SYSTEMS IS SOMETHING YOU DO EVERY DAY CONSISTENTLY
- A system is a method, procedure, or routine which is created to carry out a repetitive activity in a strategic way. Systems can help you run your work and home life more efficiently and effectively.
- A system is designed to accomplish a focused purpose. A good system does not exist for itself. It serves a purpose. To build a good system, start with a clearly defined purpose.
- A system contains all it needs to accomplish its purpose. When building a system, take yourself mentally from step one to the final step. At each step, ask yourself what tools, resources, information, or people you might need access to. Then either put them in a designated space or build in the easiest possible method for getting what you need when you need it. As part of the system, plan a regular time to restock the consumable resources that the system requires.
- A process that involves grouping together small activities into a routine that you link to a habit already set in your day like brushing your teeth, washing your face, toning, applying moisturiser etc.
A 5-Step Process to Creating Systems
1. Take Inventory
Start by identifying the actions that you take regularly, both at home and at work. That is, dissect your day and take a look at all of the different parts that make up what you get done each day. Some of these activities could be the following:
- Getting ready in the morning
- Answering emails
- Responding to phone calls
- Managing your company’s social media accounts
- Going out for a run
- Making dinner
- Writing a blog post
- Marketing your eBook or eCourse
- Getting ready for bed
Go through the list of activities that you came up with and ask yourself the following: How are you currently getting these things done?
- Do you feel that you’re being as efficient and effective as you can be?
- Where are you losing lots of time?
- Where are you losing money?
- What activities frustrate you the most?
- What is not currently getting done as fast or as well as it should be?
- What’s falling through the cracks?
- What needs to be streamlined?
- Based on your review, choose one activity to systematise.
2. Analyse What You’re Currently Doing
Carry out the activity that you want to systematise using your normal procedure – that is, as you’re currently doing it. Document the process by writing down all of the following:
- What steps are you taking?
- What tools are you using?
- Where are the bottlenecks?
- What’s frustrating you?
- How much time does it take for you to complete the activity?
- How much does it cost to complete the activity?
- What types of results are you getting?
Once you’ve written down how you currently carry out the activity, sit down with the document you created and look through it.
3. Plan Your New Process
A system — is a process that you create to streamline tasks and improve efficiency. Take a look at how you’re currently carrying out the activity that you want to systematise and ask yourself questions like the following:
- What is the result that you’re looking for when you carry out the activity?
- What is the goal that you’re trying to achieve? What’s the ideal outcome?
- Are all of the steps that you’re currently taking necessary? Can some of those steps be eliminated?
- Are you taking the steps in the most effective sequence? Would you get better results if you changed the order of the steps?
- How can this be done faster?
- Can you create a checklist?
- Would a chart be helpful?
- Would a mind map make things clearer?
- Can you create scripts (such as a script for welcoming new clients, a script for answering questions that you get regularly, a script for following up with clients, and so on)?
- Can some steps, or the entire process, be automated? Is there a machine or a software programme you can use? If so, what machine or what software?
- Can someone else do this — can this activity be outsourced or delegated? If the entire activity can’t be assigned to someone else, are there certain steps of the process that someone else could take care of (for example, hire someone to edit your blog posts or have your groceries delivered)?
- Do you need to upgrade the tools that you’re currently using?
Write down the new process that you come up with by enumerating each step. Make sure that each step is well-documented and clearly explained.
4. Execute Your Plan
Once you have a plan – that is, once you’ve created a system – you need to put your plan into action. This can include hiring people, purchasing software, upgrading the tools that you’re currently using, and so on.
It’s now time for the dry run of your new process. Carry out the activity that you’ve systematised by applying the process that you’ve created, and notice the results that you get. Ask yourself questions like the following:
- Did you get the desired results?
- What’s working?
- What’s not working?
- How much time are you saving?
- How much is it costing you, and, given the results that you’re getting, is the cost acceptable?
- Are you achieving your goal in the simplest way possible?
- Are there any gaps in the process?
- Can the process be optimised even further?
- Make any necessary adjustments and modifications.
Tweak your new system until you start getting the results that you want.
5. Continuously Improve the System
Although in theory, the idea of creating a system is to create it and forget about it, the reality is that every so often you should take a close look at the systems that you’ve set in place and make sure that everything is working as it should.
In addition, ask yourself if you can make any further improvements. Take a look at the following:
- Is the system still working as it should?
- Can you lower the cost of the system?
- Can you make the system even more efficient and effective?
- Can you improve the system so that you start getting even better results?