Checklists have been around for centuries and are just as viable today as they were when the Egyptians used them to build the pyramids, when Edison designed the incandescent light bulb, or when Colonel Sanders’ developed the recipe of eleven herbs and spices for Kentucky Fried Chicken.

They have been used to accomplish a wide range of tasks. What do you think a honey-do list is but a checklist for spouses? 😃  Below are a couple of checklist examples. The first is a bread recipe and the second from another world.

As a fan of the space program since my childhood, I love this checklist from Apollo 17. These steps helped the astronauts manage their sleep times.

Apollo 17 Lunar Surface Checklist courtesy of David Meerman Scott at Apollo Artifacts

Should you consider creating checklists for your niche? Yes!
So what comprises a successful checklist? I can think of no better way to analyze these questions than with a checklist in the form of an acronym story.

What kind of information should be included in a checklist? Here are some questions to consider. What is the end goal? What are the results you want to achieve? These answers will establish the required criteria for your checklist.

To successfully guide the user to the end goal, checklists must be helpful. Ask yourself, will this step help or confuse? If a step makes you say, “ Huh?” leave it out or reword it to make it more clear.

Checklists MUST be easy to follow. If a step overly is complicated, chunk it down into smaller steps. But don’t omit a step because you think it is obvious. Include everything you can think of.

Think of a checklist as a list of consecutive bits of information that when completed will accomplish a specific task. You are guiding the reader from point A to point Z.

Checklists are a way for you to impart your knowledge on a given subject to someone else. Don’t dismiss that “thing” that comes easy to you. Your way of explaining “that thing” is needed.

Checklists are a logical progression of steps to complete a task. Take your knowledge on a subject and break it down into the steps that make sense to you and then explain them one by one.

Don’t take it for granted a step will be obvious to someone else. Remember, you are guiding someone else to a result you have already achieved. They may or may not understand what you are having them do.

Record ALL of the steps you take. One after another. Don’t leave any step out regardless of how mundane you might think it is. Take them by the hand and guide them to the result they are after.

Think of checklists as templates because, in reality, that’s what they are. Checklists are a set of prescribed instructions, presented in an orderly manner that will produce a desired result every time they are used. That’s pretty cool.

Daily Doable: Use this template to build your own checklist. Follow each step and ask yourself the questions in the prompts. They will give you clarity.

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