Today I want to share MY story about systems, and how you can literally track my successes by seeing when I improved my systems.
In writing this now, I can also see that each time I improved my systems – it was actually a response to the chaos, the lack of clarity about what to do next, and not being consistent.
I’m certain that each time I did that the freedom and clarity that I gained contributed to being more time, provide better customer service, be more creative in my offers, boost my productivity – and last year I quadrupled my business.
I’ve shared my rock bottom story many times. It was when I felt totally out of control and in deep overwhelm. I had shit everywhere and I couldn’t think straight.
My days looked like Facebook random scrolling, email checking, Facebook, email…play a game on my phone, check Facebook, read other blogs that left me feeling like crap because they were out making it happen, check Facebook…oh shit – there’s only 30 min til my husband comes home, I had better do something…..start to write a blog, and then get frustrated with him because I was actually on a roll when he comes home and i have to stop!
Literally, I had days and days that followed that kind of pattern, or similar when my baby slept. It wasn’t doing me, my confidence, my $0 income, or my reach any good, and I knew I needed to pull myself out of it,
System Level Up #1: Improving how I spent my time and my planning
Taking more control of my time. More specifically, I mapped out my week and gave myself a framework. I felt the pressure to write a blog every day until it was done, and transformed this into making Tuesday a blog day. This small tweak meant I could focus on other things on the other days, and the weight off my shoulders was lifted.
I brain dumped to get everything out of my head.
I created planners to be proactive with my time and my to do lists, instead of getting caught up for ages in one task, and neglecting others.
I set clearer goals about what I wanted to achieve every week, because weeks would go by and I wasn’t getting anywhere.
System Level Up #2: I organised my information and reduced the number of places it was kept
So now I was using my time better, I had more time to see where I was being incredibly inefficient. The frustrations were trying to find that one page I needed that I had saved some where. I could spend 10 minutes finding something – it was complicated and frustrating – especially if I was on a roll!
Once again, the complication and the chaos needed to be sorted out. Hello Evernote!
I admit, it took me a while to get the hang of Evernote, but it was a total game changer for me. I have one place for everything (except my photos and social media images). I know where everything is. I can save files, downloads, PDF’s, ideas, notes and TRUST where they are, and I can find them very quickly.
I used this strategy to streamline my Folder names and reduce the chaos there too.
This doesn’t just make me more efficient and organised – it makes me more confident.
(Now I’m an Evernote Certified Consultant!)
System Level Up #3: I took control of my client admin
Chaos and disorganisation area #3 was looking after my clients. Operationally, I wasn’t respecting them, and was ‘making do’ with very little maintenance, and just managing to get by. The result – embarrassing mistakes! I was seriously failing on this side of things, and it was really embarrassing for an organisation and systems coach!
I lost track of which session we were up to, I forgot to remind clients about meetings, I double booked – I was taking advantage of other people’s kindness, and not putting in the effort, and it was leaving me in chaos.
So, I made it simpler. I used a simple Asana project to track my clients, and I did it consistently and this tweak made a HUGE difference. Just a check list and a process. Nothing complicated. It could have been in a notebook.
I did this for about 6 months, and loved the clarity I had. Then I stepped up some more and invested in a CRM and holy cow, it has blown me away!
System Level Up #4: I took control of my Facebook content
If you looked at my to do list for 6 months in a row, you would have seen FB content recurring. Every week, I would have it on my list to do, and every week I would push it to the back, because I wasn’t really sure what to do. It FELT complicated, and I couldn’t get my head around it.
SO – I broke it down and set up a structure, content pillars, and a process to batch and organise it so that I have 3 months scheduled in advance, by my VA. Now this process is one of the key processes I teach my clients (if they need it) because it has a structure to follow.
As soon as I worked this process out, it became something I could replicate over and over again, and now outsourced.
This has allowed my more time and space to plan and batch my blog content, and have my VA edit and publish my videos on Youtube and my blog. Now that I have broken it down into smaller steps, its so much easier to manage.
The resistance I felt at every point blocked my business growth. The resistance was the next level for me that I had to simplify so that it could be easier. Let’s face it – if it’s easier, it flows better, and the quality of work improves = more income.
I hated that uncomfortable feeling of being unsure what to do next.
I hated the second guessing myself, that it chipped away at my confidence, and the ‘I’m not good enough’ voice seemed louder.
Here’s the thing:
Working out all of these systems felt like it should be hard work, but it meant that I needed to step up and MANAGE myself – be a CEO.
The resistance I felt (and why I put up with so much chaos and frustration for so long) was because I thought I didn’t have time to spare from my every day ‘busyness’.
I thought that I needed hours of time to ‘get organised’ and nut out the process.
AS SOON AS I stepped out of the busyness and levelled up – as soon as I gave myself permission to slow down, get clarity and work it out – the answers were simple, the processes were simple.
I was overcomplicating it – in my rush and in my resistance to stepping up.
YES, setting up new systems take time, BUT I have absolutely saved time.
Here’s a key example:
I used to record my vlog, edit it, publish on Youtube, publish to my website, with image, SEO, meta data, and blog copy etc. That process would be spread over 2-3 days, and in total would take me 2-3 hours.
I blog every fortnight, so over a year that’s 78 hours, and half a DAY a fortnight.
Now that I have systemised it, I can batch 3+ videos at a time, in one hit, and outsource the rest.
This now takes me 1-2 hours a month – over a year, that’s 12-24 hours.
It took me less than ONE hour to
a) record a video of how I want the video edited, how to publish to a blog, and write the key steps
b) create a template of metadata for Youtube and web publishing
c) create a template in Canva
That 1 hour, gained me 54 hours a year. An hour a week to do something else.
And that’s just with ONE PROCESS.
There are so many other processes that can be simplified, batched and streamlined – with planning, templates, checklists, automation…systems. This is how they make life easier and save time.