Having a “systematic way to do things” is one of the greatest productivity devices on the planet!
From habits, which are set procedures, to checklists, to remember what to do in what order, the time to set these up will pay huge dividends!
KEY WORKABILITY INSIGHT
When you run across anything that you repeat over and over and you don’t “have it down” completely as to how to do it the best way, asap devise the procedure that would make it work – to get better results over and over and over – leading ultimately to achieving a dramatically better life! (And then you keep them accessible, through a reference system that works!)
HOW TO USE CHECKLISTS (PROCEDURES ARE A KIND OF A CHECKLIST)
Review the relevant checklist (or procedure) every day until you master it. Checklists imply what to do, including what to learn in order to be able to do what is needed. There is no better way to go.
Read, at the end, the story of the lady who started at the bottom and rose simply due to her procedurizing.
This seems to many as a bit of overkill, but it is highly productive and effective and very worthwhile for the higher payoff areas that have any routines at all.
Implicitly, as discussed also in You Must Have Good Programs And Good Procedures For Life To Work Well!!!, everything that you do (and repeat) has a “procedure” in your mind somewhere (called a neuronal pattern, with a “program” imbedded in it). The trouble is that many of them have not been well-thought out or completely designed to be most effective.
This is the way to designing (and noting down) what is effective! It is essential to succeeding in anything.
Habits are simply “practiced procedures” which become automatic and then become very easy. Habits are often thought of as something negative, something to change, and something to struggle with. But, no, they are actually our friends, though we should, as in life with people, choose them well. They are easy to implement – and soon after implementation of a few good ones, one’s life becomes immensely easier yet vastly more productive. That seems contradictory but it is true! (See Using The Power Of Habits – Understand, Then Devise, On Purpose.)
MASTERT CHECKLISTS – ANOTHER BRAIN
A master book in this subject is The Checklist Manifesto, by Atul Gawande, wherein the story is told of how sophisticated surgeons resisted the idea of a checklist because they “already knew it all”. But when the nurses and assistants started checking the checklists, since the surgeons did not, they found and corrected some things that could cause problems. And, as people began to accept using checklists, there was a dramatic improvement – and lives saved.
Pilots absolutely do a pre-flight checklist, just as you should, like this really simple one: Daily PRe-Flight And Pre-Hangar Checklist, used for personal stress and grounding.
I like the basic explanation at Lifehacker: How To Start Using Procedure Checklists For Flawless Task Execution.
A GOOD FORM IS A GOOD PROCEDURE ALSO
In business, a form can be set up to walk one through all the steps, logic, sequences, and information that is needed. Well, it is the same in life, so you might want to access the relevant forms in any area of special interest (go to the relevant directory and scan for them).
There are belief changing forms, problem solving forms, planning forms, life management forms, and other forms to access in many areas.
CHECKLISTS FOR RUNNING YOUR LIFE
For easier reference (and reminding), I’ve put together many checklists you can link into from Checklists For Running Your Life .
Be sure to do this, as it is one of the super-principles for making life better!
Write down as complete a list as you can of what you think you could do better with if you had a good solid, repeatable procedure written out and referenceable. Then check, for ideas and to stimulate your thought, these two directories with links:
Then decide which to do as a priority (list ten you will do in priority at least) and schedule them to be done (allow a week in between them, though some people prefer to do a whole bunch of them in their enthusiasm to make progress).
Keep them in a “Procedures Notebook” for now, and add in those procedures and checklists you’ve “borrowed” or the ones you’ve devised. Some of these might need to be practiced, so you’ll use The Process Of Changing.
Life will become immensely easier.
WHAT TO DO NEXT
I’d consider picking a checklist related to something you’d like to improve, from the Checklists For Running Your Life. Review it everyday and plan your week and day to include what you need to learn and/or do.
You should do this in the context of starting to do what works better – and building it into a habit – as one of the most powerful mechanisms is HABIT. See Using The Power Of Habits – Understand, Then Devise, On Purpose.
Note that the contents/links sections will provide you with an overview, with links, so that you can select what to read or do out of the pieces available.
THE LADY WHO PROSPERED FROM PROCEDURIZING
I recall reading the story about the lady who started at the very bottom in a company as an administrative assistant.
The one thing that distinguished her was that she had the weird practice of writing down every procedure she observed anyone in the company doing. And she kept them in a notebook, neatly typed up, though a few were still in rough draft form.
Eventually, people remembered that she had documented a way to do alot of the procedures, so they started to go to her to get a copy.
Soon, she rose in positions, not to be a secretary, but to be a supervisor. And then it wasn’t long before she was so vital, and so organized, that she became a vice president – at a substantial salary, since she was delivering substantial value to the company. The value was in efficiently doing what needed to be done, avoided mistakes, and a basis for examining and improving what was being done.
Of course, she probably became smarter in general from her practicing what it takes to think through a procedure. And if she could do that, she could do anything, as almost everything done has a procedure (sequence of clearly defined actions) to them.