Some of the most accomplished entrepreneurs have credited their success to putting proper systems in place.
Systems (which explain exactly how to handle any situation) allow anyone to do the task flawlessly as long as they are following the system put in place. So an entrepreneur who sets good systems for her business should be able to go on vacation and not have to worry about her business or even check emails while she is away. She knows everything is being handled exactly how she wants it to be, exactly how she would handle it, because she has put systems in place.
She does not even have to think about it or worry about it. It’s just how things are naturally done.
If systems in business can work wonders, it got me thinking if they would have an effect on personal lives. Is it possible to systemize your life and would it be worth it? So I experimented. I created systems for areas in my life that I know needed improvement, pain areas, moments of weakness to be more exact.
Pain Area Number One: Snacking
A pretty common issue among most humans in America, eating for no dang reason at all. I know what my triggers are: boredom, depression, television and driving. Snacking is something to do. It occupies my time when I feel like I need my time occupied. But it’s not like I’m snacking on carrots and broccoli here, it’s more like cookies and chips. So a system needed to be put into place. Every time I find myself snacking or having the urge to snack I need to occupy my time by doing something else more productive. But this alone is too general. It needs to be specific. More like: Every time I find myself having the urge to snack, I will drink a large glass of water, remove myself from the kitchen/living room and read at least few pages in my current book. This gives me the immediate satisfaction of doing something with my hands (drinking water), and then removing myself from the deadly area (kitchen/living room) and then doing something to occupy myself (reading). I could get even more specific here if I snacked on specifically one thing, like chocolate chip cookies. So every time I passed a chocolate chip cookie (at home or out) I would do something else besides eating the chocolate chip cookie, like go wash my hands or something specific that removes myself and my thoughts from the cookie.
Pain Area Number Two: Posture
I’ve become a sloucher, a slumper, a shoulders rolled down person. And this makes me cringe. Most of my slouching is done at work while I am on the computer and often I don’t even realize I am slouching until probably an hour deep into slouch abyss. System put in place: Every time I open a new email I will do a quick posture check. I open emails all day long at work. This will allow me to make sure my posture is good all day long and keep me checking in regularly since this is something you can so easily not even realize you are doing.
Pain Area Number Three: Getting to Yoga
I know, I know…I’m a yoga teacher, going to yoga should not be an issue for me but lately it is a huge issue. I love yoga, really love it. I know it’s amazing for me; it has improved my life greatly. Yet, I just can’t seem to get myself to a studio. Why? Well a bunch of excuses really but I know my biggest excuse is being tired after work and just wanting to go home instead. Also, I over think going to yoga way too much, it is really becoming a problem. Knowing that my main issue is overthinking about going home or going to yoga, I need to create a system based on exactly that, the moment I start to over think it. System put in place: Every time I start to over think going to yoga, I will remind myself all the good it has brought me and then shift my attention to traveling to Paris. This may not seem logical, but thinking about Paris always puts me in an inspiring and excited mood, so it will shift my overthinking thoughts of “to go or not to go to yoga” into thinking about Paris, which will also feed my silly Francophile needs.
Soon these systems become a normal part of your life, something you don’t even think about. So every time I open my email, I will do a posture check without even realizing I am doing it. Every time I start doing the “to go to yoga or not to go to yoga” mind dance, I will shift my thoughts to the glorious, dreamy cafés of Paris.
As with anything you start the beginnings will be the hardest, but if you stick with it, if you maintain the systems, soon you won’t even realize there are systems in place, it will just all be a part of your routine. Something you naturally do.