Evaluating System Breakdowns

Life is always changing – it’s not a static environment.  I addressed this not long ago in the We Must Always Change.  This is one of the reasons that our organizing is never actually finished.  You can create good systems and maintain the organization for any number of years, yet it’s likely that there will be pieces that can be improved after some time.  Our situations and approach change as we move through life.  This can be daunting to many people – “you mean I’m never really done?”  Truthfully, no.

This can actually be an uplifting thing.  Really and truly.  It opens up possibilities and can create space before your eyes.  Unfortunately we often need to look at things with “new” eyes, ready to see opportunities we’ve previously missed.  We also need to make sure if doesn’t mutate into a reason for self-flagellation.

I’m the first to admit that I’ve created systems for myself that end up falling flat on their faces.  It’s usually not obvious right away.  Only after a number of weeks or months does it hit me that that new way of doing something is just not working.  Sometimes it’s about how my husband uses the items.  Other times, I’m dealing with something new to me – like when I started scrapbooking, I had all these various things, and there are just so many ways of organizing them. I struggled to find a complete system that worked – and had to fight chastising myself for the lack of total success.

It’s too easy – and I see this too frequently – for us to recognize only the negative.  We are glaringly aware of our failures and gloss over the pieces that do work.  When you’re looking at systems that have broken down, you need to search out the ways it does work for you.  Those scrapbooking supplies may not have completely worked, but there were always ways that it did work.  There are ways your systems are working – you need to figure those out.

However small those pieces might be, the successes are clues for you about what does work for you.  You can examine those and see if any of those principles can apply to the rest of the system.  Do the successful pieces work because they’re easy to access – like putting away new scrapbooking things?  Do they work because they’re close at hand when you’re doing it – like sorting mail by the trash?  Leaving behind the idea of “good” and “bad” – we’re more likely to succeed at things when it’s relatively easy.  Are there ways to make pieces easier for you?

This is when you need to not rush blindly ahead, you need to take time to think about and evaluate what you need.  Take time to plan, figure out what goals you need to meet.  It can feel like planning is a waste of time, yet according to Dr. Donald E. Wetmore, “1 hour planning will save 10 hours doing.” Each time I re-did the craft supplies, I waited to give myself time to think about what wasn’t working and come up with what I needed to modify.  Only after I figured that out did I dig and starry changing things.

It can be daunting that our best intentions didn’t end up working out the way we thought they would, yet it can be an opportunity to make things exponentially better.  It also reinforces how change is not only just a part of life, but also part of the journey and growth integral to living.  When we apply that to our organizational systems, it means that we can improve our efficiency and productivity too.

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