By Terri Fry Brukhartz

Most of us run our lives on technology to organize certain aspects of our lives. Between your cellphones, planners and e-mail inboxes, you think you have organized yourself. To some extent, you have. In fact, if you ever doubt the importance of these systems, recall your panic the last time you lost your iPhone or Android containing your contacts list and calendar.

As important as these systems are, most people don’t think about systematizing other aspects of their business. By doing so, you can improve your business and create much-needed time for your personal life.

If you’ve read this far, you may be wondering, “What is she talking about? What is a system?” Both are fair questions. Systems are simply ways of automating or structuring what you want to accomplish, so that the tasks required occur automatically.

Figuring Out What to Systematize

For most of us, there are dozens of repetitive tasks that could be systematized. To identify where you can apply systems, step back from your business and try to look at it objectively.

Ask yourself questions such as these:

What is holding back your business? What are the choke points? Do you need to generate more business? Do you have prospects but they just aren’t buying? Do you convert your best prospects but lose them through poor follow-through? Really taking a long, hard look at the pluses and minuses of your ability to attract and maintain customers will provide you with the information you need to systematize how you do business in the future.

Where are your frustrations? This is an important question for two reasons. First, you’re more likely to be frustrated if you are repeating tasks that you hate doing. Second, you are going to be frustrated if you have to relearn a task or “recreate the wheel” every time you have to do something you don’t do very often.

What causes you stress? Is it preparing for quarterly performance reviews? Finalizing your printed catalog? Preparing for your annual make-or-break trade show? Even if you know the steps by heart, systematizing at least part of these stress-inducing activities could yield big benefits to your business—and your well-being.

By figuring out the answers to these questions, you can begin to see what areas of your life could benefit from creating a system. This will not only provide you with some much-needed relief, but also more time for yourself. Read Part 2 of this blog to learn how to create a system to help you save time.

Terri Fry Brukhartz, LCSW, CPCC, has been helping business professionals make more money, do what matters and thrive on their successes since 2001. Coach Terri began her career in 1982 working for advertising agency Leo Burnett and the internationally acclaimed TV conglomerate, CBS.  In 1987, Coach Terri started The Fry Group, Inc., a publishers’ representative firm. Clients included Details Magazine, Men’s Health, and Harvard Business Review. With her husband, two kids and dog in tow, it’s a wonder Coach Terri has enough time to get everything done! She resides in Chicago but works by phone with entrepreneurs around the world. Feel free to contact her by e-mail or call 708-386-0500.