Art of Creating a Checklist
Properly aa lot of times people just throw a whole bunch of stuff onto one list and then just go in order and whenever they get to the get to whatever they don't they don't and that's not the most efficient way to do things there's an actual art to it so how maybe we're actually using checklists yeah oh I got someone the background in the back of the audience like this that's okay that's okay you're going to use in one after this but how many people add things to check list just a cross him off I'm one of those I love it as a lot of checklist so it's going to sound like a lot as we go through this but when you get the whole art of it at the end you're going to kind of see exactly what you need to do and to be able to implement it and it's one of these key core stones deficiency in business I always have a checklist with me at all time true story my checklist did not make it with me from the plane from d c to hear I got on the plane to reach for it as you're going to see it becomes a ha...
bit in order for efficiency and I didn't have my book and I freaked out what was I going to do? It was how many feet near nothing I could do so I pulled out a napkin and I started running on a napkin for a checklist, and now I'm just going to make sure that it gets with the rest of my stuff. That's how important that the checklist is always with me so that I can remember things pictures like this. Oh, crazy. Probably got checklist galore. Going line is a whole bunch of sticky notes on your computer. Not efficient. You get overwhelmed and you end up not doing anything at all. All right, so you probably fall into one of these categories. You're probably thinking, why do I need one? Well, I just told you why you need one another person to be. Why? What materials do I need? How do I create them? And how do I even use them? And that's what? We're going to go over for this second to make sure is actually efficient and not spending time putting stuff on a list and then never actually doing it. Checklist is not just a checklist is actually a structure is an entire work flo structure on it it's not your mama's checklist on dso or her to do less that's on the fridge. This is really, really important to get on. One of the big things is that I really emphasize on checklist is to make sure you segment it out. It's possible the time out front is going to save you time later, when we talk about scheduling and everything, you only get certain amount of blocks I only have a certain amount of day that I could actually physically work because my kids are napping or their school or my husband has taken the reins for a couple hours. I don't need to spend that time figuring out what I'm going to dio if I have my checklist it's a constant slow process and always update the second I sit down, I can start working I don't have to spend ten minutes ten, fifteen minutes out of an hour block trying to figure out what I'm going to dio is already told for me, ok, so why to use you avoid having a plan, you can act instead boom! I then right there know exactly what I'm going to d'oh, and I'm kind of going to skip over the whole benefit to detriment here I'm just going to tell you there's a lot of benefits to check lesson these air white to use them the more efficient and consistent I don't have to have a surprise email from the cpi a going oh yeah, you owed me such and such. If I hadn't written it down, my brain is good but my brain's not that good when if I don't write it down on the list, it pretty much doesn't get done same thing is if it doesn't go on the calendar we don't do it I don't do it because ten minutes of planning is ten minutes less time acting and planning goes hand in hand, so consider this five days a week you pretty much get to work monday through friday maybe sometime the weekend shooting ten minutes of those days just ten minutes for you know where you're going to do for the day ends up being almost sixty minutes an entire out of our out of your week of just planning you haven't even made any money you haven't responded to clients at that point and that's on lee if you haven't taken your time to go get coffee, check out facebook instagram what you had for breakfast those types of things that's on lee for solely sitting down trying to figure out what to dio on. This is a actually survival tip that I learned in law school because my husband's deployed and I had the kids and I only had a certain amount of time to study all of my counterparts teo either heather spouses home or they didn't have kids and we were competing I needed to be able to find a way to live the plainfield and this is how I did it, and this is also how you can get ahead from all the other photographers who are stuck in the weeds, wondering where their business isn't moving forward because you're going to be acting while they're still in the planning stages see less chance of errors and omissions when you're going through everything just like that whole standard workflow process you want tohave with clients, you're less likely to forget something or do something incorrectly, you're less likely to nix a plan because you're completely and utterly overwhelms. How many people have a junk drawer in their round in their kitchen? Okay, we have his island and has four drawers every single one is a junk drawer and it became that way because it was looking at stuff out in plain view. I didn't want to do it there's so much to do with seven in the junk drawer or in a closet and then you open it up, you're like, I'm going to clean it, but I don't even know where to start, but you have in your mind. Well, hey, I'm going to sort stuff out to donate it's easier to do some little tangibly to start working towards the goal of getting it all done because out of sight is typically out of mind, but if it's on your checklist, you're going to get it done I'm your it's an educated news business. Practice on this is this is everywhere, standard of operating procedures and all sorts of businesses. So why should photography be any different? We're pretty unregulated industry, but what does it mean? We should act like other industries do to help stay on track and there's no reason. Yeah, we're