The Daily Checklist is a Time Management Strategy.
Use it to create more hours in your day.
It’s especially useful for making progress on long term plans when urgent, short-term issues overwhelm your day.
I used it successfully to start up a second business while I was still running the first business.
- I really want to be doing <that> instead of <this>
- I’m in control of the big issues, it’s the little details that are falling through the cracks
- I’m not sure how I’m spending my days
- I need to be more efficient
It empowers you to:
Make progress on your strategic plans while you’re being hammered by tactical issues.
How it Works:
Make a list of everything you want be doing on a daily basis.
Pick the easiest 3 that meet the following criteria:
1. Each item is no big deal (i.e. it is easy to do)
2. All items combined take less than 60 minutes
3. Each task stands on it’s own each day (i.e. does not depend on previous day’s efforts)
Add them to the left hand side of the sample Daily Checklist.
Each day, if you meet the criteria, check off the box.
NOTE: You will not complete everything every day. This is normal. It’s good. It’s expected. You are developing discipline. You are finding efficiency. The intent every day is to check everything off. Usually it takes 2-4 weeks to consistently achieve that goal.
Celebrate any day you check off everything.
A goal of reading more is unachievable. There’s no way to measure success.
Instead, read for 15 minutes a day.
A goal of making 25 phone calls a day is daunting. It’s hard to get started. It’s hard to carve out enough time to make all those phone calls at once.
Instead, make 5 phone calls. It’s easy to get started, and once you get in the rhythm you can easily make more calls. The key is finding the time to get started.
A common mistake when using the Daily Checklist is to owe yourself tasks from yesterday (i.e. you only walked for 20 minutes, so you owe yourself 10 additional minutes today).
Daily Checklists are not cumulative!
Focus on each day as a new day.
Regardless of whether you earned a check mark yesterday, you can still earn one today.
Initially you will not complete all your tasks. The discipline is to do your best every day, and as you work with the daily checklist you will find more and more ways to be efficient.
Make a list of everything you’d like to be doing daily.
Then pick the 3 easiest.
You want to get some early wins.
That’s the way you’ll develop the right discipline.
The Daily checklist creates more hours in your day because as you develop your discipline with the list you find opportunities to be more efficient.
- Take a 30-minute walk while listening to a motivational tape.
- Make a sales phone call (hands-free!) while driving to the office.
- Read for 15 minutes while waiting for an appointment.
Here is the daily checklist I used when I was growing my existing business (through cold calling) and starting up a new business through referrals.
- Hand out 25 business cards (cold calling)
- Make one phone call (referrals)
- Write for 20 minutes
- Listen to a motivational tape
I wanted to start up my ImprovAndy business while I was still growing my Fish Window Cleaning business.
I realized that I could sell window cleaning in the morning, and work on ImprovAndy in the afternoon. That motivated me more for both because I was making progress on both at the same time rather than feeling like one was stealing from the other.
So I handed out 25 cold-call business cards each morning, and did my writing and networking follow up in the afternoon. The discipline was realizing that if I went back to the window cleaning office, I would spend the rest of the afternoon on window cleaning, while if I went to my home office then I could focus on ImprovAndy.
How do you create more hours in your day?