Mountains and Molehills

Hi there!

Did you sit down and consider the questions from yesterday? Did you write something down?

I saw a saying that goes you can be anything you want to be. A Variation on the saying is that you can do anything you want to do. Another variation is you can go wherever you want to go in life.

For some people, those things appear to be just lip service. They point at obstacles, and hindrances, and the results of poor decisions because no one to give them a chance. At the same time, there are people whose mountain of concerns make other people’s look like molehills, and yet they succeed.

Many people look at those who succeed and say, “Sure, but there they are outliers.” My thought on that is, “Yeah, so?”

You can do whatever it is you set your mind to. And, the second part of that? You have to be willing to do what it takes to succeed.

We will talk about what that looks like tomorrow.

A Few Questions To Think On

Last week we covered habits and systems. If you have the right systems inform the right habits to use them life gets a little easier. Without the right systems and the right habits, life gets tougher.

To understand what we need to do and why we must take a step higher, and look around. To help you with this, you need to get your notebook or writing pad, and you need to break down what is most important to you. This list is very important to you. You are making this list to better understand where your work is.

As you start to make your list, I’m learning to ask a few questions just to help you get started and to help you think a little bit about what is most important to you.

Which is most important:

  • Does family come before or after employment?
  • Which comes first, kids or friends?
  • Do you take care of yourself or others first?
  • Is your car a showpiece, or something to get you from point A to point B?
  • Are you happy with the way your house or apartment looks? If not, what steps do you take to change the appearance?
  • Do you ever not go to the doctor because of work needs?
  • How many nights a week do you not get enough sleep? Why?

The next question tells you where you want to end up.

  • If at the end of your life, your friends and family and former coworkers throw you a Three speeches are made about three significant things in your life. What do you want the three items to be? And what would you like the speakers to say?

When you get through thinking about this and writing everything down, a couple of questions are still left:

  • If you make no changes, will the speeches say what you wanted to hear?
  • If not, what would you change so the speeches could be given in a way you would like to hear them?
  • What do you think it would take to make the speeches reality?
  • Are you willing to put in the effort?

These are the questions for you to ponder. Making notes and writing things down is quite often less confusing and ensures that you will probably not forget the subtle things that you should remember along the way.

Looking forward to seeing you again tomorrow, have a great day.

Hidden Factories???

Up until now, we’ve talked about systems and habits at home. Most workplaces also have systems in habits. Some of those systems and habits probably work well. Some could always work better with a little improvement.

There is always the formal workplace and the informal workplace. Both are important to the business. One is the direct channel that management uses to set up processes and requirements and to maintain the actions needed for the business to be sustained. The other is the method by which the workers take what management dictates and makes it happen.

As I said, one does not work well without the other. Smart management and smart workers know this. The really smart companies don’t set up new systems and requirements until the management and workers have sat down together and gone over them.

On the other hand, sometimes management sends down new processes that it expects to have implemented within two weeks. The workers who actually do the work day in and day out look at the new processes, find the places where it does not work well, and simply substitutes whatever they feel it takes to complete what they think should be accomplished. When this happens, no one is happy.

Changes always work best with good, logical explanations and positive agreement before implementation.  Without this step, your new systems have just turned into hidden factories.

What is a hidden factory?  Join us Monday for our next blog, and I will tell you all about it.

Do you wash your dishes by hand? Or, do you use a dishwasher? Do you take care of dishes and get them into the dishwasher as soon as you use them, daily, or to you wait until you can no longer see the sink and/or most of the counter?

The easiest time to take care of something is before it grows. Handling one or two plates to clean them and/or put them into a dishwasher is easier than looking at the kitchen three days later when you can no longer see the sink. You are also less likely to run out of the utensils you use the most. And, with the kitchen looking better, you feel better.

A House with less clutter helps keep the mind clutter free.

The easiest time to ensure that you have your clothes, shoes, belts, purses, car keys, socks and wallets is to put them all together the night before. Place them in one place where you plan to get dressed so that everything is ready for the next morning. Some of you are saying, ‘Oh yeah that’s the only way to do it.’ Others are saying, ‘That’s a waste of time.’

There are some great advantages to gathering everything the night before. How many times have you gotten dressed and then been unable to leave the house because you can not find the car keys? How often do you spend valuable morning time looking for two socks that match? How many times did you wake to find out that there were no pressed or wrinkle free pants or shirts? It happens.

When you set up everything the night before you save time. Your stress levels are lower, and once you’re dressed in the morning, you feel better. You were prepared.

Is it easy? Never at first, although when you are used to it, you will think it is the only and best way. You will have developed your system for being ready, for having less stress, and you will find you are happier because of it.

Not Good or Bad

After yesterday’s blog, you’re probably scratching your head and wondering, “What type of systems do I need,” and, “What kind of habits do I need to run them”

The answer is easy and one way or another you’re making and using habits right now, for systems that hopefully work for you. Some people run systems and habits that are bad for them also. Look at a couple of these, and we’re not saying that you have good habits or bad habits, good systems or bad systems. It’s up to you to take a look at what you have to use, and figure out what you need to do. I can help you to look and help you with the how.

