Systems: What are they.
Dictionary.com describes a system this way: (I’m quoting the most relevant entries.)
“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:
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
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.
It’s a 3 step system.
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;”
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”
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