It should be pretty clear that I love systems of all kinds and in all areas of life – just last week I shared how working with a personal assistant, and creating systems for our time together has saved me a ton of time and work. But outside of business & home, it can be hard to see how systems work to your benefit.
Here are 10 ways systems can help in unique ways:
- Vacation Planning – Whether you’re a solo backpacker or planning the family reunion that crosses generations, systems will make the work lighter. Setting up a Google wiki for all the details would be a great way to start tracking locations, costs, travel details, reservations and packing lists.
- Volunteer Groups – Imagine trying to coordinate dozens or hundreds of volunteer groups without having a process in place. Simple systems might include how you email notifications, filling volunteer spots, or even tracking hours.
- Political Affiliations – If this year’s screwed up political campaigns have taught me anything, it’s that organization – from the highest level down to local rallies – makes a big difference. Sending emails to the right group of donors, distributing content, developing a coherent strategy… all are easy to systematize to increase your chance of success.
- Shopping Systems – I already shared how I use my iPhone reminders to track things, such as what I need to purchase, but tracking your shopping year round can be extremely valuable. Imagine having birthdays documented and gift ideas listed out, tracking what you need at home, and even what you may need to return. Ahhh, shopping bliss!
- Vehicle maintenance – If you have more than one vehicle, whether it’s a boat, motorcycle or hobby car, you know it can be a pain to track maintenance work, recalls or repairs. A tracking system that is easy to access and provides a simple record can save time and more extensive repairs down the road.
- Financial Systems – For business or personal, creating a system to pay bills, save money, invest in retirement or make charitable contributions can be empowering and enlightening.
- Job Searching – If you’re in the position of looking for a new job, systems can help you stay organized and ensure solid follow up in tracking. In many cases, unemployment benefits require showing what jobs you’ve applied to, so why not create a simple system to track your efforts and results? With some luck you won’t need this system for long!
- Systems for Pets – As someone with dogs at home, I can say that having a way to track their registration, immunizations, and vet visits saves me time and stress. These systems might be just adding notes to your calendar or setting up reminders and notifications.
- Ready to Move – Moving your home or office can be exhausting, and tracking what needs to be purchased, sold, packed and transported is only made easier with a system to follow. There are systems for labeling, finding a moving company, and even what items to unpack first. If you’re in the midst of a move, then look at how systems can make the process easier.
- Health goals – Whether you want to run a marathon, lift weights, or just improve your overall health, creating a system to track your progress can support your goals. It might include meal planning, workout tracking, monitoring your medications, steps, or regular measurements.
Here’s the great thing… businesses and entrepreneurs have created systems for all of these areas of life, even if they don’t call it a system. Search on Google for a “packing list” or “marathon training”, and you’ll find resources.
In many ways, systems are simply a proven way of doing something successfully, what you fill into “something” is up to you! Thinking in terms of systems is a process, and it doesn’t mean you live your life like a robot; it can mean that you tackle challenges, projects, and tasks with confidence.
What groups or organizations do you participate in that might be benefited from systems? Share with me in the comments below!