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Chris LoCurto

By

May 31, 2011

Check Me Out!

In What Am I Doing? I talked about the importance of creating a to-do list. You’ll save amazing amounts of time each day if you just do a quick brain dump of all the tasks you need to get done the next day. On top of that, one of the most valuable things (if you’re like me) is a checklist. Yep, I know, it sounds like I’m giving you more work to do. The truth is, I’m saving you a lot of heartache.

How’s that? Well, a checklist is more than just a checklist. It’s a list of goals. Let me give you an example: When I first started working at Dave Ramsey‘s office as the VP of Live Events, I was handed a legal size sheet of paper from my EVP explaining how we do events here. Now, I just came off of doing multi-day youth events where I realized just how not detailed I was. When I looked at that sheet, I knew right away I was going to fail if I didn’t turn that into a series of goals I could hit no matter what was going on at the time.

I turned that one sheet into 34 pages of things I needed to get done to pull off a successful event. Then I hired incredible coordinators who took it even further and turned it into a 60 page checklist. Side note: The checklist for EntreLeadership Master Series is 100 pages long. With everything spelled out in a fantastic Excel spreadsheet, we are able to produce outrageous events without missing a thing.

Our checklist became a list of goals that if hit, will produce exactly what we intended, leaving only the unexpected, which, without a checklist, becomes a crisis because we would be dealing with the items we missed as well as the unexpected. And with my personality style, I would miss a ton of stuff if I tried to just go from memory. With the list, the unexpected is only an inconvenience.

So, as you have projects you need to complete, write down all of the goals you need to hit for them to be successful. It doesn’t matter how short or long it is, just as long as it is thought through. And for the highly detailed folks on your team, make sure they understand there is a chance they will always be adding to this list. Your projects may morph over time, so you’ll learn new things. And detailed folks like things to be finalized. :-)

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  • Chris

    Thank you for the important post. Can you share your to do list mentioned above so we can see the methodology and detail? I believe that would illustrate the process depth that makes it work. Seeing is often the best teacher.

    • http://Chrislocurto.com Chris LoCurto

      Hey Chris, thanks for the question. Do you mean the check list, or the to-do list?

  • http://hthr.wordpress.com hthr

    I love this, Chris. I feel sufficiently lost without my list! My husband made a customized ‘week at a glance’ for me for the way my week operates and it breaks down my list categories too. I get so much satisfaction from crossing stuff out when it’s done!

    • http://Chrislocurto.com Chris LoCurto

      Thank you! It has changed how successful I am at completing tasks correctly. My personality style can always complete a task. Whether it’s right or not depends on that list. :-)

  • http://www.medicalaccountsolutions.com misty

    Chris, I find that making a check list/todolist increases the amount I am able to accomplish. It also is very helpful in getting things out of your brain so that you can stay focused on accomplishing what needs to happen at the second and not get lost and overwhelmed in everything that needs to be done for the day. I always have a running todolist for work and personal life…and I rarely get it all done in one day, but I like it like that. Keeps me motivated to look forward to tomorrow! Thanks for the reminder.

    • http://Chrislocurto.com Chris LoCurto

      Absolutely!! You are so right on how it keeps you focused. People don’t realize that you can only hold so much in your brain.