[2.5 Minute Read or Listen Below]
Getting organized is consistently among the top five most common new year resolutions. So, it's no accident that January is Get Organized month.
But I want you to look beyond being 'organized.' January is the big exhale for many businesses after a (hopefully) busy holiday season. You should invest this time, or whenever it's off-peak for your business, to focus on improvements that will pay dividends long into the future. One of those improvements is systems.
What comes to mind when you hear the word 'system?' Most people think of technology. But don't limit your thinking.
The Oxford Dictionary defines a system as "a set of principles or procedures according to which something is done; an organized framework or method."
One of my favorite examples of systems in action is the artist set up for our local art festival. I love getting a sneak peek at the artists' work while they set up. And a couple of years ago, it dawned on me that I also love watching their systems as they unpack and set up their tents.
The artists who have experience or have given it a lot of thought are easy to spot. They know the steps they need to take and in what order to make their setup as efficient as possible. They've also packed their vehicles to ensure the items they need first are readily available when they arrive onsite. And they don't all do it the same way.
Some leave their vehicle parked near their assigned spot the whole time they set up. The items they need first are the tent framework, the tools to put the framework together, and the covering. The remaining items peel out in the order they're required, e.g., display cases, tables, hooks, and last is usually the art itself.
Others unload their vehicle entirely and get it out of the setup area as soon as possible. The tent framework, tools, and covering are the first things packed, so they are the last things off as they unload. When the artist returns from moving their vehicle, these items are readily accessible, and they can get to work.
Regardless of how they execute their setup, this precision comes with thought and planning. But how exactly do systems boost your productivity?
1. Systems save time. When you have to keep putting out fires because things aren't happening as expected, that is not the best use of your time. Systems help things operate more smoothly, allowing you to spend more time on revenue-generating activities or enjoying life.
2. Systems save energy. The draining effects of decision fatigue are real. Systems insulate you from continuous decision-making, and they prevent duplicate work.
3. Systems save money. When things operate more efficiently and are repeatable, you can increase output without increasing costs.
4. Systems save space. Think of the artists at the festival. By using a well-planned and executed system, they can travel in the smallest possible vehicle. Traveling light saves them not only physical space but also saves them money on gas. Information management systems can also save both physical and digital space.
Systems often provide a boost in multiple areas mentioned above. The benefits compound and give your investment an even greater return than first expected.
January is a natural time for goals and reflection. Use this time to identify system opportunities in your business - systems that will boost your productivity by saving you time, energy, money, and space.
If you would like some help identifying where systems could benefit your business, get started by finding out your productivity score at www.newpathpro.com/scorecard.