Have you ever mentioned the word system and had eyes glaze over in boredom or worse fear, panic and overwhelm? I decided to write a little about systems, in the hope that you might see them as I do – a way to break things down into manageable pieces, so you can accomplish things and feel more in control. As I began looking into systems and what makes people so resistant and fearful about even talking about them, I figured a good starting point for common ground would be the definition of the word system.
I was a little surprised to see that Free Dictionary has a 9 point definition – with sub-categories and examples! Yikes! I’ll let you Google the rest yourself sometime, but the parts I think of when I say system is their points 7 and 8.
7. A condition of harmonious, orderly interaction.
8. An organized and coordinated method; a procedure.
So if it helps you keep reading, perhaps interchange the word system with method, or procedure? I love the reference to harmonious, orderly interaction! (is it really just me?!)
Of course, the systems I usually talk to my clients about are those that help their business run more efficiently, an Effective Website System; a Client Communication System; a Contact Follow-up System; Marketing Planning Systems, even Tele-summit Planning Systems; all kinds of procedures that business’ use to run effectively and efficiently.
Many tasks in a business are repeatable and often done by the business owner until they are ready to get some support, engage a team member and hand that task over. The tasks that get handed over first are usually the repetitive tasks that the business owner can show someone else how to do. Let’s run through a quick example, perhaps preparation of a newsletter? Once the article is written by the owner, an assistant can then log-in to the email distribution software such as aweber, open up a template and cut and paste the article into it, spell-check/proof-read, update any dates and schedule the newsletter to go out at a particular time. As the task is the same every time, it is a good idea to keep track of the steps in a document somewhere, so if/when you are too busy to complete this task, you can hand it over. This is your newsletter distribution procedure/system. It’s a repeatable task. Once you break it down into a series of steps like this, you can teach someone else to do it for you and save time, so you can be working on those parts of the business that only you can do, using your unique brilliance.
I hope the idea of having a system in place for something in your business is a little more palatable looked at in this way. The benefits of systems are that you can move forward, complete a piece, feel good about that, gain momentum, tackle the next piece… rather than be stuck in fear and overwhelm at the enormity or complexity of a task. Yay for systems!
I have always been great at breaking things down into smaller steps, manageable step-by-step systems that allow you to accomplish things instead of being completely overwhelmed. Anything from complex projects, with teams of 20 people and many moving parts, to routine tasks with multiple steps to complete in a sequence… I have lists for everything and have been known to plan meals for a month at a time and schedule which days I do which laundry… ;o) That may be too much for you – I get it! That’s why we all have different talents and abilities…
If you know you could use help systematizing things in your business, I’d be pleased to chat with you. Feel free to Contact Me and let’s connect. I’d love to see if a complimentary Clarity Session is the right next step for you.