Leverage and Multiply: Designing Systems To Get More Done!

Published on April 27, 2012 by Anne Raymond

When things get chaotic or start to break down (you know that feeling of the wheels coming off the wagon!), one of the biggest culprits is not having a system or process that doesn't break down or crack under pressure.  

And if things do occasionally go sideways, with a proper system, it's much easier to reset so you're progressing full steam ahead at a rapid pace. 

So what are these SYSTEMS?  And how can you get some too? 

A system is anything that is repeatable and that you do on a regular basis.  Systems can also be called routines, habits, structures, or processes that keep you moving forward fast and efficiently.   A system can have one or many steps and can be completed by one or more people.  You can implement systems that you can do on a daily, weekly, monthly or annual basis. 

The biggest benefit of having a system is that it helps everyone to STAY organized, focused and to get things done faster.  If you have a clear system of what needs to be done it clarifies expectations and causes less overload and stress for all involved!  It really is the KEY to sustainability and scalability of a business, organization, or even your family!

So what kind of systems can you implement?  The sky is really the limit once you get started, but here are a few examples of areas that many people find useful:
- Business:
Team/Project Meetings, Strategic Planning, Email, Communication Plan, Networking, Innovation Process
- Home and Family:
Getting ready for the day, laundry, meals; cleaning, mail, paying bills, gift giving, activities, and vacations.
- Personal:
Exercise, Getting together with friends, Haircuts and Self-Care

Here are some recent conversations I've had with clients in this area who have created systems to:
- batch all meetings for teams and one-on-one direct reports every Monday (at the same time)
- create a yearly communication plan including key messages, key projects, the method (email, live, teleconference, newsletter, blogging, etc.), the players involved, and the frequency for each method
- how to maintain top priorities for projects and daily/weekly To-Dos
- how to get the laundry done and put away
- how to free up time and outsource or delegate things that you currently do!

Now it's your turn!  The first thing to do to create a system is to identify a break-down in something at work, at home, or in your personal life.  For instance, you can start with something that is bugging you, drains your time (or money or energy), causes you stress, is not getting done, or something that you are always in a rush or doing at the last minute! 

What system would you like to create? Once you've identified a system that you'd like to create, here is a method to upgrade or overhaul what you're doing today!  

An Approach to Creating Systems:

Step 1: Identify the System that you want to create
Step 2:  What would Success look like to you? 
What's the BIG picture that will guide your success, decisions, and resources?
Step 3: WHO, WHAT, WHY, WHEN – What are the steps that are taking place today?
Who does what and when?  Why is it important?
What can be outsourced or delegated?
Step 4: What's the CYCLE? -  Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Seasonal, Annual, or Just-In-Time (when it Breaks-Down)
Step 5: What's working?  What's not working? Experiment and try something new
Step 6: How do you ensure it keeps going?  What are reminders or follow-up that is required for maintenance?  How do you know i f you need to reset?Pick a system and get going!  

Here are some systems that have really worked for some of my clients. Here are a few examples to give you some more ideas:

  • batch all meetings for teams and one-on-one direct reports every Monday (at the same time)
  • create a yearly communication plan including key messages, key projects, the method (email, live, teleconference, newsletter, blogging, etc.), the players involved, and the frequency for each method
  • how to maintain top priorities for projects and daily/weekly To-Dos
  • how to get the laundry done and put away
  • how to free up time and outsource or delegate things that you currently do!

 

Now it's your turn! Pick a system and get going! It'll free your mind and get you focused with confidence and ease!


 

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