Forgetting to Remember

“Did you mean to leave your phone charger?” read the text I received as I was nearly to my Mom’s to stay with her for a couple of days while she had surgery to remove a cataract.

“Nope. Didn’t mean to forget my raincoat either.”

Luckily I knew that my Mom would have both items for me if I needed them.

Earlier this month, when I came out here for the first cataract removal, I forgot my toothbrush at home, and then left the rest of my toiletries at her house when I left.

Clearly my memory isn’t what it used to be.

I have this dream of making checklists so I’ll never forget something again. Checklists for an overnight stay, a longer trip, a mountain climb, a visit to the beach.

I never seem to get around to creating them though. They remain in my head, clogging it up, and not really helping me remember.

Enter, The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right.

I’ve only just started this book, but I have high hopes for it. The author, Atul Gawande, explains how a ninety-second checklist reduced deaths and complications by more than one-third in eight different hospitals.

Today at the hospital where my mom had her surgery, they used multiple checklists. And sent her home with one for the complicated schedule of eye drop use she has for the next month. That checklist made it so easy for her to comply with the medication schedule over the last month.

While I’m not likely to save any lives with my checklists, it sure would be nice to have a raincoat in the Portland spring.

Are you a fan of checklists? Have you read this book?

Photo Credit: Forgot What I Wanted to Remember by Flood on Flickr


3 comments to Forgetting to Remember

  • Oh my gosh! I’m excited to get my hands on this book. I dream of having a small moleskine full of checklists.

  • I adore checklists and have been making them for myself for years. I have them for sewing projects (zipper checklist, waistband checklist, pants checklist) and travel (prep checklist, packing checklist, planning worksheet adapted from one from Jen Hofmann), and I used to have one for my j-o-b, everything I had to do. I love how checklists take out the thinking and you are left with just the doing because you did the thinking in advance. Perfect for when the doing is laced with anxiety (as in the case of travel, for me at least) and thinking isn’t at its clearest. I haven’t read the book but have seen it and thought, yep, I already know how much checklists rock. Happy checklisting! :)

  • […] the Checklists Shannon Wilkinson | June 1st, 2012 If Mr. Gawande didn’t convince me about the power of checklists, Darcy sure did with her […]

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