creative, but doesn't mean we can't utilize it. And the pilot engineer example pilots have a standard operating procedure. When they get into the call into the cockpit, they have a list of everything they have to d'oh. But why do we not have one as well? Because we had to sit and wait while they try to figure out what they needed to do. How long would be sitting there waiting for takeoff? Exactly. Soc nobiz work means do nobiz work it sounds like a fortune cookie. Good quotable, but basically it's the junk drawer if it's put away um you, if it's all out there, you're overwhelmed you don't do it. If it's put away and you don't see it, you're not going to do it either, neither of them do you any good and that's why I recommend that you get it out of a pewter and put it on. The paper. I have a little book. It's the one I forgot. I completely met on showing you guys it's a ratty, tatty old thing that I keep all of with me at all times. I like I feel lost without it and right on it. And so that I can see the biz work that I had. I can write it if I put it into my computer. Nothing wrong with digital checklist sense. But if it's in my computer, I can close my computer and not go open that file at all. But if it's a book that I always have with me something in front of me, I may be more likely to right on to it so the materials needed avoid getting fancy. Start with a paper. One thing I always hear from photographers. Well, I want to run out and get a fancy shmancy checklist, get a daggone piece of paper out and start writing. Keep a paper no and or no book at hand at all times. I have a business planner that stays in my office, so I have pretty much to working things. I have that ready teddy book that's always with me so much from that chick fil a play place of my kids, we go for a treat my four year old decades ago all the time if I all this and get an idea where I needed to write something down or get an email right, then I can write it in there into my ready tatty book and I want to get home I'm able toe translate it into my other checklists and then I do an electronic system that is to compile data. We're going to see the difference here in a second between multiple checklist, so it sounds like I'm adding work t by have multiple, but it really pares down and focus is where you need to be, so how to create them? You're going to start with your business and marketing plans because one of our list is really going to be a long term view. Do we have something that's on the peripheral that is coming up in july that we didn't do that? But it's janey wearing what we still need to be mindful as it approaches because it may become a little bit more relevant and to act on it, you want to keep personal stuff off the business list and vice versa. This is where I want kind of throws everything onto one checklist to do for the day, and then pretty much the personal stuff probably ends up getting pushed off or the business stuff that you have to do, but you don't want to dio, so I always make to list one that is an immediate list and one that's the long term, the long term kind of has the deadlines and stuff on it like I know say, july's common, and I wanted to reach out to a certain vendor and that's gonna be my long term list in january, but as we get closer, it may creep on over to the media, but if I had it on one long list and we keep getting pushed down and stuff, we keep putting in front of it, I never built with phil that outreached that vendor and missing a complete marketing opportunity in my whole marketing plan for the years, probably at that point, so that's the where we're going that so how do I know what is going to go on the list? We've been I've been saying it because probably sick of hearing it, I want to get as much bang for my buck out of one action. So what is going to give me the highest return of investment right now? I don't want to go and do this piddly little things with your boy biz doing busywork and you're busy, you're not just really gaining ground, so the saying is eighty percent of your profits come from twenty percent of your offerings. Same thing here eighty percent of your efficiency is going to come from the twenty percent of the priority things that you need to get done in order to check them off really quickly. So we have the global list in the two local to do lists, and this is what I talk about. The global is going to rest more in the long term, ongoing things that are on the horizon, and they're heavy more in the best stuff let's, give me an electronic or type. This is where I say you can put into the computer because I'm probably not going to keep it in my ratty tatty book with me all the time, I still kind of in the back of my mind, but it's written out the local to do list is the thing that I keep with me. It's, the media, it's the most important issue that's a word heavy and client stuff and it's more of a hand written thing, this is actually the one I'm gonna be operating on from for every day, so you see how we're segmenting it out. We're seconding out, but you're still only really operating on one with another one kind of as a guide to drive you along s o the global helps to keep you on track with your long term goals with the whole point besides keeping on track that allows you have something to do on slower days you have the freedom of choice that you have a slower day to go do something else, you go to the party if you can go take a nap, even go watch game of thrones season after one after the other and even watch that show where that came from on netflix or you could say, oh, I got stuff coming up on the global to do list here, aiken, target this on these days and you're always going to evaluate a shift from global stuff to local, so just because they're in global doesn't mean that they stay there for the most part local stuff's going to stay on the local and the and we're going to target the quicker items first, so when I sit down in the morning and I had my thirty minute block, I know it, ok? This is what I need to do. I have my to list out I'm gonna look really quickly to see which are the quickest items first, then the priority items next, so because if I start doing a priority