Time management tips abound, but the only ones that improve your life are the ones you actually use.
Of course, it takes powerful motivation to introduce a new practice into your busy life! What arguments convince you to actually adopt a new time management system? How about the following?
1. Hospital doctors using checklists will increase your chance of surviving under their care.
At the prestigious Johns Hopkins ICU, for example, when checklists were first required, infection from a common procedure dropped from 11% to zero, likely preventing, over 2 years, 43 infections and 2 deaths, saving the facility $2 million.
This experiment was repeated in 8 hospitals worldwide, using the same checklist, with still more startling results. Every one of the eight hospitals witnessed a drop by 36% of major postsurgical complications in the six months after the checklist was introduced. Deaths fell by a staggering 47%!
2. Airline pilots depend on using checklists.
How many times have you trusted an airline pilot with your life or with the life of a family member? Like doctors, an airline pilot is only one member of an entire aviation team. They routinely use checklists to ensure they improve communications during flights. It is essential that every team member remain on the same page and use proven protocol to reduce risks. And for this, they use checklists.
3. Even doctors who hate checklists prefer checklists.
The vast majority of those doctors who felt disdainful about having to use checklists admitted that they would prefer to be operated upon by a doctor who used a checklist!
Surgeon and public health advocate, Dr. Atul Gawande, offers these arguments and more in his book, The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right. This fascinating NY Times bestseller argues that checklists are lifesavers because our lives have become so very complicated. Basic steps can too easily be overlooked by any of us at any time, leading to tragic consequences. As an exercise, scan the daily paper… Notice how frequently simple oversights committed by educated and disciplined professionals precipitate crises.
Checklists Even Help You Think Better!
Checklists offer another significant advantage. By reducing the clutter of information you try to keep in your head, you strengthen your capacity to make decisions that make you happier and more effective.
Recent tests prove conclusively that tasks as simple as remembering a string of numbers overburden the prefrontal cortex, interfering with effective decision-making. What a waste of personal potential!
How many things do you try to keep in your head? Wouldn’t it be nice to free up that energy by using a checklist? How many mistakes have you made that using a checklist might have prevented? The only way you will learn how using checklists can dramatically improve your life is by using them. Experience the benefits firsthand, over time! Like doctors and pilots, you will most likely be gratified by how checklists help you “get things right”.
So, how can you use time management right now to live most effectively?© Copyright 2010 Paula Eder, Ph.D.