You need a system that works for you

There is no debating that we are all busier than ever before. In each of our lives there are always a crazy number of things competing for our attention.
Thankfully, the sharing of information has also become much easier. There are a huge number of systems that have been developed and circulated to help guide the many parts of our busy lives. These include systems for managing things like personal finances, home organization systems, time management and countless others.
However it can be difficult to find the system that is best for your personal situation and often even harder to implement them.

Many systems have been created for a certain situation. Some may still require a level of personalization to be really useful in the real world. I feel that this is a good thing though, as it gives the chance to really tune something and make it your own.
In my experience the best approach is often to find something that you are happy with and go with whatever works!
It is far more important that your chosen system helps you than it controls you!

It is sometimes a process of trial and error to establish the system that works best. Because of this you shouldn’t worry or be too hard on yourself if a new system doesn’t work immediately. Sometimes it may take a few attempts at approaching things from different angles before you find something that works for you. You may even find that the system that you end up with is a blend of a few different principles – That is ok too!
It is your life and you shouldn’t be afraid of experiencing it in the way that suits you best.

Very few things come easily

When I decided to start blogging, I don’t think I truly realised how much work was actually involved. I thought to myself “I can write, I spend much of each day doing that already, I am sure it will be easy”. Like so much of my life I found after a few weeks that I had signed up for something that was going to be more involved than I had initially thought.

On reading the first few posts that I wrote, I found that they were a massive disappointment and I had to stop and take a step back to find out why. I was a little surprised because after writing for years in a professional capacity – I thought I was at least decent at it! One thing that I found is that writing for a professional audience is different than blogging. Through reflection and adapting though, I have been able to see improvement.
I also found challenges in simply finding the time to sit and write. This was hard while working and continuing to be a solid part of a family with a baby girl.

Like when learning any new skill, I found that there were a bunch of things that were limiting my ability to produce content worth reading. I had to change a number of things and some of these are things that I am still working on and imagine that I will be for a while yet.
Some I even had to change a few times, some even back to where I started after finding out that it wasn’t the approach that was failing me but something else outside of my control.
Some of the things that I had to change-up through trial and error included:

  • The time I woke up
  • My bed time
  • How I spent my weekend time
  • My writing process and workflow
  • The tone of voice used
  • How to avoid procrastination
  • My physical location when writing

Through all of this trial and error, the one thing that remained constant was that I needed to remain focused on improving the way that I approached things and maintain an open mind to change.

Situations where having a system can help

I will go into more detail about some of the systems that I have tried and like in a future post. I will admit that I love order and organization though. I have worked through the process of exploring or creating a number of systems that you may find useful.

Some of the things that I have done where you may also see some quick and easy wins in your life are:

  • Moving things that you use frequently to a place that you can get to them easily
  • Labeling these things so that you can find them when needed
  • Removing physical clutter from your workspace to avoid distraction and frustration
  • Having a budget – I am sure I don’t need to explain why, but do you actually have one?
  • Creating a schedule of the (weekly) activities in my life that I am not willing to reschedule. Things like my daughter’s swimming lessons and meditation time are non-negotiable
  • Setting aside a regular time for family meetings. It sounds fairly lame… ok it is a little lame but speaking from experience it makes a big difference in getting everyone on the same page
  • Setting aside time for fun and personal time. This is equally important, particularly if you are very busy. Often the first things to be sacrificed are your personal relationships.

This list could keep going but the key is that you will be the best judge of what isn’t working in your life and what can benefit the most from some more structure. The best place for you to start is probably to just have a think about the things that seem silly but still keep getting in your way.

One of these things for me was that I could never seem to catch up on sleep due to all my conflicting priorities. I also felt that I wasn’t getting enough quality time with my daughter.
My wife and I had a chat, I suggested that I wanted to look after my little girl for the whole morning that Sunday and that she could sleep in. The trade-off was that the next weekend we would swap roles. Easy compromise – We now both have a morning to ourselves and another morning with the little one each fortnight!

You will honestly be the best judge of what parts of your life are not working as well as they could. Some of those are going to be fairly insignificant and something that you are willing to live with. Others though, will be things that with a small amount of planning and a little considered action, you will be able to set back on track and through doing so free up your time for the more important parts of your life.

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