Would you like to lower your stress for a lifetime—starting today? Though it may sound too good to be true, the more you rely on checklists, the more you will breathe a sigh of relief. And though apps aren't necessary, they make the whole thing easier and more fun.
Example: After visiting family in May, I made a pre-travel checklist on my phone with the free app Wunderlist. Granted, I was making the list in hindsight. But I knew I could use it next time I traveled.
No More "Where's My Phone Charger?!"
Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago. I'm getting ready to fly out at an unholy hour to (you guessed it) visit family. So I dig out my checklist, print and clip it to my purple clipboard, grab a pen and start in.
My list includes everything from "Stop mail" to "Get up when the first alarm goes off and get set for a great day!" Sometimes we have to pretend getting up is fun—especially when the alarm will be going off at 4 am.
The list takes up a whole page. How am I ever going to get through this? Somehow I did. And though the purple clipboard wasn't necessary either, it helped. Anything fun usually does. That night, I slept a glorious seven hours and still made it to my plane on time.
12 More Benefits Besides Better Sleep
- Greater sense of control
- Lots of little victories—few things are more satisfying than checking something off your list
- The confidence that comes from setting yourself up for success
- A track to run on—no more recreating the track every time you travel, run a conference, give a speech, etc.
- Freeing your brain for more important things than, say, remembering the name badges
- A productive outlet for procrastination—making your list counts toward getting the job done
- Making hard projects easier, because you've broken them down into much smaller steps
- Reduced stress
- More time, more energy, more clarity
- Showing the world you care—because you're not letting anything fall through the cracks
- Avoiding costly mistakes
- Knowing when you’re done
One last tip, known as the Hemingway trick: Stop your work in the middle—mid-task, for example, or mid-paragraph/mid-sentence. Make it easy to get back on track—this is yet another way you can set yourself up for success.
Speaking of Success!
As a professional speaker, I work with teams to help them set themselves up for success. I love turning a speech into a memorable and meaningful experience—and I venture to say I'm good at it. Here are some of my most requested topics:
- Thriving at Work
- Best Foot Forward: Professional Etiquette for New College Hires
- Building Customer Loyalty (Before Someone Else Does!)
- From Buddy to Boss: Success Strategies for New Managers
- The 5 C's of Effective Nonprofit Boards
If you've got an event coming up where I can be of help, please check my availability while I still have some. I'd love to help!
The more you rely on checklists, the more relief you find.
— Gina DeLapa