Hard-Copy Checklists

I’ve mentioned before how good GTD is for getting back on track after an absence, a vacation, or even a weekend. However, sometimes I just lack the momentum to get going the correct way. It’s not my work management that directly suffers. Actually, it’s usually things like my chores at home, or making time to meditate before or after work. These little things fall by the wayside, and their lack of doing slowly adds up to some kind of dysfunction.

In order to combat this sort of off-sliding, I have returned to something that’s always worked for me. Hard-copy checklists. And I’ve returned with a vengeance.

Taking a page from Ben Franklin, I fired up OpenOffice Calc (stay away from Excel, folks), and created a checklist using a spreadsheet.

For example, here’s my home checklist for this week. It includes all of the important transition times. X means I did it, means it was intentionally skipped, and o means I should have done it, but I didn’t. I’ve been skipping morning meditation this week because it gets hot quickly, and I want to be to work before it warms up. (I bike 3.3 miles each way).

Week: 30
Morning Sun M T W R F Sat
Check Calendar X X X X
weigh in o X X X
Strngth Trn X X
Weather X X X X
shower & dress o X X X
Phone X X X
Multitool X X X
shower slate o X X X
vitamins o X X X
put away dishes X X X X
breakfast X X X X
spark o X X X
pack lunch
check outbox X
Pack Transit X
pack ipod X X
turn off AC
turn off lights X X X
lock up behind X X X
Return Home Sun M T W R F Sat
Check Calendar X o X
Check Transit o o
Check Menu X X
Empty Inboxes X o X
Make Dinner X X
Clean up
Evening Sun M T W R F Sat
Wipe counters o
Wipe stove o
Clean drains o
Run Dishwasher o
Empty Trash o
Empty email X X X
Work time log o
sparkpeople o X o
LiveJournal Post X X o
End of Week
Print new checklist

Because I’m preparing to move this weekend, I packed up most of my stuff. As such, I’m using a digital copy of the checklist at home today. However, this is designed to be a paper checklist, and it works much better as such. Try making your own, and see if it helps any.