Systems are part of our daily lives. We have a system for our morning routine whether it is getting just ourselves out the door or the other members of our family. We have to organize ourselves and our time, or deal with the constant stress of forgetting, running late or not making it to a client meeting at all.
We organize ourselves by developing systems using our cell phones, our planners and our email inbox (and instant messages). What was your panic like the last time you lost your phone? Not a good memory, I’m sure. It’s hard to get through the day without our cell phone system. How can we succeed in our business without a system?
When you think of improving your business, take advantage of what systems could do. Systems are simply ways of automating or structuring a repetitive process so the process happens consistently the same with little thought or attention.
What should I Systematize? Look at your business or your job and think….What do I do repeatedly that could be systematized? This requires you to step back and look at it with new eyes and ask questions.
- What makes me frustrated? Am I redoing tasks that bring me little or no satisfaction? How often do I have to relearn a task or “recreate the wheel” every time a specific job comes up? Do I really enjoy spinning my wheels having to do the same task over and over?
Stand back and envision what you’d like to happen rather than being frustrated?
- What causes me the most stress? Is it finding the file or email from last year that lists all the steps for tracking a client’s order so that my new staff can implement them consistently? Is it trying to remembering all the logins I need to log into various accounts weekly? Or rushing to record all my income and expenses at the end of the year rather than weekly?
First step – Write It Down In order to create a system, one must write down the exact steps of the process used to locate a file or email or train new office staff. Sometimes starting with the end result and working backwards can help. Determine what you did right before the end result and do the same for each step. You can pull out the documentation next time the task comes up and save the relearning.
Second step – Determine the Benefit If the task will happen again frequently, documenting the process/system will save time down the road and ultimately be less painful. As you look at each process in your business, remember to ask yourself if it is cost effective, or even necessary to do. If so, systematize it. If not, then stop doing it.