Archive - January 9, 2018

Systems: The Secret to Getting More Done in Less Time

Systems: The Secret to Getting More Done in Less Time

Systems: What are they. describes a system this way: (I’m quoting the most relevant entries.)


a coordinated body of methods or a scheme or plan of procedure; organizational scheme:

a system of government.

any formulated, regular, or special method or plan of procedure:

a system of marking, numbering, or measuring; 
a winning system  

due method or orderly manner of arrangement or procedure:  

There is no system in his work.
the world or universe. 
The Universe

M_Caballero / Pixabay

I left the last one in there just for fun.
Systems can be complex or simple. Nothing I can think of seems more complex that the universe. Although it would seem, through the magic of quantum physics it may me far more simple that we imagined.
For our focus I want to hold to simple systems because simple works for solo entrepreneurs or small businesses.


“If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing”
Source: W. Edwards Deming


The reason this topic is top of mind for me is the Learn with Nick 30 Day List Building Challenge that I will begin to run shortly.

I needed to think through what systems I wanted to have in place to help the people taking the challenge . So I set up, a daily system, a weekly system, a system for communication, (email and Facebook Group) , a system for advertising using high converting sites and system to hold people accountable.

With out those systems in place, things would be utter chaos. This way I’m hoping I reduce the chaos to a minimum.

That’s why I use systems. I’m not sure why people shy away from using them.

Systems are not sexy – but they really DO drive everything we do!
Source: Carrie Wilkerson


A Simple System


Here is a simple system developed by David Allen author of  Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity.

It’s called Five Simple Steps That Apply Order to Chaos.



The Step are:

  1. Capture
  2. Clarify
  3. Organize
  4. Reflect
  5. Engage

Click here to  scan the system on this page GTD Five Steps and see how few words it takes for the author to flesh out his system. 

In fact I love how simple his info graphic is. Using only Icons, One word descriptors and photo explanations. 

Please go to the page, it’s brilliant.

The reason that David Allen created this system is simple:

“What you are holding in your mind will unconsciously influence what you can notice and focus on.

Source: Michael Stanier

See Why Should I Read a Coaching Book?

Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them. 

Source David Allen 

I have a very simple low tech way of following those 5 steps.


In fact I used another simple system to post this video so it is center…you have to know the code… and to add autoplay if I am using it.
It’s a 3 step system.
Retrieve code in Asana for centering a video.
Insert the embed code for the video.
And if I am adding auto-play I retrieve and add the auto-play code.
(I don’t have to remember anything except where the code is kept.)
Another example of a simple system.

I learned this from Jon Olson. He does this on a white board, I just use a piece of paper.

Each day, list three things you are going to that day.




Cross them off or erase them when you are done. That’s it.  Great simple system.

Of course many systems may have multiple steps.

As an example, when I write a new lead magnet there are many steps to get to the stage where I can actually promote that lead magnet.

Because there are fourteen steps I created a system to make sure I did each step in order and did not forget something.

I created the list in Asana .

I recently started to use another system that I learned from Brian Johnson of Optimize. It’s called called WOOP.






It is a system to think about anything you are working on. I used it to create the plan for this blog post.

Many systems use an acronym as a memory tool to make it easy to remember and use the system.

“The term ‘system’ can seem like quite an abstract concept, and that’s part of its strength – they allow us, armed with a collection of general rules, to approach novel situations confidently: the same scientific method that Newton used allows the crew of The Enterprise to explore space beyond the Alpha Quadrant;” 

Source: Ash Hibbert from The Importance of Having a System 

Over time, I’ve learned to use other people’s systems then adapt them to fit my operational methods. I make the system mine. As an example I recently watched one of the Brian Johnson episodes where he does all his journaling on  pieces of paper. I’ve adapted this idea because I still like  having an actual journal, however, somethings I now do on paper because once your are done with it, you can discard it easily. I am not very good at using the delete button on my computer, so this works better for me.

My rule of thumb is to  follow someone’s system till you understand why it works, then adapt it to suit your particular circumstance.

One caution here is to ensure that that system still works and that you are using it.

I want to end with this very bold quote:

“All wealth is based upon systems”
Dan Kennedy


What systems are you using right now?


What areas of your business or life could be enhanced by developing a system to improve it?  

© Nicholas Grimshawe

  • Note: I found and used many good quotes about systems Here








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