Lately I’ve been asked by a number of people to assist them in “organizing” some aspects of their businesses. It wasn’t something I ever really thought about being particularly skilled in, but it would seem that some people are even LESS skilled than I am! Go figure… 🤷♀️ I’ve found a new gig!
Setting up a “system” or a “process” sounds like a very technical or procedural activity. But it doesn’t have to be that way. I just look at it as following the “flow” of an activity.
Think about when you were younger – okay, yeah, I’m dating myself a bit here because I have a LOT of “when I was younger” times to draw on – but realistically, when we were younger we figured we knew it all. There wasn’t any aspect of our life that we couldn’t conquer…right? Except maybe dating…but I digress…
As a teenager or young adult, we didn’t really think in terms of processes or systems. Life was more black and white – you either knew how to do something or you didn’t. And if you didn’t, you figured it out. But life in general was pretty much a “system”: you got up, went to school, came home, maybe did homework, maybe did a job or hung out with friends, and went to bed. Pretty straightforward and done each day without a second thought.
As you got older, there were new steps added to the system, and maybe a few side systems that got started. Suddenly life is a lot more complex, as you try to figure out how to fit them all together. That’s where the idea of multi-tasking came to life.
I think multi-tasking is an illusion. People really aren’t getting many things done, they’re usually just slowing down the process of any one task, resulting in all of the tasks taking longer than they should. They feel like they’re being more productive because they’re touching on a lot of different activities, but the reality of it is that each of those activities is getting less attention than it needs. And when you give something less attention than it needs, it doesn’t flourish, but rather languishes.
Maybe that’s pushing the idea to an extreme. I know many people will argue that they’re still getting the work done – and getting more of it done – by multi-tasking, but I believe that if you spend the time needed to complete each task separately, the final result will be superior to the result seen when you split up the time between tasks. Yes, it may take longer to perform each task individually…but not having to refresh your memory on where you are and what has to be done next saves a lot of time in the long run.
That’s where the systems, processes and potentially automation come into play. By examining the tasks and determining what the steps are to complete them, you can often identify ways to automate certain steps and this automation can be used for numerous tasks…
So you get to “multi-task” after all! 🤩 🤩
Productivity picks up when you can automate the mundane, repetitive processes, allowing more time for the activities that require your attention.
I’m happy to say that productivity is definitely NOT an illusion…but maximizing productivity DOES take some effort. You need to see the “big picture” but also understand how the parts go together to make that picture come to life. Sometimes you can get lost in the weeds a bit, bogged down by “how the parts go together”…that’s when it’s great to have someone who can assist in laying down the framework…setting up the processes or putting the systems in place…so your business (whatever that might be) runs like the well-oiled machine it should be!