Systems are not just a nice to have productivity tool. They help us when we fall. They help us recover faster from busyness or from vacation or travel as we return to work. Or with big life events. Why? Because they give you a roadmap to get back on track. Without systems, there’s nothing, no way to get back to where you want to be. I hear this frequently from coaching and workbook clients.
If you get back on track sooner, you’re less frustrated, feel better about what you CAN do and are ultimately more productive. You’re not wasting time dithering around figuring out where to head next or how to stop feeling the way your lost track has made you feel. System help right the boat more quickly.
They point the direction and get us back on the route when our scattered minds can be working against the tide.
The point is NOT to do things perfectly right the first time.
It sounds obvious to some of you. But not to those people who have felt like they can “never” do anything right. It’s easy with a tendency towards black and white thinking to go from “I can never….” to “I have to do it right the first time. And then every time after that!” I hear it often in coaching, at first.
The point is how fast we recover.
For example, when your restaurant order isn’t right, but they do an excellent job at making it right for you, how does that feel? Sometimes better than if things had gone well. You’ve
been HEARD. It also means that you’ll likely give the restaurant a second chance.
That is a system, if they recover quickly, know just what to do AND don’t repeat the same mistake next time you’re there. Saying you’re sorry a bunch of times is not a system. It’s not good customer services. Learning from mistakes IS. So we need systems to recover from a glitch because we are human. Not super human.
People often don’t think about this until when we work together. When I’ve said this about recovery, a light bulb goes on. I hear it often.
Recover from work travel
Some of my business clients travel a few times a month. We’ll go along and work out systems for managing email, the to do’s at work, getting places on time, managing self-care, ADHD, Lyme’s, anxiety – whatever we are wrestling with at first. And then a work trip will get tossed into the mix.
I’ll hear something like: “Everything fell to pieces.” Maybe the person hadn’t kept up any routines, or didn’t have a way to keep a solid plan or list. So we figure out where things got mixed up and stuck. What was different about routines on the road versus regular life. And then we triage and put things back together, after this reflection. When you travel, it’s like being in another world, and it’s really hard to keep your “other life” going back at the office. And tempting to forget about it !
After a next trip, I’ll hear : “This was MUCH easier than it’s been in the past. I could filter out the unimportant, and dove right back in to where I needed to get focused.” No more overwhelm with the first step back to the office. No digging through what to work on first. This time? Not a perfectly flowing day, but recovery was faster.
And that means productivity is much higher on those first days back. You’ll also get home on time and feel pretty awesome about how that first day went.
Creating systems and new habits needs a good deal of thought about what will work for your ways of thinking and working. They also need practice, and with that will come those times when you forget, along the way. Get back on the track; each time it will be faster. That’s what we work on in coaching, a practical approach to: what systems are missing, what will work for you, and then practice and accountability. It’s a collaboration between us.
If you can recover faster and know where to get started again – that’s the magic. And not doing everything perfectly the first time around.
The added issue if you have ADHD
The first step is to know what to do and what your systems will be. Your added step is to find ways to remind yourself to use the systems when you need to use them. Two steps you need to create. What’s your safety net?
How well do you trust your systems for managing your days? Are they keeping you afloat or threatening to sink you?
ADHD workbook: read more about it here. Self coaching or with guidance, accountability, coaching from me – your choice.
Fairly sure you’d like a practical coach, grounded in organization and productivity practices? ADHD specialty. Call 603 554 1948 or email: Sue@CoachSueWest.com for your no charge 1/2 hour call. You’ll walk away with at least one solution/strategy, whether you decide to continue or not.
This is an excerpt from my ADHD workbook. along with short articles are many exercises so you can do more than “just read about it.”