and that may take me for forty five minutes but I only have a thirty minute block I could have gotten some quick little ones done it off and then my next block for the day I could commit that to that forty five minutes priority one so it still priority it's on the local list? I'm still going to get it taken care of that day but it's not the first thing I need to do, which is normally how people put their to do list the myth is that you need to put things that you don't like to do or super priority first and that's not the way it is you want it get off the little small things that you can again still evaluating if there's a benefit and then go into priority okay, so how to use it? Obviously you're going to write it down like I said, I am good that I am not that good I it has now become a habit I've used to so much that I reached for it almost like I reached for my phone to check social media I reached for my to do list so much to make sure that I have it written down. I can also utilize this remember earlier I talked about that that practice it in law school every fifteen minutes we had to write down something we were doing when I need to re evaluate my time of what I'm committing and you guys wrote that list of kind of what you think you're expending a lot of time on, this is a perfect place to look at what I'm going to re evaluate later on what is common things they're consistently happening on here that I put in my local to do list that I need to get done there taking up a lot of my time and that's where you can go joining automate it any digitized joining outsource it and that's where all those other things that we're learning about coming into play but this is the middle that's going to show you and really revealed reveal the inefficiencies do not count on your brain okay that's a little cut off this is the ten top ten places that entrepreneurs have a light bulb moment and I talked about this on my facebook page the other day because I just really weird and baring my soul I get my best ideas when I'm in the shower I haven't taken the book in the shower with me yet, but I always get my best ideas so it's on the counter or near me so when I get out I can write it down, they said that is all over forty percent said that it was at least the bar the toilet on the train in a dream in the car on vacation, exercising in bed, talking to friends or at work I personally find I don't get my light bill moments at work when I'm actually working it's one of all these other ones that I need to have to be able to in order to write it down perfect example of this is looking for things you need to block about we've already established that blogging needs to be done. We're going to talk about tomorrow how to do that effectively, but one of the big key things that people don't bloggers to know I'm tired of logging client sessions, I want to have a little bit more stuff to my block. Well, you know, I may be out and think, oh, that would be a great idea of a non photography thing that I can write about that on my block in order to get some ceo and stuff going, but by time I get home to write it down, I'm gonna have you gotten that great grand idea that I had so don't miss your you wreak a lightbulb moment um by not having it, so write it down you're not telling your brain and priority is going to depend on your business plan everyone's checklist is not going to be the same across the board, so even when you're with partners in a real, any partnership because you're working with your spouse, you're gonna have their priorities because you have different functionality guys take care of what did you tell me at lunch? He does the who does the processing way both shoot I add it he does a lot of the client communication, but we kind of split it still well, so you both showed he most of displaying communication you mostly do editing so your priority list for the day his air probably gonna be responsive client management and yours they're going to be getting those ones that are creeping up on the deadline of getting done whereas if it was one compile a list mike both see it then you're not really targeting specifically what you need to do you're spending more time evaluating should I be doing such insight? Was that a segmenting it out? Thie example is kind of what I gave a little bit ago you could have too if you could have two photographers they both have these two lists everything's great on january one they both make the decision that they're going to reach out to other vendors photographer a wants to reach out to other vendors for valentine's day or some spring event photographer be doesn't want to reach out to do anything until halloween or thanksgiving christmas there to do a lister look completely different jogger phrases stuff going on the local list because he needs to reach out to that menu and get that taking care of photographer b is not going to probably keep that on the global until mid year and then shifted over to local to start cultivating the relationship and that's how when you are identifying the priority it's on your business plan not just what needs to be done and that was the method talked about they always they do things you don't want to do first actually just heard another business consultant after I wrote this slide say this within a webinar in the last week, and all I can think of was no way because I don't want to do laundry, but doing laundry first on my to do list and wasting my thirty minutes that I have is not could propel me forward on any of my business aspects or anything in the hall. I mean, I could probably throw in a load, but or taxes, I don't want to do taxes, but if they're not do home and texas are due next week, but if they're not due for a whole year, they're not going to be priority, so the whole idea that I don't want to do something doesn't make coming a priority now that to be said, don't keep pushing something off and justifying it simply because you don't like it, such as taxes, uh, that's going to completely defeat the whole purpose. And be flexible because life happens I think a lot of times that business owners are so wrapped up and I have to stick to the checklist I have to do this even when it