Setting up systems in your life

setting up systems

One of the biggest keys that I’ve implemented in my to make the most efficient and effective use of my time while giving myself peace of mind is setting up systems in my life. Systems give me the peace of mind knowing that the important things will get taken care of in the right place and in the right time. Once you’ve set a vision for your life and set a direction you don’t want to spend 100% of your time working on it. You’ve got to enjoy life along the way. Systems are how I’ve done that.

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The simplest of systems make all the difference

Periodically I worry about my health. I know its strange. I’m in my early 30s so still very young and I’ve never had any major health complications. I just realize how important my health is and I want to be doing everything that I can to take care of it.

I always counted on myself to evaluate to see if I’m healthy or not. That sounded too fancy. Basically I worried about it. Anytime something little would change (i.e I get a shot and then I’d have a swollen gland) the alarm bells would start going off.

Then something remarkable happened that gave me peace of mind and lifted the burden off of me.

I went to the doctor.

I know, groundbreaking right? Its absolutely crazy to write. I now will schedule a check-up with that person every year to get evaluated and get some blood work done to make sure things are looking good. Such a SIMPLE step but something that made a world of difference.

I’ve always been a big believer in systems. I’ve worked in other areas of my life to incorporate them. I think a well-functioning system is extremely valuable because they make efficient use of your time and energy. Most importantly, if you’ve got systems in place there isn’t anything to worry about.

Do you ever think, did I pay that bill or did I order that piece for the sink?

If so, it may be time to think about implementing a few quick systems in your life.

There are two key areas of my life that I’ve implemented systems that have ensure the right things get done at the right time.

Systems to get things done

The first area is, very generically, things that I want to get done. This would include both work and personal. In general I use  systems are meant to identify priorities and then ensure those priorities are actually my priorities.

I see it all time time. People that have important things that need to get done and then they get caught up in fire drill after fire drill. At the end of the day then look back and realize those priorities didn’t actually get any attention.

The system I’ve put in place require me to sit down on a daily, weekly, monthly and annual basis to evaluate if my time is being spent on things that are moving the needle. It works like this.

At the beginning of every year I put together some priorities for the year. Every month I then set priorities to make sure I’m making strides to hit those goals. Within that month I look each week to see what steps I need to take to hit my monthly goals. I then sit down every morning to identify the priorities I need to work on.

Its groundbreaking stuff.

If you have the discipline to sit down every day, week, month and year to identify priorities and then attack them there isn’t any reason you can’t succeed in any area of life.

Some of the tools I’ve used to help organize all of this are google drive, workflowy, todoist, evernote, asana and trello. I dont use all of those currently but have had success with all of them in the past.

Systems in your finances

The second big area that I’ve implemented systems is in my finances.

The key systems I have in place are paying my bills (twice a month), setting a budget (once a month) and updating my budget vs spending (several times per week).

I’ve developed these systems for quite some time and I like the current place that I’m at.

Imagine a life where you had complete visibility over your monthly payments, your monthly spending and how that spending compared to your budget.

Thats what I strive do to each month. I’ve been working at if for over 7 years now and I really think I’ve got a set of documents, systems and habits that allow me to have a ton of visibility for about 30 minutes of work a month.

Three key tools that I have used to implement some of the systems are mint, ynab and tiller.

What systems do you have or wish you had in life? How do your systems differ from mine? I can’t wait to find out!


  1. Tim LifeForTheBetter November 1, 2018
  2. FIRE fighter November 8, 2018

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