Lists & Checks

The TV arrived with slight damage to the front panel. It worked fine. But I had 100% moving insurance, so I ought to file a claim. Moving companies usually give a whole year to file this claim. Four months later, I was yet to file one. It was time to move again. I thought why not file after that move? But of course it doesn’t work that way. When I finally got down to filing my claim, pat came the response: denied! After further delay (hanging up a few times after waiting ages listening to some loud music with interruptions by an automated message informing me that all operators were busy) I finally got an operator on the line who told me I could not file a claim since I had moved again. Although I had used the same moving company they had no way of checking which trip if any caused the damage.

I suppose it is human tendency to procrastinate. To set aside boring, time consuming, less than satisfying or difficult tasks to some future time and only tackle them when on a tight deadline to complete. On the flip side there are those high coveted tasks that are put on the back burner due to other reasons.  The usual cause for postponing boring tasks is I suppose because they are boring.  Difficult tasks on the other hand are generally because they are difficult and one is overwhelmed by the enormity of the task. Usually the best way to tackle such difficult tasks is to break them down into smaller ones that are more manageable and easily achievable.

Therefore when I start to notice  that I am procrastinating, I make lists and tape them on to my refrigerator door so I am constantly reminded of them. Just to appease myself I add some easy tasks such as “put the trash out” that I can have the pleasure of checking off immediately 🙂

As pilots we are used to checklists. The habit to always use checklists is ingrained in us right from the get go during private pilot training. Every time you fly with an instructor this habit is further nurtured, and instilled in you until it becomes second nature.

There are the pre-flight checklists: the check list to follow during pre-flight. Outside walk around checking the wing and tail surfaces, fuel drains, pitot tubes, propeller and so on. Inside checks to check the paperwork (AROW), engine, the avionics, and so on.

There are checklists for engine starting, normal take-off, normal cruise, normal descent and landing. There are other checklists for off-nominal conditions: emergencies, engine failures, radio failures, and lost communications. True, in an actual emergency time might be limited to use checklists. But periodic review of these checklists reinforces the concepts and aids in timely response to abnormal conditions. Just as writing down something, improves the ability of the brain to remember things. Or verbal recital of certain things aids the brain in regurgitation. Or maybe constantly reminding oneself of certain things will somehow facilitate in their fulfillment?

For good measure, I added “Complete Commercial Rating” to my current shopping list of things to do. Five years late in coming, that is one coveted task that I would love to check off in my to do  list one of these days!

2 thoughts on “Lists & Checks

  1. Mary August 21, 2011 / 8:00 pm

    “One comes to be of just such stuff as that on which the mind is set.”


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