According to Lt. Col. Frank Slade: «An old Washington joke, from my days with Lyndon», depicting a mental checklist to run through before going out.

In his excellent book The Checklist Manifesto, Gawande (2010) mentions one of the most important aspects of a good checklist:

They seem to provide protection against (…) failures. They remind us of the minimum necessary steps and make them explicit. They not only offer the possibility of verification, but also a kind of discipline of higher performance.

Although it might seem silly or even obvious, having and running a good checklist is no trivial matter and I’ll recommend Gawande’s book for a good treatise on why this is the case. Even reciting this small mantra to myself every day has saved me multiple times from getting locked out of my house. I heartily recommend you to keep your own mental list of what needs to be in your pockets/grab bag before leaving the house.

  • Wallet in left pocket
  • Phone on right pocket
  • Keys on that weird and useful additional pocket on the right

This of course assumes your clothes have real, useful pockets sewn into them. Why women's pants have no pockets?

PGNAndy’s Brevity Quest 2019 (223 words) → Super Meat Boy


Gawande, Atul. 2010. The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right. Henry Holt; Company.

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