I Use This Simple ‘Error Checklist’ to Avoid My Worst Mistakes. My Performance and Confidence Have Skyrocketed


What CEO has time for reflection? Few. And nevertheless, I am frequently urging those at the best to choose a breather — to meditate, consider, look at. In the words and phrases of researchers at MIT: “The course of action of reflection will help us to develop our comprehension extra deeply and to make our intuitive understanding shareable with other folks.”

This consists of a near look at our mistakes. As I understood just lately, far more concretely defining these mistakes can aid us keep away from them in the long term — by incorporating them to a reflection checklist. Or, as I from time to time get in touch with it, the “Error Checklist.”

This seem depressing at to start with blush, but it can be truly redemptive. This is how it performs:


  1. At the end of each month, set apart 30 minutes to make take note of the factors you handled improperly or altogether fouled up for the duration of the thirty day period. Be particular and concise — list what you did, why you did it, and why each one was wrong.
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  3. On a individual sheet, convert each of these into a checklist. You never have to copy more than all of the info — just the “what went improper” you need to have to try to remember.
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  5. Continue to keep this listing useful. Set it on your desk, in your wallet, on your wall. Hold it on your computer desktop.
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  7. Prior to you head into the following month, evaluation your checklist. Hold your errors leading of head so you know what to stay away from in the times in advance.
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  9. When the approaching month hits, assessment your record. Amend/add to it. Consider off those glitches you have realized to prevent.
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Will your list ever be whittled absent to absolutely nothing? Not likely. But the evaluate of development is not becoming ideal — it can be carrying out a lot more, improved. As you innovate, you can expect to find new trapdoors and tripwires. You can expect to curate new lists of mistakes to stay clear of. See this as a evaluate of expansion, not of additional you’re undertaking mistaken. The only indicator of stagnation — or worse, slipping backwards — is a list of faults that just remains the similar. Why? It usually means you are not understanding and you are not trying anything at all new.

The opinions expressed right here by Inc.com columnists are their individual, not these of Inc.com.


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