Systems Save Time

by vernsanders on October 12, 2010

I recently blogged about why the most difficult tasks are the most important. Today’s post is a kind of corollary: The time you spend setting up systems pays off immensely (I started to write logarithmically, but I have no data to prove that).

I’ve known this for a long time, of course, and am in awe of people like Doug Lawrence who seem to figure out systems easily. The specific reason I’m addressing it today, though, is because of this blog post about a new Android phone app (the short description: you can teach your phone to do things on a regular basis, but it takes some time to set it up).

So the message from me here is that doing things early in the process can be a drag. You are spending time without seeming to get anything accomplished. But doing these things (like reading a manual, or taking the time to set up systems, teaching fundamentals, or implementing a good filing system, or establishing good time management habits) means that for months, years, or decades, you don’t have to think through those things every time your desk gets messy, you want to set up a new contact on your phone, or your schedule gets out of control, for example.

It really doesn’t matter what your systems are, as long as you think them through, and figure out what works best for you.

Bonus tip: Thinking through systems, and how you would implement them, can come in handy if/when you are looking for a new position. A candidate who has thought through what needs to be done, and how to make that happen, has a better chance of being hired, compared to one who hasn’t.

What are your most important systems? What saves you time and effort in the long run? Please leave a comment and let me know.

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