The two sides of “checking the box”
Checklists are really valuable. They are an extremely helpful productivity tool that can keep you on track and organized when executing projects.
For instance, when I created episodes for my podcast, I had a Trello card that included 30 checklist items that needed to be completed before launching the episode. This checklist identified who was responsible for each task and kept me and my producer on the same page. And once all of the boxes are checked off, we can publish the episode for all the world to hear.
Checking these boxes meant that progress was being made and work was getting done.
On the flip side, there can be a negative connotation for “checking the box.”
Someone can just go through the ropes and “check the box” so they can move on to the next thing. They can spend the least amount of time possible to complete the task, project, or job with minimal effort.
That’s where checking the box means the opposite of getting work done.
If you’re just checking the boxes, that likely means that apathy and indifference has set in, which makes it tough to do good work. At that point, something has to change, whether it’s a change of scenery, learning a new skill, or moving to a new role or company.
Are you doing the good kind of box-checking? If so, awesome! If not, what change will you make?