Today over at the Freakonomics Blog, economist and acclaimed author Steven Levitt discussed a book entitled “The Checklist Manifesto“. Although I haven’t read it, and it does sound interesting (hint: my birthday is in nine months), here is what a reviewer on Amazon.com says about it,
The author’s key message is that the volume and complexity of knowledge today has exceeded any single individual’s ability to manage it consistently without error despite material advances in technology, boatloads of more training and super-specialization of functions and responsibilities.
I am big user of checklists and to-do lists. Most of my daily events and tasks are driven by a list. My list creating has gotten to the point that I have lists all over my apartment. There are lists of things to do, lists of groceries to buy, lists of people to call, I even have lists of lists to throw away. I wonder sometimes if my life is the epitome of the volume and complexity discussed in “The Checklist Manifesto”.
Is my life so complex that I have to have two, three, or even six to-do lists actively floating around? I do like to think I am my own corporation. I manage my own finances, food hunting and gathering, labor, entertainment, and do media creation all by myself and all from a small apartment in Tampa. If it wasn’t for those lists, those banes of my existence that have made me their slave, I would probably forget to vacuum the living room, change my bed sheets, send my mom a birthday card, or write this post.
Well, time to cross that off the list.