Systematically Improve Your Life With Systems

Systematically Improve Your Life With Systems

What's up, Stonedvet Army?

I hope you've been well this week!

We're working on a TON of cool things in the background. 

But, the BIG thing that we're learning and implementing is 

SYSTEMS

We've learned (the hard way) that to have enough time in the day. 

There's too much we want to accomplish, and things keep coming faster. 

Without systems in place to make things easier, there aren't enough hours in the day.

That's why with this week's article, I want to share one of the simplest yet most effective ways I've found to create systems.

After reading this, you will better understand how to implement systems in your daily routine to help you make the most of your time.

Creating systems will create more precision and accuracy in your life, and you will save time and learn precisely where you can grow faster.

At this point, you may be asking yourself; WTF is a system?

A system is a method, procedure, or routine that is created to carry out a repetitive activity strategically. Systems help you run your work, home, and life more efficiently and effectively.

That's awesome, but how can I use systems?

Anyone can develop systems to help make anything easier. 

For example, finances, meals, household chores, morning and evening routines, work tasks, etc., are all made more effortless with systems. 

Having systems in place allows you to gain time back.

How do I do it?

Step 1: Keep the big picture in mind. Know your outcome!

When you're feeling overwhelmed and frustrated with home, work, or lack of help, the key is to keep the result in mind. What is your goal?

Step 2: Reverse Engineering 

When developing your systems, start with the outcome—knowing how the task or process should look at the end when it is completed.

Then it's as easy as working backward, taking inventory to figure out the steps you take to achieve that outcome.

The key is to make it as foolproof as possible, so when you're not feeling it, you can still follow it.

Here's an example of how to reverse engineer a process into a system:

Pat wakes up at 6:30 every morning yet can't seem to make it to work by 9:30 am each day. So, Pat decides to develop a system never to be late again.

Pat needs to take inventory of the actions that happen regularly, so Pat makes a list of everything that is required to be done before work:

  1. Wake up
  2. Watch News
  3. Write Blog
  4. Shower
  5. Brush Teeth
  6. Comb Hair
  7. Pick out clothing
  8. Get dressed
  9. Exercise
  10. Check email
  11. Feed Dogs
  12. Take dogs out
  13. Do dishes
  14. Update Facebook
  15. Wake up kids
  16. Prep kids lunch
  17. Take out trash
  18. Get kids to school
  19. Drive to work
  20. Clock in

Step 3: Next, Pat will go through the list while thinking about the following types of questions:

  • How do I currently get this done?
  • Am I being as efficient and effective as possible?
  • Where am I losing the most time?
  • What is costing me the most money?
  • Which activities are the most aggravating?
  • What is not getting done as fast or as well as it should be?
  • What falls through the cracks?
  • What can I cut out?

Step 4: Based on the review, Pat will then go through getting ready for work the usual (current) way. (That means, do it as you're currently doing it, and document the process.) Pat will write down each step and analyze the results based on the following questions:

  • What steps do I take for each task?
  • What tools am I using to complete the task?
  • Where are the bottlenecks?
  • How much does it cost me to complete the task?
  • What type of results am I getting?
  • What is frustrating?

Once Pat has written down how to carry out the activity, Pat sits down with the document.

Pat Creates A Plan For The New Process. 

Step 5: Next, Pat will take a look at the activity and ask these questions:

  • What is the result I'm looking for with the activity? 
  • What is the goal that I'm trying to achieve? 
  • What's my ideal outcome?
  • Are all of the steps that I'm currently taking necessary? 
  • Can some of those steps be eliminated?
  • Am I taking the steps in the most effective sequence? 
  • Would I get better results if I changed the order of the steps?
  • How can this be done faster?
  • Can I create a checklist?
  • Would a chart be helpful?
  • Would a mindmap make things more concise?
  • Can I create scripts (welcoming new clients, answering regularly asked questions, following up with clients, etc.)?
  • Can the process be automated? 
  • Is there a machine or software I can use? 
  • If so, what device or what software?
  • Can someone else do this?
  • If so, what parts can I outsource or delegate to this task?
  • Can the entire activity be assigned to someone else? 
  • Are there specific steps of the process that someone else could take care of (hire someone to edit my blog, get the kids to take on more chores, etc.)?
  • Do I need to upgrade the tools that I'm currently using?

Write down each step, ensuring that each step is well-documented and clearly explained.

Time To Execute

Now that Pat has a plan (created a system), it's time to put the plan into action. Pat is ready to carry out the activity applying the process developed and noticing the results. 

Evaluate: Next, Pat will ask questions like:

  • Did I get the desired results?
  • What's working?
  • What's not working?
  • How much time am I saving?
  • How much is it costing me?
  • Are the results I'm getting worth the cost?
  • Am I achieving my goal in the simplest way possible?
  • Are there any gaps in the process?
  • Can the process be optimized even further?

After answering these questions, Pat is in a great position to make the necessary adjustments and modifications, tweaking the new system until obtaining optimal results.

Continuously Improve Systems

Corbett Miller, in the book "De-Mithify," says the following about systems:

"It's almost like creating a perfect recipe. You must be able to measure the results, change the process when needed, and always be on the lookout for better ideas."

Most people get the idea that systems are set and forget it. 

The truth is, that's hardly ever the best advice. 

It would be best to continually look at systems you have in place, make sure everything is working as effectively and efficiently as possible.

To do this, ask yourself if you can make any additional improvements:

  • Is the system still working correctly?
  • Can I lower the cost of the system?
  • Can I make the system even more efficient and effective?
  • Can I improve the system so that I get even better results?

Conclusion

Setting up a system can be a significant time investment. However, in the long run, systems will be saving you countless hours of frustration and stress.

I know I previously mentioned hiring other to help. However, at first, you'll probably need to be the person carrying out all the steps in your systems. But, the more efficient and effective you become in your life, you'll almost certainly get to a point where you can hire others to help.  

What was your biggest takeaway?

Comment below!


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