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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Stupidly Simple "Systems"

In a previous blog post, I said that "systems are better than discipline." I noticed this in two ways recently:

1) Yesterday I had to be out all day. Feeling very motivated, I went to the gym first thing and showered there. This clearly is not normal behavior for me, as after I showered and got dressed, I discovered that I had forgotten my belt and shoes! So I walked around the rest of the day in my gym sneakers, constantly yanking up my pants.

If you take your belt for granted, as most do, I encourage you to try a "day without a belt." It is amazing how weird it is to not have one - especially when you need it!

Now I have a "checklist" of the few items I must have when i go to the gym. Simple, but effective.

2) I have discovered a critical productivity factor for me: If I wake up and my laptop is on my table, I will get to work right away. If however, the laptop is on my coffee table, I will plop onto the couch and surf or even turn the TV on in the morning. That is the only difference: whether I leave the laptop on the coffee table, or move it to my desk. It's kind of sad in some ways, that my own self-discipline is so low that a difference of about 15 feet can have such a large effect on my productivity...

This isn't rocket science, but it is amazing how such a simple thing can have such a huge impact on my day.

There are probably many, many simple things, or "systems," that you can put into place that will have a huge impact on your life. A system for where you put your keys or upcoming bills, a system for what you do first thing in the morning or first thing at work (or when you first walk in the door at the end of the day), etc.

Take the next few days and notice the little things in your life that could benefit from a system of some sort.

And don't forget your belt!

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