Do you have to be at work in the morning? Do you have to do things before you go to work? Showing up at work in pajamas and bed hair does make a statement, probably just not the one you want to make. I bet you use an alarm clock. Making sure the alarm clock is set at night and getting up when it goes off in the morning or good habits. They feed the habit of being ready and going to work on time.

Do others count on you? If you have two children, spouse, maybe a pet needs to be walked, shower to take, need to get dressed. And you need to ensure children are dressed and fed before catching the school bus or walking to school, you truly need some pretty good systems. And, everyone has to have the habits to do what is needed in a timely order.

Do you have habits when you bake a cake? Do you put used items in the sink and throw away discards in the trash as needed? You pile everything up and clean up the kitchen when everything is done or while the cake is baking? Do you leave everything where it is with the idea of you baked the cake, and somebody else can clean the kitchen? They are all habits that feed the system of working in the kitchen.

I didn’t say all habits were good. I only said they are habits. If after work you go with everyone to a local pub, as part of a going away party for a working member, it is a one-time thing. If you go to the pub every day after work, it is a habit. One-time actions and habits in themselves are not good or bad. How you use actions and habits can have a positive or negative effect on you.

One of my habits, which is not good for me, is to recline on the couch nightly and watch other people pretend to do things for entertainment. You got it, I watch far too much TV.

Here’s how you know what you need, what you do, and whether it’s good for you. Make a list of those things you must do. Do you have to cut grass? Do you have to get up in the morning? Are you required to ensure that members of your family make it to where they are supposed to be on time, school, appointments, etc.? Do you have to cook? Do you have to go to the grocery store to get things to cook? Do you have to sleep? Do you have to relax? Do you need to be entertained? These are items we require or are required to do as humans. The way we normally handle what we do soon become habits due to repetition. The overall concept of these things and how we handle them are systems.

Tomorrow, we will look at a couple of systems that many people use. On Friday, we will look at ways to develop systems unique to us that work better than leaving things to chance.

How Are Your Systems and Habits?

Systems are important, and the habits that keep us using the systems are vital.

Did you know that glass is not a solid? I saw that this week on the Internet when I was looking up the various unique characteristics of glass. Glass is considered a fourth element. Glass is never found as a solid or gas. Glasses are always in a liquid state. It is just that the way glass is made. The molecules are super-cooled, and the electrons move very slow.

I am not sure that our habits or the systems we use should ever be in a solid or gaseous state either. A gaseous state would mean there would be no coherence there would be nothing to grab onto. If our habits and systems are rock solid, there is no room for error which is good. And yet, there is no room to take care of an anomaly. And there is always an anomaly somewhere that in life or in business you must take care of.

My ideas and systems need to have good habits that can bend to higher needs when the occasion arises. I also believe in systems that are well understood and have the capacity to work well on situations which fall well outside of the norm.

Am I asking for miracles? No. I remember who I work for. I work for my family. And as I have said before, I work for the man upstairs, and he has me working for you. That makes everyone involved very important. I want to make sure I am doing those things that are important to everyone involved.

How are you with the systems you use to get things done and the habits that keep you using the systems? Think of your habits and systems overnight and make a list. And we will talk about this again in the morning.

Thanks for being here with us, I look forward to tomorrow.

 

Systems and Habits

The more I work in my chosen field of my business, the more I know that I need good systems. I also know that if I don’t have the habit to use the systems, they will fall by the wayside. That does neither my consumers nor me any good.

I was born into a military family. Dad was a staff Sgt. the Army and just as everything was shipshape at work, so would things be ship shape at home. I still remember having to answer the phone with my expected saying,” Balof quarters, Mike speaking.” After a while, as I grew, I stepped away from all the rigmarole. I believed in spontaneity, and I had a belief that everything would be done in time, just that maybe the time wasn’t now.

When I went into the Air Force, everything came back. I was used to the various systems of doing things and the habits that were trying to be instilled. And I understood them in a new light. When I had my kids, I remembered what I went through with my dad, and did not want to inflict that upon them. Try as I might a little always seeps through. Yet, I did my best to instill in them their free agency.

After being out of the service for over 20 years, I have decided to go into my own business. I write these blogs that you get to read for free, and I love to make them. I write books which are a lot of fun. And I’m still developing courses as I have done for the last 15 years. Only this time, I am making the majority rather than the minority of them for online presentation. And the one thing I know for sure, for everyone who uses my offerings, I need to have good systems in place, and good habits to serve you better.

With your permission, this week I am going to spend our five days together looking into habits and systems and similar items we can all use to be better at what we do.

If you would like to share, please add to the comments below and let us know about your favorite habits and the type of systems you use to stay on track. When we learn from each other, we learn great things, and everyone does better because of new knowledge.

We look forward to being with you again tomorrow. In the meantime, have a great day.