I just spoke to a really good friend of mine and she reminded me of a couple of practices I’ve “always” had in place. She mentioned that she really admired that about me and in turn has started to adopt some of them herself.
I was completely surprised. On two counts. One, I never even realised that was something I’d done for so long. And Two, I didn’t realise how my way of doing it could really have impacted someone else in a supportive way. I didn’t even think about it.
Which also got me thinking there are so many things that you are probably not even aware of happening in the background. Things that have either become intrinsic to who you are, or that you’ve adopted as part of a habitual pattern, or that you do so differently to someone else that it could really benefit them.
We then got talking about growth. Like how we don’t ever really notice how far we have come until some event, conversation, thought, pops into our head and makes us realise ‘wow, I’ve come far’.
I believe in part this comes down to our nature to make things automatic (our brains like to automate as much as possible, meaning we’re habit making creatures) and that we tend to be pretty hard on ourselves too, right? Which could be why I have never stopped to consider some of my very own practices that are helpful and really do contribute to me creating a life that I truly want to be living.
Thinking about it now I feel like I really have always been a ‘planner’. I like organising things. I like systems and structure. i.e. I like pretty coloured highlighters, post-it notes and labels. I love a good colour coding system. And I’ve always been inclined to cut out pretty pictures from magazines and stick them on a large piece of cardboard, vision board style. So it means things like creating space in my diary, blocking out chunks of time and having different notebooks for different types of ‘learning’ feels quite natural (and fun!) to me.
Feeling so natural meant that I’d never really considered that others wouldn’t have thought in this same way too. Or that it could be a ‘system’ that could really be beneficial if you’ve never done it before. And at the same time I also realise that I must have at some point in my life learnt this. Heard some tip, got some advice, had a poor experience of scheduling, had to juggle multiple things and ‘fit it all in’, been busy at work and wanted some space, and have wanted things to feel more organised. All of that is true. All of those experiences have chipped in to create a system that now I don’t even think about it. AND it really serves me. It consistently brings me more space and time for me, restores my energy and gives me clarity when I feel ‘stuck in it’.
I invite you to think about some of your own systems. What are some of the processes you have in place for managing or organising your life? What areas are working really well for you? Or even not working so well? Perhaps you’ve had them on autopilot mode you didn’t even think to check in on them.
We all know in our jobs, study, social life or business that we need really great ‘systems’ in order to feel organised and energised and productive. To fit in coffee with your girlfriends, a date night, finishing that report and brunch with your family in the same week, you need to have some level of planning and organisation. And as with any other system in your life, if it stops ‘working’ you go back to the drawing board and change how you manage it. If the ‘meetings’ at work aren’t working, generally there’s a brainstorming session to come up with a ‘new way’. If you keep getting caught in traffic on your commute, generally you’re going to have started thinking about a ‘new way’ to travel in.
When something no longer gives us the results we want, we change it. Yet with these sneaky automated systems, we may not even realise we’re running them! Which is pretty awesome to become aware of them for two reasons: One, it feels pretty good to check in with yourself and realise you’re doing something super beneficial and it doesn’t even take any effort! ? And Two, if you check in and realise it ain’t working that well, now you are aware, you can come up with a ‘new way’.
Give it a go. Take a look at your life through a ‘systems’ lens and let me know what you discover. I’ll even share* my top three automated systems with you if you do. They’re the ones that repeatedly bring me clarity, down time and that awesome ‘I just achieved all this stuff’ feeling!
*If you email me directly what you discover on your systems-navigation, I’ll email you right back what mine are. Yes, I’ll might end up sharing them in another Blog post at some point too, but this way we can cheer each other on a little PLUS you get super VIP early access. ? Plus I just love hearing what happens when you pay more attention to some of the autopilot stuff we’ve got going on in our lives. There’s so much treasure for us to discover along the way. x
Get your friends all excited about systems and share this post with them. ?