calmer, confident, and at peace you will be.  When you are running around from task to task not knowing which end is up, you end up feeling overwhelmed and scattered.  Checklists help you stay focused and less scattered.
  4. They easily help you share ownership with the entire family. One thing I always tell parents is to share ownership with the entire family.  This means sharing family commitments with the kids, teaching them to add things to the grocery list, and getting them to help you remember important things.  Checklists are a great way of doing this.  You can use checklists to help kids get ready in the morning, do family commitments, or finish their homework.

If you currently use checklists, great for you!  If not, I encourage you to start by creating one checklist for the most stressful part of your life.  You can see just about every checklist I have ever written on the Free Stuff page to help you get started.

Do you use checklists?  If so, what ones are the most important to you?  I would love to hear your thoughts, ideas, and comments on Facebook  or Twitter.  I really love hearing from you!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.