I like to build systems.
For everything. All the time.
Managing my time? I have a system.
Managing my to-do list? I have a system.
Managing my reading list? I have a system.
Managing the way clothes are arranged in my closet? I have a system.
Part of this is driven by the fact I hate doing things over and over again. Anytime I can replace that or minimize the pain with a system, I do it.
Often this kind of thinking comes at the expense of simplicity.
Sometimes simple is the right solution. Not always. But it’s certainly best when you’re first starting anything out.
Simplicity allows you to increase your rate of iteration. It allows you to test things. It allows you to improve things on your way to perfection.
If you start out trying to think about the perfect way of doing things, the perfect way of optimizing things, or the perfect way to systematize something…before you ever start doing something, it leads to inaction.
You get lost in the analysis – like I often do. And as they say, you can reach the paralysis by analysis state. Where you get so lost deep thinking about how something will or will not work that it prevents you altogether from just doing the damn thing.
Sometimes it’s a real hurdle. Other times it’s a huge time saver later on.
There’s a beautiful happy medium that takes form in process iteration.
Iteration in and of itself can be approached systematically.
It allows you to start small. To start simple. To take action swiftly.
Then run tests. Evaluate. Course correct. Adapt.
Before you go roll out some major new system, try to strike the root of the underlying problem you’re solving for.
Maybe you don’t need some robust solution. Maybe a simple fix will solve your pain. But if you do need a system, you’ll at least be closer to understanding which system.