They are an essential tool for delegating tasks and provide a roadmap for others to follow your systems so they can duplicate your results. Most of us will get to a point where we hit our maximum - we aren't able to grow our business because we are personally tapped out with our time and energy.
Creating checklists sound like a lot of work, but there are some simple ways you can make them. First, let me start with an example...
It's said that "the lazy woman cleans her own house". What is means is that it is so much work to teach our kids how to clean that many parents give up and do it themselves. This didn't work for me. I believe that as a mom, it is my job to teach my kids these important skills. And, as a member of our family, they deserve the opportunity to keep our home looking good. Checklists were the answer!
Here's what I did:
I started with the bathroom. I took a pad of paper and a pen, as well as the cleaning supplies I use. On the top of my page I wrote down:
Windex, Lysol Toilet Bowl Cleaner, Soft Scub, Paper towels, Then I added "under the sink" so they'd know where to find the supplies.
Next I went step-by-step through the activities as I completed each one. I wrote it down so it made sense, plus added how they'd know if the task was complete (the mirror is clean and "streak-free")
After the bathroom was cleaned to my satisfaction, I typed up my checklist, printed it off, and slipped into a clear page protector. I did the same with each room, making sure they knew what cleaning aids were needed and where to find them. We have 3 bathrooms in our home, so I purchased the supplies so each bathroom had it's own set. Each Saturday morning, the lists were divided between us and we were able to get it all done in under an hour! Then we were free to play and if someone showed up unexpectely, no messy house to be embarrassed by!
There were several "surprise" benefits by using the checklists:
1. The expectation was always the same and they were set up for "success"
2. They learned that it didn't take as long as they thought it would and if they did it right the first time, the job was done!
3. They learned how to clean in an effective and efficient manner. Now that the kids are all grown and on their own, these skills have served them (and their roommates) well!
4. I learned that when the explanation and directions are easy to understand and if they tools and products they need are close at hand, the job gets done quickly with very little complaining.
Think about your business... What jobs would you like to delegate? What if, the next time you do the task, you follow the example above by writing down each step you go through in what order, what tools or supplies are used, and what the end result should look like?
If you chose one task a day and developed it into a checklist, within a few weeks, you'd have a great manual that could be handed off to a new employee or intern. You'd still need to give some coaching, but it would be much less because of the checklists you'd already created! Then you'd have more time to generate profits!