Creating Checklists to Save Time
Creating checklists is one of the simplest systems you can introduce into your business. They can be as low or high tech as you want, but they will save you a huge amount of time and frustration.
You may have heard of checklists referred to as ‘procedures’ or even ‘standard operating procedures’. In essence, they are just a list of the stages you go through to get a job done right.
Why should you create checklists?
We all have certain jobs we do every now and then. They are the ones you’re familiar with but when it comes to doing them, you really have to think about what you’re doing. A checklist to follow will save you thinking time and allow you to do the task in hand smoothly.
There are also certain jobs that at some point, you’d like to outsource or delegate to someone else. These are either the jobs you struggle with, or just shouldn’t be spending your time on as a practitioner. Examples could be designing your own leaflet, or doing your own bookkeeping. These tasks are best done by a professional will do a better job in half the time, and leave you to work with your clients.
I love a list and I’ve created checklists for most of the jobs in my business from how to do my accounts to how to add a blog to my website.
When I did my first podcast as a practitioner, I really struggled to remember how to set up the tech when creating the shows. By compiling a checklist, I knew exactly what to do at each stage of the process. It took the pressure off me and I saved myself at least 15 minutes on each episode. This added up to over 12.5 hours for the series – nearly two workdays! Well worth the effort it took me to write the list in the first place!
Benefits of creating checklists
There is a massive benefit to having these lists in all areas of your business, you…
- don’t have to try and remember exactly what to do
- will complete jobs faster and more efficiently
- won’t miss out any steps
- will reduce the number of mistakes
- will have a readymade brief when you want to ask someone to do a job on your behalf
You probably already have a selection of different lists that you use as reference within your profession such as recipes, or case history forms. These lists assist you do your job. Creating process checklists to help your business to run smoothly is just adding to them.
Why stop at your business, you can have them to help you at home too – I have a packing list for trips to London, so I don’t forget anything.
Steps to create checklists
1. Start by identifying jobs that would benefit from having a checklist.
2. The next time you do that particular job, take the time to write down the stages as you do them.
3. List any settings, usernames, access codes or passwords details (don’t include these for anything like your bank account!)
4. Store your lists together in a secure place that you can easily access.
5. View this as an ongoing project and make sure you maintain the checklists to include all developments and updates.
Checklists are an asset to your business and well worth the effort. In addition to helping your business run smoothly, you can create them for your clients to supplement your work, as a marketing giveaway, or as materials for workshops and events.
What checklists can you create in your business? If you struggle to create efficient processes in your business, contact me for a chat to find out how I can help you.