Punch-lists: One Simple Strategy to Maximize Effectiveness #summer = #preparation

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“A place for Everything and Everything in its Place”  ~Benjamin Franklin

The Power of a Punch-list

In education summer equals preparation.  Although it is a time to reflect, rejuvenate, and even relax, there is a considerable amount of work that needs to be accomplished.  A successful start to the school year begins at the end of the previous school year and into the summer time with planning. Punch-lists are a great way to maximize efficiency and productivity to ensure all the necessary work gets completed.

As leaders we stress organizational management; however, project management is typically left to divisions such as facilities. Unfortunately, this critical skill would benefit administrators greatly.  The summer should be viewed as a project with specific tasks to be accomplished. Since our motto is Getting to Simple, we don’t suggest delving into the world of Gantt Charts and sophisticated organization-tables, at least not at first.   In fact, a simple list of tasks organized into categories with a due date and someone assigned to the task is all you need.  The figure below demonstrates the simplicity of punch-lists and how one can easily be assembled.

Tip4Today:  Put the power in your punch-list by using Google Docs so that everyone on your team can see the lists and monitor progress.

PunchListExample

Even More Power in the Punch-list

On the surface of this strategy, we contend that punch-lists are a great way to stay organized, set targets, and know if key priorities are being met.  Yet, there is a much greater effect. The power of identifying and prioritizing work actually creates freedom for deeper levels of thinking and problem solving.

Wasting time thinking about what needs to be done is a productivity killer and restricts the mind. In order to be able to think productively and creatively on goals, challenges, and ideas you need to be free from the restraints of nagging tasks.  Punch-lists serve as a means to allow you to free your mind to focus on new goals that will best serve the organization.  However, much like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the mind cannot focus on the greater, more complex, tasks if it is worried and consumed with the mundane.  This month’s focus is on the power of reflection and this simple strategy is a great way to ensure that you have the freedom to explore and tackle the critical tasks to make your organization great and to keep things simple.

Tip4Tomorrow:  Put even more power in your punch-list by creating one for each month of the year.

Tell us what you think.

Joe and T.J.

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