Ode To a Checklist (National Checklist Day)

Ode to a Checklist

Life is incredibly busy. Between work, school, family, friends, and personal endeavors, you are constantly multi-tasking and dealing with all sorts of distractions. This can make it easy to forget to do certain tasks and create a feeling of sprinting from task to task and hoping you don’t miss an important step in the process. This is where checklists are incredibly valuable to help you focus on what matters most to you. The Franklin Planner system includes the Prioritized Daily Task List, a checklist to help you achieve your most awesome goals without getting overwhelmed, lost, or discouraged. Optimize your results using this simple checklist technique.

Step 1: Task Dump. List out projects at work, events with your family, errands, exercise, recreation, and self-improvement. The order doesn’t matter, as long as you put everything down.

Step 2: Prioritize. Take a look at your task list and sort all the tasks with three lettered priority labels (A, B, C): A for your top priorities, B for those that are less urgent or necessary, and C for the least important or urgent. When you’ve added a letter to each task, start with your A tasks and assign each task a number: 1, 2, 3, 4, and so on. The task marked A1 will be your top priority for the day.

Step 3: Follow Up. As you interact with your tasks throughout your day, you can keep track of your progress in your Prioritized Daily Task List with simple symbols:

✔ Completed – Check this task off your list

🠆 Forwarded – Write this task on a future date, and then note it in today’s task list.

✖ Deleted – This task no longer needs your attention.

G☑ Delegated – When you reassign a task, include the initial of who the task was delegated to and a circle to track progress.

⏺ In Progress – Highlight your ongoing tasks, reminding yourself that you’re working on them.

Step 4: Review. During your next planning session, review the marks you’ve made on your Prioritized Daily Task List and follow up on any tasks you forwarded or delegated. This list then becomes an excellent starting point for the next day’s task dump.

Daily planning takes only a few minutes each day, but it will save you a lot of time throughout. It’s also a great stress reducer because planning allows you to assess upcoming events and prepare for them. Daily planning is where your big ambitions meet with action. Start putting these principles into action now with a new Franklin Planner.

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