For example, every morning when you wake up you automatically revert to a system in order to prepare for the day. The same is true when it comes to house cleaning, cooking, working or taking the kids to their activities. For example, on Monday nights I take my son to karate and so there is a system that goes on in our home every Monday that kicks in around 4pm until about 7:30pm.
The key is to ask yourself, "What's working in my life and what isn't?" If something is working well then you can rest assured that your system is working in your favor. But if something is causing you a lot of stress than it's safe to assume that your system needs some work.
This past week, a client was struggling with her laundry, grocery and paperwork system while another client was struggling with her children's bedtime routine, her self-care and meal planning. All of these require an effective system in order for them to work successfully.
So let's get to it! Here are some tips you can implement right away in order to get your new and improved systems up and running thereby making your life a whole lot easier!
1) First things first, identify what is causing you stress. Pick a maximum of three to start. One may even be enough. Do not overwhelm yourself. Baby steps.
2) Reflect on your current system and jot down ONLY what is working.
3) Make a list of what you need. For example, I need my children to be tucked in for the night by 8:30pm or I need to prepare a minimum of 4 healthy suppers per week. Your needs are very important so jot them all down!
4) Come up with a prototype system, meaning a system that you think will work well and that you are willing to try. Don't forget to add what is already working, in other words, don't overhaul the whole system if part of the system is already working well! And do not be afraid to delegate work to others. You will have a chance to get their input at a meeting... see point #5.
5) Call a meeting! There will likely be other people involved and it's important that you share your needs and your prototype system with them so they can offer constructive feedback and feel part of the new system. Kids, teenagers and adults all appreciate having the opportunity to express their opinions. Everyone's thoughts and feelings are important and therefore everyone should have a chance to express themselves.
The purpose of the meeting is to make sure that a new or improved system is put into place and that everyone is relatively pleased with the outcome. You may hear a few whines here and there from the teenagers or kids, but that's normal.
6) If you're a control freak like me, this is the perfect time for you to let others pitch in without nagging them to do it your way. I know... that's a tough one right?! ;)
7) Choose a start date to implement the new system and let it be known to all people involved.
8) Allow at least 3 months to implement the new system. Have a follow up meeting after the first month to see if any tweaks or changes are required. (Again, what's working, what isn't?)
9) If after 3 months you notice a huge change, congratulate yourself and the others and move on to the next system causing stress!
When it comes right down to it, almost everything in our lives requires some sort of system. Do not be afraid to get creative! Do things differently then you've ever done them before! Communicate what you need and allow others to do the same! Make a commitment to your new system and allow time for it to work!
I'd love to hear from you! Do you have a system you're using that works really well? Share it with me here by hitting the reply button!
Until next time...