The Joy of Checklists


I love things that make the work go easier, don’t you? In this super-busy age (the era of multitasking) we can all appreciate things that make our work go faster, get done better and help avoid mistakes.

This is one reason I love checklists. I’m “checklist crazy” in fact.

And for good reasons.

A well-crafted checklist can help you …

  • Do a better job
  • Do that job more quickly
  • Help avoid mistakes
  • Help avoid the “I can’t believe I forgot that!” situation we all face from time to time.
  • Help us teach others how to do the things they need to do to succeed.

That last point – teaching others to do a job with effectiveness – is huge in business.

Way back when, the McDonald brothers knew how to make a great hamburger.

They knew how to run a great local hamburger business.

But they didn’t know how to grow like they wanted. They didn’t know how to expand to become the world-famous McDonald’s we know now.

For that, they needed a partner who understood checklists.

A person who could systematize and organize their business processes so that any 16 year old could cook the fries as well as the most seasoned fry-cooker.

They needed Ray Kroc.

For Ray Kroc’s genius was checklists.

Ray Kroc took McDonald’s from a few restaurants to the McDonald’s we know today. As of this writing, they have over 35,000 active restaurants with integrated restaurant systems.

That growth was created, in no small measure, by the amazing ability of Ray Kroc to create a simple step-by-step checklist for almost every activity of running a McDonald’s.

This is why Michael Gerber, in his excellent The eMyth Revisited, uses Ray Kroc and McDonald’s as a shining example of what he calls a “turnkey” business.

More about turnkey businesses soon. For now, let’s look at the make up of a great checklist, and how you can use them in your life and business.

I believe a great checklist has these three characteristics:

  1. It accomplishes a very specific task.
  2. It does that using very small “baby” steps.
  3. It is so simple a first-timer can use it.

If you can develop a checklist that does these things, you will have a powerful tool indeed!

I’d like to share one of my checklists with you today. Use it any way you want, for your own use, but please don’t give it away or sell it.

I do sell these checklists, so please know the checklist I give you today has real value. That’s why I ask you not share it.

This checklist is for embedding a video on a blog using a service called Vimeo.

When I developed this checklist my goals were simple.

  • I wanted to stop being the person who put videos on my sites.
  • I wanted to make it easy for someone else to do it with no questions.
  • I wanted it to be done well and done quickly.

So I took the time to develop the checklist you can download right now.

By the way, this checklist empowered one of my employees to embed her very first video in less that 15 minutes with zero questions asked.

She uses the same checklist today, to make sure nothing is overlooked, and has embedded many videos using this process.

All with no mistakes, no worries about doing it “right” and without my involvement.

We both win!

I hope you enjoy this checklist, and consider creating your own for all the important business tasks you face each day.

From creating squeeze pages to writing articles to creating membership sites, we use checklists for many of the things we do.

Just as I would never get on an airplane where the pilot did not use a pre-flight checklist, I won’t open a new site or do any major marketing task without the safety and security of a checklist.

Checklists empower, ensure quality and make our lives easier. And they allow us to outsource with complete confidence as well, freeing us to do even more in our businesses.

And those things, my friend, are beautiful things indeed!

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Charlie Page

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