Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Do You Have a System?

I know that in my life, there would be no way that I could handle a large majority of the things that I do
without the systems that have been created to handle them.  I have systems to handle projects, tasks, timing of these and triage of new tasks as they come up.

Having these systems provides several advantages to trying to track them myself.

  1. Tracking
  2. Less Stress
  3. Share Resources
  4. Accomplishment

First, it allows me to track everything that I have on my plate and ensures I will not drop anything I have committed to.  I know whether I can take on any additional tasks because I know what my current work load is.  If I have the time and resources I will take on more, if not then I can say no with confidence.

Second, these systems reduce my stress, because I am not relying on my memory to remember all tasks.  Having to remember everything you have to do in a day can be stressful.  That may be the reason why so many people don't plan more than a few weeks ahead for anything in their life.  Putting everything down on paper or digital paper will make you less stressed because you will know consciously and subconsciously that the information will not be lost.

Third, it allows me to share and distribute the tasks that I have as part of a project to other stakeholders.  If I have everything about a project in my own mind it makes collaboration with your team very difficult.  This is also very helpful in cases where you are getting too many things on your plate and need help.  This increases communication and transparency within your team. Asking someone to complete a task is easy if all the information is accessible.

Finally, the use of systems allows me to look back at all I have accomplished at the end of the day, week or month.  Sometimes after a very crazy week I feel like I have not made any progress towards the goals that I have set.  At these time I can look back on the long list of things that i have completed, and lets me not be as hard on myself.

I also want to point out that I use these systems in both my professional and personal life.  Both have benefited greatly from the use of these systems.  Conversations at the dinner table are no longer about planning for the next day, because it is all in systems and the decisions are made prior to arriving at home.

I hope this helps make you more effective and less stressed.  To your success.

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