comes to like your office hours and this you need to make sure that if a kid gets sick you have to adjust the kid's not going to put me in sick because you need to answer client emails I mean reality life happens family member gets sick do you have to take care of or an accident and your clients are pretty much understand if you have the checklist you're able to target the party things to get done to get the client happy and then tell them hey, this is what's going on most people whose clients are gonna understand this since you were able to identify right away we needed to be done to make to get from that point of happy it's not such a big deal and if you are like well I haven't gotten your images families you know I mean like they understand life happens, but if you're able to still provide them and quickly get something done because of your list, then you're able to keep a happier client it's overall and then reevaluate consistently I probably just at the beginning of every month I see or any of my deadlines coming up for things such as creative life for me this has been a year process now this was on a global list for a while we'll obviously in the last month this has been number one on my local list well in the top five of my local iscause I still had other things that the business how to have done every day but there are things that ended up shifting around so this is an example uh me see all right so way what month are we and we're in april now let's I wrote this in march so say we're going to break down so was just putting let's blogged we want to break it down as much as possible you can start with big umbrellas but you need to get really need a greeting of exactly what you need to dio because the whole elephant I need a blogger catch up on blog's is a really big thing and probably going to put it away now you some island over that hey but I'm probably not going to get it done but if I break it down and say I need to finalize all the january blogged features for those clients that have already paid because I don't do it so they paying all that's closed out then I let me go ahead and get those done whereas if I'm just looking at all everybody from like there till now that's a lot more than maybe the eight that I had in january we've got went from maybe thirty two down to eight, and then I can start focusing on the february blawg sessions um and then here's another features. I also need to be making sure that I'm updating feature blog's sessions that are on the front of my block. I have a section for our clients to be able to hone in on because I'm not winning that beacon clearly overwhelmed with all the bloggers out there and all that millions of categories of session features I have, I want to keep them in on certain sessions that have done in the past that are also things that really are my brain that I'm really excited about, but I want to keep those fresh that's not going to be a priority item for me because I'm not going to get a high return on investment right away on that is something that needs to be done. But it's, more important that I get the bog features out the clients that have already paid because it's a value that's added to what they paid me and it's that virtual business car that I need them to start using to start bringing in other clients for me adjusting this on the front pages, and then give the clients it's good to have but that's how the priority goes. So I have this and then I know all its becoming quite removed from january we're in april. We need to switched overto local but keep all this blogging stuff over here. If this was just a blogging to d'oh it's probably gonna sit in global for a long time and none of this is going to get done. It needs to be get specific as possible and everything. And then another one is, like identify a feature blogged to sharing your next newsletter I recommend, like quarterly campaigns to clients and enquiries to keep your name in front of them. But again, this is in a big return. If you're not doing a newsletter for three months, why is that a priority item to choose today and that's? How that works to make a big task breakdown into many tests. And I know that this is like all this seems like a lot more work, but really, if I just identify and decide the hold and you were talking about, if I identify any to block and I force myself to come up with, like, three many tests, you can do that really simple. I mean, it could be something as simple as making sure that my ceo keywords air good, making sure the blog's eamon working really simple task you can add and that evaluating in local for a ship shift to global I may say I need to follow up e mails with clients I do with checking in on you email to all my clients it's not a formalized email it's after the session has ended and the file is close because I never really close it might make them my friends I never really fully close it but I will remember the month two months down the road oh, I need email sally just say hey how's little to me soccer league going so they remember that I listened to what they said but it may not be a local priority item that day because there's our our relationship at that point is pretty close there's nothing priority that's hinging on there's no contractual obligation and responsibility it's a nice to have so I may shift that over to a local up sell emails and or referral program reminder which one out of these three is probably going to bring me more return on my investment too send somebody probably end up selling now say they ordered in our session they did the ten by ten album and then I went to go order it I'm like, oh, you know what they really were I in the twelve by twelve aiken senate up cell email road quickly say ham submitting it that's going to be priority item over just the checking in to see how little timmy is doing or a referral program reminder. Maybe it's been someone I haven't had for a while, and I want to remind them, hey, I got a referral program. You can make some money off of this that's. What we're going to be party, probably a stage two priority for me could probably go over to global for a bit, but it's still gonna be something that's pretty priority.