Want to do 160 Productive Hours a Month? You Need Systems, Not Goals
Most people have a standard working week of 40 hours (eight hours a day).
4 efficient and productive weeks of 40 hours give you 160 hours a month.
That’s 160 hours you can use to get more things done every month.
Chances are those hours are not being used efficiently.
Everyone has a number of goals, but it’s the commitment to a system that makes the difference.
A system is something you do on a regular basis that increases your odds of success regardless of the immediate outcome.
Guardian’s Oliver Burkman, explains, “Drawing one cartoon a day is a system; so is resolving to take some kind of exercise daily — rather than setting a goal, like being able to run a marathon in four hours.”
Systems allow us to take control of our lives.
A working system allows you to reduce your tasks to a manageable set of inputs and outputs, and establish some predictability.
A collection of goals, tools, habits, and methods is not the same as a purposeful system.
Systems are the foundation of deep, focused and efficient work.
Systems give you the freedom to do your best work every day without making the same mistakes over and over again.
Systems are consistent.
In “How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big”, author Scott Adams explains: “A goal is a specific objective that you either achieve or don’t sometime in the future. A system is something you do on a regular basis that achieves your odds of happiness in the long run. If you do something every day, it’s a system. If you’re waiting to achieve it someday in the future, it’s a goal.”
Cultivating the right system can make all the difference in your productive life. Using systems can make your life easier.
A system provides you with an inner guidance system and a equip you with the power of habit.
James Clear says, “When you focus on the practice instead of the performance, you can enjoy the present moment and improve at the same time.” He writes:
If you’re a coach, your goal is to win a championship. Your system is what your team does at practice each day.
If you’re a writer, your goal is to write a book. Your system is the writing schedule that you follow each week.
If you’re a runner, your goal is to run a marathon. Your system is your training schedule for the month.
If you’re an entrepreneur, your goal is to build a million dollar business. Your system is your sales and marketing process.
You are never going to be truly successful until you have a working system that guides your actions and helps you achieve your goals.
A system makes your goal real. It’s concrete. It gets you moving. It helps you focus on long-terms gains, instead of short-term wins.
Writing a book in 6 months is a great goal but you need structure/system that will make it easier to achieve that goal.
Many writers commit to a few hundred words a day. They commit to a schedule that works for them. A system that makes it easier to take a step closer to the goal.
When you commit to a system, you are far more likely to stick to it. Systems are about the long-term process rather than the short-term result.
A structure in your life and some routines that help you every day and keep you on the right track is better than a single shot at getting something done.
If you intend to get into better shape, build a successful business, or write a best-selling book, systems will get you closer to that goal than a radical one-time shot at achieving your most important goal.
Joe Frazier once said, “Champions aren’t made in the ring, they are merely recognized there.”
Anyone who has set and achieved a goal understands the importance of a system. The processes, routines, and habits, that support the achievement of a goal.
Systems as habits
Start anything with a clear goal and focus on the system to achieve it.
Effective goal getting systems begin with clarity concerning your goals. Effort without purpose is wasted effort.
Many people have different successful systems that guide how they work and what actions to take at any point in time to achieve the bigger purpose.
If your current system of work doesn’t work or give the desired results you expect, make a change, create a new system and take steps every day to stick to it.
By spending a little bit of time figuring out what will work best for you and your habits, you can put yourself in a great position to get out of your head and get things done.
Reserving an hour each day for something you absolutely want to get done can be a great system that can help you achieve your big goal.
Burkman says, “…focusing on a system means focusing on what you can control (your actions) rather than what you can’t (the endlessly unpredictable external world). Keep working your system and you’ll maximize the chances that success will find you.”
You can start building systems one habit at a time.
Focus on incremental progress and consistency to lay the foundation for getting things done.
To build an effective system, Annie Mueller recommends visualising the process from step one to the final thing you will do to complete it. She writes:
When building a system, take yourself mentally from step one all the way to the final step. At each step, ask yourself what tools, resources, information, or people you might need access to. Then either put them in a designated space or build in the easiest possible method for getting what you need when you need it. As part of the system, plan a regular time to restock the consumable resources that the system requires.
A daily or weekly routine, a consistent application of even small habits, will transform your life more effectively than striving for an overwhelmingly large goal without a consistent routine to achieve it.