In his NYT Bestseller 'The Checklist Manifesto - How to Get Things Right' surgeon Atul Gawande examines the use of checklists and applies it to his profession with impressive results.
'We worked with Boeing to learn how they made checklists for cockpits. We made a two-minute checklist for operating rooms. And when we implemented it in eight hospitals, ranging from rural Tanzania to Seattle and London, the average reduction in deaths was 46 percent.'
If you have ever driven away from a shared place and then wondered if the stove was off, a checklist could be a useful tool for peace of mind.
We use one at our shared ski house. It's a departure checklist that we hang near the front door. When you leave you simply work down the list checking off the tasks. When it's complete you can rest assured that all the important tasks have been done.
Items on our checklist include:
- Setting all 6 thermostats (we list the room locations) to 55 degrees
- Checking that the oven is switched off
- Unplugging the toaster
- Refilling the woodbox
- Closing the wood stove flue
- Cleaning any perishable food out of the fridge and pantry
The checklist also serves as a good place to make a quick note about fixes, replacements, breakages or issues that need attention. When the next person arrives they can review the checklist and see if the house is getting low on dish soap and make a note to pick some up.
We store old, completed checklists at the back of the pile on the clipboard. One family member has responsibility for maintenance issues and he's able to flip through periodically and see if anything is noted as needing attention.
Make your Own Checklist
Download a free checklist template here. Customize it with your details and either print off a set of sheets and leave them on a clipboard or you can order a custom-printed tear-off pad.
Digital or Just Hard-Copy?
Resercal users (or potential users) are you interested in adding a digital checkout list to the app? Much like the rules page the manager(s) on your account could edit the list for your group, then members can use it to work through the items as they prepare to leave. One argument for the digital version is that you can review it later when you are on the road and wonder if you did in fact turn the kitchen stove off? An argument for the hard-copy is that not all shared properties have Internet. Let us know your thoughts in the comments.