Monday, January 19, 2009

Create systems to Simplify

What’s the best way to get things done, is it the easiest way, or is it the “old fashioned way”, do you have to sweat and toil because that’s the only way? I guess the best way is to have a system, a way of organizing tasks and getting them done. It seems a bit disconnected and calculating, but in the end when you have a plan of action or a routine to deal with various tasks that you encounter it becomes easier and you have a sense of satisfaction. A system helps you to get a task done quicker with less stress which allows you to take advantage of opportunities that reveal themselves to you.

Let’s start by, figuring out where we can develop routines and systems in our life. Some general areas that particularly lend themselves to routines:

1. Internet “surfing” and email, these things can easily be batched and scheduled to get the most from them.

2. Morning tasks, such as; showering, breakfast and making lunches, etc.

3. Pm tasks that could be used to facilitate morning tasks.

Other items can be put into lists and worked into routines on a different scale, such as monthly items, bills, auto maintained services and other regular appointments. These logically tie into annual lists. The reason for the lists is to quantify your tasks and appointments so that you now have more control by knowing what’s coming at you.

The list process also gives you the opportunity to “pare” down your activities to the most effective and to eliminate the least effective or useless tasks. There are many methods for making the decision of what to use and what to get rid of, the 80/20 principle, Parkinson’s rule, are the most prominent.

Myself, I’ll use self-questions to make the decision, basically asking is this working for me or is there a better way. These questions also bring me back to ways of eliminating stress because I’ve made the decision to continue to do this particular task and I know I can always come back to this and change my mind if some better method comes along.


  1. I think that a system of "doing" beats a system of "planning". Oftentimes, it's hard to know what to do unless you've been creating action, and you begin to get a feel for what works, what is effective, and what isn't.

  2. Trey, thanks for your comment.
    You are right doing is better than thinking about doing. I view a routine as a series of habit actions and the creating of routines is a way to quantify my actions, so I can ask myself the question "am I getting the results I want?"

  3. hey bill whats up big guy lots to think about there