In 2004, nine hospitals in Michigan began implementing a new procedure in their intensive care units (I.C.U.). Almost overnight, healthcare professionals were stunned with its success.
Three months after it began, the procedure had cut the infection rate of I.C.U. patients by sixty-six percent. Within 18 months, this one method had saved 75 million dollars in healthcare expenses. Best of all, this single intervention saved the lives of more than 1,500 people in just a year and a half. The strategy was immediately published in a blockbuster paper for the New England Journal of Medicine.
This medical miracle was also simpler that you could ever imagine. It was a checklist.
Checklists are just as effective for those of us not in the medical field:
Of course, these answers are boring. Mastering the fundamentals isn’t sexy, but it works. No matter what task you are working on, there is a simple checklist of steps that you can follow right now—basic fundamentals that you have known about for years—that can immediately yield results if you just practice them more consistently.
This reminds me of a great book my brother recommended to me, The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp.
People always want new, innovative, silver bullet shortcuts to getting shit done, when it’s really just about showing up and checking objectives off your list.