It's a satisfying act, ticking a box. For those prone to making lists and working through them, even more so. Governments can fall into this category.
There's nothing like a checklist to impose a bit of order on all those priorities competing for attention. The risk is that method becomes a form of madness, and agencies overly focused on compliance tick themselves into a danger zone.
Nowhere is this more true than at the Nation Building Authority, where in the latest episode of Utopia, public servants work their way down a troublesome to-do list.
Out with the old? Tick. In with the new? Double tick.
In the spirit of the latest episode, Ticks of Approval, perhaps we should all start by shaking out all those old, outdated parts of government that have held everything back for so long.
Let's also begin by acknowledging that Karsten (Toby Truslove) has returned, which means in this episode, the usual rules of commonsense apply even less at the NBA.
The graphic designer makes his glorious comeback, giving triple-kisses on the cheek and clad in purple jacket and lilac pocket square, ready to turn around what he calls a "teensy bit of a crisis".
Said "crisis" is the authority's abysmal public recognition ratings, surely related to its inability to finish projects and make itself relevant.
NBA chief executive Tony Woodford (Rob Sitch) is stepping back from his burdensome duties, making more time for golf, and ideally, getting things done at the agency.
His retreat seems to have made way for media liaison Rhonda (Kitty Flanagan) to put even more of her stamp on things. Her solution for the Nation Building Authority's lack of public recognition isn't to, you know, help it build the nation. It's to bring in Karsten.
And in he comes. Mwah! Mwah, and mwah! The workshops start, the "ideation" gets under way, and the laws of commonsense are promptly cancelled.
The team gets to work imagining its new identity.
"For others to know who we are, we have to know who we are, and who we are is defined by why we are," Karsten tells NBA staff.
"How?" says a confused Ashan De Silva (Dilruk Jayasinha).
Karsten replies. "What?"
"Who are we talking about?"
Rhonda, who is watching with Nat Russell (Celia Pacquola), looks over to her. "I think we're making progress."
As ever, progress is in the eye of the beholder. Tony gets back to basics and begins pushing a stalled housing development project in the suburbs.
Among the changes he notices, the list of boxes to tick is longer than he remembers from back in his day managing projects.
The public service has been chided before over its tendency to follow checklists and ignore evolving problems, particularly on cyber security. In the world of infrastructure, a long list is ahead for Tony.
Water profile audits, waste policies, soil testing, storm water sediment reports, bushfire safety audits. All stand in the project's way, and Tony puts his mind to making all these things happen, now he doesn't have to deal with the likes of Rhonda.
Something else is different. A neighbour to the proposed building site walks over to Tony and some planning officials to see if there are any updates. He receives a card with the government hotline number for his trouble.
"THANKS SO MUCH!" says one of the officials, cutting off his rather reasonable questions.
Tony wants to know why she fobbed him off.
"These days it's best we don't speak directly to the public," she says.
"But you're the public liaison officer," Tony replies.
"Exactly. What did you do in your day?" she shoots back.
"Speak with the public ... ?"
As ever in the NBA, it's nearly impossible to get anything done. Tony's personal assistant Katie Norris (Emma-Louise Wilson) can't even unsubscribe him from a publication he doesn't read.
The office has started planning its Christmas card design in October. The long lead-in time is very much needed.
All sorts of anxieties make it impossible to settle on an option. The snow on one card design is too much a northern hemisphere thing, and therefore "cultural appropriation". Can't have a Christmas tree either, turns out, because it's traditionally the non-native spruce.
Eventually the minister intervenes. He decides he's not having any of this political correctness rubbish, and tells the NBA to splash the nativity scene on its Christmas cards.
Such questions aren't small enough to escape the notice of elected officials. Tasmanian Liberal senator Eric Abetz in 2017 asked Commonwealth departments and agencies to let him know their Christmas greetings, saying people had a right to know the extent of "the infiltration of a political correctness agenda in the public service".
Returning to the Karsten Zone, the graphics man is in full flight and taking the NBA's public servants with him.
He gets them shaking out the old NBA, so they can bring on the new.
One government rebrand, when the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service morphed into Border Force and the agency adopted new uniforms, gets a mention. Apparently, Karsten was responsible for the idea.
Ashan has an even better one for a new NBA identity: "Building Force".
The team spitballs ideas like government-by-TV, dreaming up a cross between the shows Border Security, My Kitchen Rules and Shark Tank, where punters bring in their infrastructure project ideas and the agency implements them. Think of the ratings!
True to form, for all his talk, Karsten's solution is simply a rehash of something that's been done. The man responsible for the NBA logo that resembled Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon album cover outdoes himself.
The agency's newest logo, aptly, is a tick. It's something of a mix between the Nike swish and the Heart Foundation branding. On Karsten's CV, there's nothing new under the sun. Or moon, dark side or otherwise.
Tony gets ever so close to getting a project under way. At the press conference announcing the housing development, before the first sod is turned, a piece of unexploded ordinance sends everyone running.
Tony's work is blown to tiny, tick box-shaped smithereens.
An ad is about to hit TV screens around Australia, spruiking the new-look NBA.
"You may not have noticed, but the federal government is ticking a lot of boxes..." it starts.
"We're not going to shout about it."
Only, it just did.