The Systems Approach – Little Pointers To Make You More Efficient

systems approach

Don’t confuse being focused with being stiff and inflexible.

-Donald Trump

Wouldn’t it be nice to live a more efficient life?

Well there’s an easy way to do so.

In fact, all it takes is a mindset shift to realize it.

Efficiency Involves Systems

Everything in life is a system.

Systems are always in motion, whether managed or not.

Imagine the highways crossing your country. Now, picture the blood vessels crossing your body. All processes are a series of parts. These parts are smaller sub-systems of their own.

Every system is greater than the total of its sub-systems.

When you shift your mind to a *systems approach*, you notice these wheels within wheels. By focusing on the efficiency of every part, you focus on the efficiency of the whole. If every component of a system is nearly flawless, the system as a whole is nearly flawless.

I first learned about the systems approach when I was reading the book “How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big” by Scott Adams. It taught me that “failures” mean nothing when your overall quality of decision-making is sound.

Systems > goals = strong presence of mind.

Decision-Making Is A Vital Subsystem

Your decisions stem from your principles. Your principles make up the system of your lifestyle.

Learning how to make better decisions is one of the best investments you’ll ever make.

However, quality decisions can’t be *consistently* made with a rigid approach.

The rhythm of your decision-making is an OODA loop. This “system of you” thrives off whatever you feed it.

Lack of self-worth and lack of detail oversight leads to chaos. Discipline and structure leads to freedom.

A great resource for developing this sub-system is the book “Decision Making”.

decision making

(Click here to invest in a copy)

Tips to increase efficiency include:

  1. Doing the right pre-work (research)
  2. Always making moves with a purpose
  3. Attacking the most dysfunctional systems first
  4. Never relying on a vital system outside your circle of influence (self-sufficiency)

Improving the quality of your decisions can raise your income by over 300%, help you make better friends, increase health/prevent disease, and much more.

If such a small change makes such a huge difference, why do so many people fail at making it?

They never try.

Thankfully, you don’t have to be like them. Great knowledge helps you easily avoid value drains.

priorities

(A quick way to improve the quality of your decision making)

Efficiency Revolves Around Priorities

“Straighten out the weightiest problems first.”

-Sam Carpenter

This relates back to the 80/20 principle.

What actions give you the biggest R.O.I.?

Simple tasks such as writing out a mission statement greatly increase your chances of success. This applies to both business and personal life. In fact, if you don’t have a written set of principles, I suggest you take a few minutes and create a list.

Go on, I’ll still be here.

Don’t have any ideas?

These questions will help you out:

Strategy

  • What do you offer?
  • What do you avoid?
  • What are you studying and why?

Problem Solving

  • How do you view problems?
  • What’s your criteria for success?
  • What’s your approach to finding a solution?

Organization

  • What do your actions build off of?
  • How do you hold yourself accountable?
  • How do you organize your environment?

Social

  • Who do you avoid?
  • Who do you associate with?
  • What kind of social climate do you strive for?

Your answers to these questions = your priorities.

The value of writing things down is that it makes them more *concrete*. This newfound clarity opens your mind to greater options.

Every System Matters

Writing subsystems off as trivial does the same to your overall success.

Remember, your life is the sum of its parts.

The biography of Steve Jobs mentions the importance of perfecting subsystems. Had it not been for Jobs’ keen eye for detail, Apple wouldn’t have grown into the powerhouse it is.

How did Jobs develop his approach?

Steve’s father was a carpenter who paid quality attention to the “parts unseen”. This mindset stuck with Jobs throughout his life.

However, there were a few instances where he took this extreme level of attention too far. (Demanding factory machines be painted a certain color at expense of their function.)

What’s the main lesson here?

Master your subsystems, but don’t violate the 80/20 principle.

Closing Thoughts:

Creating systems is surprisingly easy. All it takes is turning habits into a lifestyle.

The systems approach revolves around consistency, momentum, and documentation.

Writing a mission statement clarifies your options.

The number one metric to judge yourself by is the quality of your decision making. It’s the factor controlling all your other systems.

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Relevant Reading: “Work the System” by Sam Carpenter.

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