Posted by: universitymindlab | December 26, 2007

Create a Daily Checklist

Hey Guys, I have recently been added as a blogger at Psychology Today (Magazine). Come check out my blog, Communication Central, and leave a comment or two. :-) – August 2009

By Bakari Akil II Ph.D.  (December 26, 2007)

Whenever I want to achieve a task that requires more than a few days work I use a daily checklist. A daily checklist allows you to accomplish the following things; meet short, mid-range and long term goals; allows you to relax at the end of the day; keep track of your progess;  remain clear and focused on what you are trying to achieve; and prevents depressive thoughts brought about by aimlessness.

When I was pursuing my Ph.D. I used a daily checklist to keep me on track, to keep track of my progress and so I could relax. As long as I was accomplishing things on my constantly updated and revised list I knew that I would achieve my objective. It served as a motivational and inspirational tool that allowed me to be active in my own destiny.

Further, my list served as a no-nonsense guide that let me steamroll over road blocks. This is because I knew that if I didn’t accomplish the items on my checklist on a consistent basis I would never get things done. Working on the items on my checklist helped me to build momentum as well as confidence that I could get the job done.

So how can you use this system to your advantage? Here’s how:

1. Set a clear goal or outcome that you want to achieve.

2. Discover what it will take to accomplish that outcome.

3. Create a step by step list (using short, mid-range and long term outcomes).

4. Now break those items down into a list of daily tasks that will help achieve those short, mid-range and long term outcomes.

5. Create a document (daily checklist) that lists the items with a space that allows you to check it off.

6. Print as many copies you need to complete your task (14 days, 30 days, 90 days, etc.).

7. Revise the list as necessary.

8. Keep the daily checklists in a folder or notebook so you can pinpoint why things are or aren’t going according to plan.

By creating a daily checklist you put the outcome firmly in your hands. It serves as a tool for inspiration and motivation and helps you to build and maintain confidence. It also helps you to stay calm because you know that you will achieve your goal. Daily checklists also lets you monitor your progress and can help you determine why you have or haven’t achieved your goal. It is a very useful tool to put in your arsenal of products for getting things done….



  1. Great post…I will definitely put this into action.

  2. Thanks Red Spartan…. I’m glad it was useful…

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