Over these past few years I have gotten very disciplined in writing down checklists and learnings from events especially for those that I did not manage to plan before that. I find it is important to write down because it is going to be helpful and come in handy if you need it in future.
From time to time, your boss may assign you to do a project that you are are unfamiliar with. For example, your boss may request that you help to arrange for food catering or organize a performance for your department.
Most often that not, these impromptu tasks would not come with a SOP (standard operating procedure). You would probably need to figure out yourself. In my previous job, I have helped to plan for catering for few hundred staff and organize the Lion Dance performance for my department. For these events, our company requires that we submit quotations from at least 3 companies, then after selecting the company, there are forms and steps in order to submit to the Finance department to pay them. It is very easy to forget the steps if they are not written down.
I find that it is extremely helpful especially when it comes to stuff that you do not do often- that is to take sometime to sit down and write down the chronology of the steps you have taken in your role of the event. It is also very important to write down lessons that you have learned from the event. You would probably set aside 15 minutes of your time to do this but it would be invaluable in future.
It is also the same when it comes to certain important or critical tasks that you are doing. No doubt, an established company would have a detailed SOP to govern its process…. but you and I know that SOP hardly work in real sense. Have something that you write down in your own words of complicated or processes that involves multiple steps and checklists.
It would make your life easier. You would be less stressed knowing that everything is not in your head but it is properly written down. A further step is to also make the information available to others if the need arises.
You may know the tasks by heart without the need to write it down but what happens if during emergency or you need to take time off? If no one else know how to do what you are doing, then you would never be able to take a vacation. Even if you are on holiday, your phone would be ringing non stop.
Writing down really helps
As a blogger, I have a blog progress journal which I use to detail some steps and experiments that I use. Or when there is an issue and I managed to find the solution to it, I would write down in the journal. There is an index page to help me to be able to find information quickly.
I also have a role whereby at certain events I take photos and distribute to the participants (via Whatapps mainly) as well as post the updates on Facebook and the organization’s official website where I would also write the chronology and explain about the different activities. Even though I have done this for many years, I still find myself forgetting some of the steps. For example, how to remember who is who so that I know who to pass the photos to (gotta have a system to identify people through the photos), how to distribute the photos more effectively.
This year after that event, I sat down and wrote all the steps I have taken and the mistakes that I have made so that few months down the line, I can just open and refer to the steps.
Writing down checklists, steps and lessons are really useful to save us time and reduce our stress for the future event.
Don’t count on the fact that we can remember these information. Nowadays there are just too many things juggling for our attention and often we are playing multiple roles in our lives. Too much of stress and mental strain can really affect our memory. So