Have you ever felt like systems and structure are completely out of your reach?
Do you feel like your current state of overwhelm is impossible to overcome?
It’s not unusual for me to have a private client who desperately wants systems and structure in place yet, at each suggestion, they push back. I often hear things like “that sounds great but it won’t work for me” or “my business is much too fluid to work that way”.
We are creatures of habit and have created routines in our lives and our business, including some that are no longer working. Clients resist the structural changes in their business because it’s new, requires more energy (temporarily), and it is taking them out of their comfort zone.
It’s funny how comfortable we can become doing something that is just not working. Think about excessive TV watching, poor diet, or any other area of your life lacking structure. It feels pretty comfortable, even when it is really making us uncomfortable. We know it isn’t necessarily the best thing for us, and we might even crave change, but change takes energy, focus, and discipline to create the new habits and structure that help us grow.
While we all know change is difficult, it is not out of reach.
Here are some tips to help you through the transition:
First, you need to acknowledge the reason for the change. In the case of systems and structure, your “why” may be that you’re overwhelmed by the day to day. Some feel they’re so far behind they need help to get out. Others recognize that, in order to grow, they need to create structure that will get them out of the weeds.
Next, break down your big goal into smaller daily tasks. The goal may be to create new routines throughout your personal and business life but trying to tackle everything at once can be overwhelming and a huge shock to your status quo. Find one area to focus on which will get you closer to your goal. If email is the issue, set aside 30-minute blocks twice a day clean that up. If planning is an issue, set aside 15 minutes at the beginning and end of each day to plan. If you’re working on systems for your business, pick one area of focus.
Use If/Then thinking when possible. If/Then thinking requires you to make a decision in advance that relates to your goal. It’s often set around your triggers.
For my systems:
- If I get an email that takes just a moment to respond, then I respond.
- If I get an email with a larger task inside of it, then I add it to my project management system.
- If I want to get more done during my work week, then I do not turn on the TV! I know it’s a huge distraction.
If/Then thinking takes creates fewer decisions and helps create habits. Your personal If/Then statements essentially become a template for how you respond to recurring situations. It saves time and stress when you don’t have to contemplate your next move.
Finally, give your new system a chance to work. Consistency is essential to any success. Commit to 30 days of consistently working with your new system. Small daily steps can create big changes over time. After 30 days, you can assess how effective the new system is and make adjustments as needed. Needing to make adjustments does NOT mean you failed! In fact, those adjustments are progress towards your goal and get you that much closer to what you really want.
We are all working to balance the various areas of our life. Putting systems and structure in place allow us to be more efficient and effective so that we can focus on other interests and priorities. To receive worksheets and support on creating systems for your business and your life, join our 5 Day Systems Challenge.
join our 5 Day Systems Challenge
To receive worksheets and support on creating systems for your business and your life, join our 5 Day Systems Challenge.