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How to Make the Most of Your Work Day: Value of a Checklist


Have you ever thought, “Oh, I don’t need to write that down, I’ll remember it.”? Then you forgot about the task and wished you would have written it down because it ended up costing you more time in the long run? Or you completely forgot about the task altogether?

Using a checklist is great for prioritizing daily, weekly, and even monthly tasks. I create a checklist with all the items/tasks I need completed and save the file. These do not have to be in a specific order, but I do sort mine according to day, week, and month. Then I simply print out the checklist daily. I also print the weekly and monthly checklists at the beginning of the week. After printing the checklist, I number the tasks in the order I want to complete for that day. Place a checkmark next to the task as you complete. Priority of tasks may change day to day which is why numbering helps. You may find it helpful to have a notes section on your checklist for items that may need to be written in and completed just for that specific day.

Not only does the checklist serve as a checkoff tool, you can also use to:

  1. Cross train coverage for your position or new hires, etc. This helps make sure you have covered training all areas of your position.
  2. If you have time off, give the checklist to your coverage so they know what needs to be done while you’re out. This also covers you because you have provided a task sheet when transferring responsibility to someone else.
  3. If your boss asks what you’ve accomplished for the day and what still needs to be done, pull out your checklist to show what you’ve been working on.

Maybe an item on your checklist needs a checklist. If you have a task that requires several steps, create a checklist for this task. I’ve found the checklist process decreased errors and made sure all steps were covered for a specific task.

A checklist is just a good way to help you manage and prioritize your day in an administrative role. Remember to update it frequently so it remains current. It helps you remember things you might have forgot and in the long run will actually help you thoroughly cover all tasks in your position and save you time!

Ellen Jensen
Ellen has over 25 years of experience as an administrative assistant managing the Celebrity Staff front desk. She is a Certified Professional Secretary (CPS), Certified Administrative Professional (CAP), and has an associate’s degree in secretarial studies. Co-workers trust Ellen to get the job done right and with a smile. Last February Ellen married the love of her life in an elaborate Las Vegas ceremony by ELVIS! In her down time Ellen spends time with her amazing husband, Jim, and their two tuxedo cats, Samantha and Darren.

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