Do you suffer from any of the following:
- A cluttered house
- Forgetting important dates or events
- An out of control email in box
- Not knowing what you need when you’re at the grocery store until AFTER you get home
- A car full of junk
- Not knowing where you put your keys
- Forgetting the login and password you picked for a specific website
If so, it may be the result of not having systems in place for certain areas of your life. What I mean by a system is simply a set of behaviors you regularly perform for a specific situation. Here’s what a system might look like in a real-life scenario.
Let’s say my house is always cluttered and messy, which causes me to feel frustrated. A system for keeping my house from being cluttered would involve adopting and maintaining behaviors like:
- Assigning a specific place for each of my items
- When I’m done using something, instead of laying it on the first convenient place I can think of, I will put it where it belongs (e.g. Dishwasher, laundry bin, closed, garbage, recycle, closet, etc.)
- I will regularly go through my things and get rid of anything that I no longer use so that my house stays free from unneeded items.
A system like this identifies clear behaviors that will yield the outcome you desire.
When I don’t have systems in place, or don’t follow the systems I do have, I tend to do what’s most convenient at the time. Operating by convenience rather than by established systems tends to cause parts of my life to feel out of control and chaotic. Without specific systems in place, anything goes! Clothes go on the floor, dishes stay in the sink, and important things become forgotten or left undone.
Do you have areas in your life that would benefit from some new systems? If so, start with just one area you’d like to improve and do the following:
- Envision the outcome you want
- Create a system of behavior that will achieve that outcome
- Work the system
Chaos and disorder are almost always the result of a system that needs to be put into place or a bad system that needs to be revamped. Start adding systems to your life to remove chaos and disorder and begin enjoying a less stressful existence.