Why Checklists Save Lives.

From Pilots to Doctors, Truck Drivers to Tradies, we show you 5 ways checklists can be super helpful!

Checklists can be real lifesavers, literally. New research has found that by using a simple checklist, surgical teams were able to cut patient mortality rates in half and complications by more than a third – just by surgeons not having to rely on memory alone.

It’s the same reason pilots use checklists to help them through complex processes like landing and takeoffs. If a pilot forgot to bring down the landing gears before landing because he was momentarily distracted, it could result in the death of everyone on board. Checklists help pilots perform complex tasks consistently and with high quality while avoiding mistakes and errors.

Sounds extreme, but it shows why checklists can be so helpful.

Our Tradies follow a range of weekly checklists, ensuring tools, equipment and vehicles are all stocked, and ready to work. And no one is turning up to a job without the tools and equipment needed.

Here are five ways checklists can help you:

1. Checklists help you perform complex tasks consistently

2.  And with high quality

It may seem silly to spend time making a list of “how to” complete a task you do frequently. But, such checklists can actually save you time, and ensures that you’re completing the task fully and with consistent quality.

The more complex the task, the more useful a checklist becomes.

A well-designed checklist promotes consistent quality irrespective of who is doing the work and can be used to detect and correct common errors and problems quickly and effectively.

3. “Reengineer” your work processes

Most of us follow certain processes or steps, as part of doing our work. And, lets be honest, some of these processes have inefficiencies or unnecessary steps built into them.

Most people never stop to think about these actual processes, and as a result never improve them.

Creating a checklist and detailing the steps that you need to complete the task or job at hand, will immediately make you more aware of the actual process itself and whether or not it needs to be modified to work better – make it more efficient and more effective:

–       Take out steps that are no longer necessary.

–       Streamline processes by consolidating different parts or rearranging the order of steps.

–       Find better ways of getting to the same result.

You do need to be aware of blindly following a checklist without using your common sense. Use the checklist to HELP you avoid forgetting to do something important, NOT as an excuse to do your work without thinking. Reviewing and reengineering your checklists regularly can help you avoid that problem.

4. Prevent errors, mistakes and rework

Checklists save you time by keeping you from having to fix mistakes, correct errors or having to do a task over again.

For example, our ‘Daily Office Checklist’ ensures that the alarm is turned off, the phones come off divert etc. Each necessary task is checked off once completed so that there is no doubling up of duties within office staff and ensures all tasks are complete.

5.  When someone else has to do your job in your absence.

Instead of having to ask around or guess how to do things, they would have step-by-step instructions to follow. While they might not breeze through the task like you do, a good checklist would be a big help.

What’s next?

  1. Join our Kick-Ass Tradies Facebook Group, for access to trade business specific conversations, tips and resources, plus a like-minded community of tradies.
  2. Book a 15-minute Game Plan Call with Andy, owner of Dr. DRiP plumbing and co-founder of Lifestyle Tradie, to clarify your priorities and get clear action steps.