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Checklist on paper

Great systems help ordinary people do extraordinary things. However, in my experience, a very simple fact is often overlooked. In our zeal to create great systems, we forget that a system is rarely more than a checklist.

The systems and information you have in your head may have lots of bells and whistles to them. Deadlines, individuals responsible, tools needed, and detailed descriptions of what needs to get done are all important. But in the end, all of this is still nothing more than a checklist. It’s that simple. As a result, don’t spend a lot of time adding accessories to your checklists. Instead, get yourself out of the Hourglass by getting your people involved in creating the basics first. The individuals doing the work will always have meaningful input. They may even be better at the tasks than you are. Start simple; start easy. Once something is on paper, then spend time reviewing and developing it. Just get something on paper – and quick! You need to be spending your time doing more meaningful things.

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