Why Systems Are the Lifeline of Your Business

Why Systems Are the Lifeline of Your Business

November 04, 2014

“Anxiety is caused by a lack of control, organization, preparation and action.” –David Kekich

Oh how I wish I could mount my high horse and lecture you about how I’m a shining example of intuitive systems and natural order…but that would be a total lie!

My Dirty Little Secret

No, I had to (like most things) learn the hard way. Earlier in my career, as I was juggling a career, college (for my second go at it), motherhood and more, I had no choice but to face my dirty little secret. I thought I wasn’t as “smart” as everyone thought I was. I felt like a fraud! If I was so smart I would be able to keep my poop in a group and thrive in spite of all of the chaos, right? Why was I falling apart, losing focus and feeling like a failure? But at the same time I have always been a great student and a top-performing employee (even if I fell apart at home), so I decided there was something going on that I needed to investigate.

The Day I Became a Super Human

Well, I went to a psychiatrist, went through a series of tests, and who knew…I was BLAZING A.D.D.! I thought this was just some made up thing by teachers who didn’t want to have to discipline the rowdier kids. (Sorry teachers. Really, I am!) But no. There WAS a thing called A.D.D., as well as a different disorder called A.D.H.D., which is the hyper version of the distractibility issue I have.

(Don’t worry, we’ll get to how this will apply to you, promise.)

I read several books about this attention deficit “disorder” thing. I literally cried. Other people were describing my secret! It wasn’t just me. And even better, I found out it was not a “disorder” at all. If channeled correctly, it was a SUPER POWER!

My First Coaching Experience

THAT realization led to my first experience with having a coach. My A.D.D. coach helped me learn how to exist in a world of mortals with my newly harnessed super power. (Like how I framed that?)

I learned that I HAD to have systems in key areas of my life. Systems that appealed to me that included color and experiential approaches to doing mundane things.

Want a great laugh? I STILL use a timer to get my laundry put up. I totally race myself because I’m driven by deadlines, but hate repetitive tasks.

But I also learned that there are some things I just need to accept about myself. No system is going to truly work, so I have to figure out work-around or create the right environment to compensate for my deficiency.

What’s Your Point, Amber?

OK, how does all of this even matter to you? Because since I’ve had to figure out how to perform at an extremely high level WITH A.D.D., YOU get my tried and true strategies that I’ve shared with countless people over the years with great success.

What’s more, in our 140 character, DVR, smart phone, drive through, microwave world, where the average attention span is now a mere FIVE MINUTES, the majority of society is becoming conditioned to experience life similar to someone with legit A.D.D.

SO, I’m going to go ahead and tell you something: Life is overwhelming these days. Business is becoming complicated just to compete. Families are increasingly complex. YOU SHOULD HAVE NO SHAME clinging to even the most rudimentary checklists and systems until it becomes habit.

For example, if you (like me) can’t form a complete sentence before 9:00 a.m., yet your only opportunity to fit in exercise is within your morning routine, creating a morning checklist will help you fit it all in and stay on task, increasing your chances for success. Yes, I’m saying to include, “brush teeth.” That takes time that you need to acknowledge. Include it!

My family now makes fun of me because I’m the “hyper organized” one…and remember *I’m* the one with A.D.D.! I’m just saying that if I can be known for being organized and systematic in how I approach life, you can be, too.

What Type of Systems Might You Need?

  • Morning and evening routines
  • Calendar planning (daily, weekly, monthly)
  • Email processing system
  • Operational processes (opening/closing procedures, phone scripts, sales process, cleaning, customer service, complaint resolution, payroll, marketing activities, etc…)
    • Develop a checklist for the task
    • List the tasks in logical order, in sequence
    • Ensure your list is complete
    • Include notes, instructions, passwords, etc., where relevant
    • Use it the very next time you perform the task, and verify its completeness
    • Note where this is stored (e.g. on your shared drive, online (Google Docs, Evernote, etc…), in your filing cabinet, in your “operational Bible,” etc…)
  • People processes
    • Hiring
    • Training
    • Instant feedback
    • Recognition
    • Communication
    • Reviews
    • Promotions
    • Graduated discipline
    • Termination
  • Meetings
    • Who should attend
    • What follow up meetings are needed (execution or decisions post-brain storming)
    • Who is holding everyone accountable to deliverables?
  • Meal planning
    • Meal budget
    • Menu/eating out selections
    • Grocery list
    • Dinner prep for week
    • Lunch assembly prep for week
  • Routines for your kids (see my “3 Steps to Holding Your Kids Accountable Without Nagging” blog post)
  • Exercise routines
  • Quiet time/meditation/devotional time
  • Annual home maintenance
  • Car maintenance
  • House chores
  • The list is limitless!

Your Systems

OK, it’s your turn! After reflecting upon your goals, what systems do you need to implement immediately in order to reach those goals?

The Holidays and Money BlocksIt’s the end of the month…do you know where your life is heading NEXT month?

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