Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Magnet Checklist

I recently finished listening to the audio version of the book The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right. This book documents how simple checklists are saving lives. I was so impressed with this book that I added it to my Top Ten Books List.

I was inspired to create a checklist for my daily maintenance tasks. I created it using round refrigerator magnets on strips of painters tape.

Each task is written on its own strip of tape with the strips ordered by priority or sequence. I used foot long strips of painters tape of the type that is easy to peel off and reposition. The strips are mounted on the side of a refrigerator or metal bookcase so that magnets can be placed over the tape under the TODO or DONE columns.

For the magnets, I used one and a quarter inch diameter round magnets since they are large enough to discourage toddlers from swallowing them. The kind that I bought were beveled to make them easy to pull away from the metal surface. Sometimes I will position a magnet partway between the TODO and DONE columns to indicate that I have made partial progress.

On some daily checklist tasks that seem overwhelming or tedious, I try to work on them a little bit each day. Even at just a tolerable minimum of five minutes a day, you can start to see some progress over time.