christine alexis virgins of the screen.

I’m working twice as hard in order to be away. I had to get people to cover my groups, schedule more weeks of social posts, plus write and schedule more weeks of blog posts.  This additional effort to make sure everything is “okay” during vacation is something everyone does no matter what their circumstance, but it’s even more so with solopreneurs like myself.

When the business is me and I’m going on vacation, I need systems in place to make sure everything is running. For the most part, I have all my systems going – this post is a result of scheduling (YES!).

But setting up the scheduling is intense – it requires systems. It required some brainstorming, trial, and error. Setting up the systems in the first place – the organization required and the block of time necessary to make sure they’re all running as well as can be – takes some doing.

So why do I do these things? And how do I make this happen?

Why Make Systems

A system isn’t just for scheduling. This isn’t just for business – this is for LIFE. This is about me deserving of good things – saying I’m worth it and my business is worth it (I talk about this in The Heart Unboxed). But let’s break down the benefits of systems:

  1. Systems streamline all the processes and remove any need to think. I know – I’m all about intention, but if you’re setting up systems the right way, the intention is already accounted for.

  2. Systems free up more time. All that time you would have spent deciding and figuring out what you need to do? Yes. That’s yours again.

  3. Systems allow you to be more in the present moment and therefore, experience more joy. Because you don’t have to worry about the decision process or the stress involved in working through an issue, you’re able to focus more on what is going on now and thoroughly enjoy whatever activities you’re doing.

These benefits can be reaped in ALL areas of life. They are ALWAYS possible – in a kitchen, closet, or business. These are simply ways of structuring processes or spaces.

How to Set Up Systems

There are a few steps involved in creating systems and getting them running:

  1. Brainstorm what you want your system to do. Is it organizing your pantry? Moving your family from school pick-up through bedtime (and all the activities between!)?

  2. Decide what structure/process works best for you – that you will do consistently. If you won’t follow the system and maintain it, then it’s a waste to create it.

  3. When possible, automate. If your system is one of scheduling for example, have reminders automatically generate a notification in your phone.

  4. Make sure everyone involved is on the same page – and if possible, get buy-in by incorporating suggestions (If it’s a family situation – have the family brainstorm the system together. If it’s business, have your team take part in the brainstorm.).

  5. Commit to the system and follow it on a daily basis.

  6. When something isn’t working, re-evaluate and adjust as needed.

My System for Getting Things Done

I’ve talked before about how I batch my work (read it here), and that’s what I do with everything in my life (even more so now that my kiddo is at preschool) but what I’m sharing here is more than batching. This is actually the schedule I follow EVERY. SINGLE. WEEK. It’s my “to-do-list” on steroids. More or less the below picture is my schedule with open-ended time and flexibility to do things at different times during the day:

This "to do list" is more or less ordered, and while it changes, this is basically what I do from week to week.

You’ll notice I don’t separate things into time-blocks. I don’t do that for a reason. While I have an idea of how long each thing will take, there are days when things take longer. This schedule is an intention to get these things done, but it’s not strict. I find when I schedule things with specific time blocks, I get stressed. As such, I don’t do it (and if you know me, I’m all about a life that is loving to me and others – which means minimizing stress!).

While I leave some flexibility for how long I spend on different things (and sometimes items change or shift throughout the week depending on how many coaching clients I have, classes I’m taking, talks I’m giving etc), this is more or less the order of how I tackle things (I’ve talked about my daily rituals for the beginning of the day and end before in this post here.)

Yes, I schedule blocks of time for my family. Yes, I schedule time for being with my husband. Chores vary a lot from week to week, so those tend to get fit in between the other blocks. That said, the items that make the list/schedule are non-negotiable and require weekly attention (or daily as the case may be).

I have to say my life changed dramatically when I implemented this basic weekly schedule. It got easier because I knew exactly what I should be working on and when I should do it. Systems make a difference. They are so worth having – because we are so worth it.

Do you have systems? Share them below!

Feel like you need systems but you’re not sure where to start? Why not schedule a FREE session with me so I can help you flesh one out! Contact me here to schedule now!

Our Secret to Productivity, Happiness, & Health
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