I’m a terrible son.
Last year my stepmother lost a long battle with leukemia. When I got the call it suddenly struck me … I can probably count on my hands the long conversations I had with her over the last 25 years.
I’ve been busy writing books. Building companies. Spying on the North Koreans. Blah blah blah. No damn excuse.
It’s especially inexcusable when I realize that each and every conversation I had with her was a transformative experience. I didn’t realize until she passed, but without her the Mark Joyner you know probably would not be. A senior systems engineer for Boeing, it was she who introduced me to Deming … Lean … Zhuge Liang … at least a dozen or so conceptual breadcrumbs that guided my life path.
One conversation was particularly impactful. She revealed the secret that keeps airplanes from falling from the sky: checklists.
“Systems don’t need to be any more complicated than that, but systems engineers make them so to finagle their way into job security.”
Pow. There it is. Most of what’s right and wrong in the business world in one line.
Since then, a good deal of my personal and business life has been managed by checklists.
My housekeeper uses checklists to ensure everything is cleaned and stocked properly every single time.
My assistant uses checklists to manage my supplement, water, and diet routines.
I use checklists for everything from defeating writer’s block … to busting procrastination … to ensuring I hit more home runs than foul balls with my artistic and marketing efforts.
Take my “Procrastination Emergency Procedure” checklist, for example.
Yes, doing Start My Day and using Simpleology obsessively keeps me out of Distractionville most of the time. But man … those shiny objects! What do I do on the occasion I catch myself lured by their siren’s call?
I break out the big guns. The emergency procedure I wrote is loaded with psychological, biological, and downright dirty tricks for pushing the reset button on my brain.
I just go down the checklist and … boom! I’m back on track knocking out my Daily Targets with gusto.
Give it a shot and you’ll see what I mean. We’ve packed the whole thing up as Simpleology List and you can add it to your account for free by logging in here: