January 14th, 2011
You've got a system for your emails. You have a system for producing your podcasts. Add that to all the things you do in your business… and I bet you have a lot of systems.
But what about the REST of your life.
Now, I know I talk mostly about business, but the truth is…I need this as much as you do.
So – hit pause on your webinar landing page or making the launch to do list.
Take a good long look at your life — at what you do every single day, I bet you’ll notice tons of things that you end up doing over and over again.
You sort your mail, get your nails done, drop off the kids/kid at school. You check your email, clean your house, go to regular meetings.
Noticing the patterns in your day to day life might make you feel like some sort of balanced living expert, but it’s only half the journey to really starting to feel like this whole living thing is a piece of cake.
Patterns Into Systems
Turning all these noticed patterns into systems is a huge step to making your life lighter, more peaceful, and more productive.
Things that you do every single day often have a clear cut process. You could be creating a kind of checklist or series of checklists you can go through every single time you do something.
A system can be as simple as you making a list of all the steps you take to pay your bills or having a filing system, spreadsheet and physical space for you to file your tax receipts and prepare for a meeting with your accountant.
Now you might be thinking that turning your life into a series of replicable systems might make you develop a few too many Type A tendencies, but I can assure you that it's actually going to allow you to live off the grid as often as you want.
You’ll get be less type A, spend more time with the people you love, and in STILL get more done.
And…we do it for our business and work, why not our life?
Why do you need systems?
My acupuncturist tells me that’s I'm Type A. I know he’s right…and because of that I need systems almost more than someone else who easily sets aside time to do nothing.
I need systems in place that allow me to chill out when I need it the most–which is more than I ever allow myself. Sound familiar?
Right now, I’d like to guide you through creating a simple system in your life. If the word system is stopping you in your tracks, you can also use the more gentle word Ritual or comfortable word Habit. The trick is to find an area where you can set up a system that you will stick to.
Here’s a quick list of 7 areas of your life or business where you might need a system:
- Personal & Down Time – when & how long
- Money tracking & bill payment
- Relationship Time
- Clearing the Clutter in Your Physical Space
- Evaluation time
- Celebration time
So let’s take one. I’ll choose money tracking & bill payment. Since many of us spend a lot of time stressing about money or thinking about it in some way — especially if you are starting a business or already have a business…money is great place to start.
Dealing with money and finding ways to let go of all this stress is a huge part of feeling like life is effortless.
When I am handling my $$, it has an amazing effect on the rest of my life. I’m getting more done at work, I’m working out — yes, taking care of my money issues helps clear the space I need to exercise. Crazy but true!
Here are 7 actions you can take to get you closer to money zen right now. Start with the easy action if you are short on time, but make time to go through all steps and you’ll lighten your load in no time.
- Easy Action: Pay your bills online – schedule them to auto pay or set a time each month to go online and hit PAY.
- Organize: Keep track of all your online passwords for bills – especially if you don’t pay them from your bank — which I highly recommend.
- Reminders: Set alerts to notify you by email/cell 1-2 weeks prior.
- Planning for the future: Sign up for Mint.com and set up budget amounts for different expenses, track your spending and notify you of changes to your credit score.
- Save: Create an auto deposit of 10% of your monthly salary into a savings account.
- Find Support: Perhaps the most important thing you can do if you don’t have one already is find someone to give you personal finance and business finance advice. Ask for a referral from someone with a business in your industry or who works in the same field you do.
- All Systems Go: Make a Checklist of all the parts of this system that you’ve diligently set up.
Now of course you can do this to any area of your life — so apply the same framework to your fitness goals or your job search or to other aspects of your business.
The most important step is finding an Easy Action to accomplish something quickly. It’ll give you momentum to take it to the next step.
As soon as you let go of all those details you need to keep in your head, you’ll feel lighter, naturally get more done and will no longer stress out about what you didn’t get something done (or worse, punish yourself for “failing”!).
If you create more than 1 system in a day – you might want to be home when you do this because the overwhelming weight lifting could make you want to run around naked! (I’m joking…kind of).
So, now it’s your turn to find an area in your life that can be systematized. Don’t be shy. Just pick one of your hot zones and get to work.
Leave me a comment below letting me know what system you NEED most in your life and then let’s figure out how to create it!
And if you're not sure where to start – I'd say start with the clearing some space – you can get help with that inside the White Space Solution.