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What makes a good check-in?

A good check-in is one that will serve to keep you focused and tuned to your big picture goals and objectives. With that said, when doing your check-in, tasks items like, 'organise desk', or, 'pick up lunch' are things that you can surely add as private tasks to a check- in, but they're the sort of things that your team doesn't need to necessarily know about.

When doing a check-in, you should make sure to include tasks in your update that provides your colleagues with insights into what specific tasks you're working on during the day. A good check-in is one that improves visibility and promotes collaboration; therefore, when adding tasks to your check-in, make sure to associate them with a goal, add comments to provide more context, or let your team know about any roadblocks you've come up against by indicating, 'blocked'.

Overall, a good check in allows all employees to keep up to date with what's going on, all asynchronously.

Why are check-ins important?

If you're still asking what the benefits are of a daily check-in, here's a quick breakdown of what you'll gain by building the habit of checking in daily.

  • Planning your day before the day starts is a simple yet effective way to get your mind focused on the things you want to achieve during the day.
  • Check-in tasks, those in particular that are associated with larger goals or objectives pull you out of the clutter and into a mindset that allows you to attach meaning to what you're doing. When we know our why, our productivity and efficiency goes up tremendously.
  • You and your team are held accountable to what you intended to accomplish, which acts as motivation to help you strive to achieve what you set out too. Let's not forget about the social accountability that acts as a driving force, motivating individuals to work hard to achieve their objectives.

Tips to writing a good check-in

There's no point of doing a daily check-in if it's not going to serve a purpose. Here are a few tips on how to create a check-in so that it adds value to your day.

Key elements of an effective check-in:

  1. A clear and defined task list of between 3-5 main tasks; ie. Create interview outreach list (20+ contacts). It's important to not overwhelm yourself with an endless list of tasks you know won't be realistic to complete. That's why we say, stick to 3-5 main tasks. Often, we list out too many things we want to achieve in the day, and if we fall short, so does our mood, and shortly after, our motivation takes a dip. Always remember, be realistic!
  2. All tasks should be directly or indirectly focused on a goal (individual or a common).
  3. Check-ins should be done routinely and at the same time everyday to build up the habit. What works best for most people is using their check-in as a way to kick off their day. Arranging your tasks, along with their associated goals and objectives right at the start of the day, helps provide focus and direction to your day. The way you start your day is key to determining your level of productivity as you move through the day.