Life is made up of a series of systems which can be changed and tweaked to make our lives better. We all have systems going on in our lives; sleep, career, hobbies, relationships, money management, goals, personal hygiene, health, eating, etc.
I believe one of the key components of a successful life is to be able to manage all the systems in our lives as efficiently and as painless as possible. For example if we have a health problem, we have to look at the system of health in our life, dissect it and find out where the problem is lying and look at ways of fixing it. Similarly if we have a problem with managing our money, we dissect the money management system and look for the reasons we cannot manage our money correctly, then look at ways of fixing it.
What I’ve come to realise is that when these systems are working well our lives tend to go well and everything is hunky dory, but when one of the systems fail, it causes the others to fail in some way as well. It’s like a cog in a machine, if one of the cogs break then it effectively breaks the whole machine.
I recently realised this as I was writing my latest guide on getting 5 hours of sleep and feeling great. Sleep is a system which has a set of subsystems, which, if tweaked correctly, can help us to get a great nights sleep, give us more energy and allow us to sleep less. We just have to look at sleep as a whole, break it down and then start tweaking what’s not working.
Then, when I started looking at other areas of life I soon realised than we can do this with almost every area of our life.
If you think about it we are a system of habits. Most of our life is made up of things we do every day, day in day out and it doesn’t change much. This might make us humans sound dull and uninteresting but it’s a good thing really as it keeps our lives together, it keeps us from feeling stressed as we know pretty much what we are going to be doing this time next week, we know where we will be celebrating Christmas, we know when we are going on holiday, we know when we are going to work, when we sit down for dinner, when we have to study and the list goes on. So, because we are going to live our lives like this wouldn’t it make sense to make it the best system we could and make things run smoothly and even make it work for us, and make it better.
The systems in our lives
One of the first things to do is look at every system in your life just now and assess it. The simple way to assess it is just give it a mark out of 10, nothing fancy, a quick, intuitive mark which tells you how well you think that particular part of life is going. Look at some of the systems below, add some of your own and give them a mark out of 10:
Relationship with children
I will give you an example of the various systems in your life and how they can be scored:
As you can see from above, it gives us a visual representation of the different systems in our life that could need tweaking. From the example above the person’s diet is not going so great, so it would be time to look at their diet and figure out why they only scored it a 6 out of 10. And that would be the next part; to drill down on the system and find the sub-systems in order to tweak it as much as possible.
Looking at the subsystems
Once we recognise that something isn’t quite right with one of the systems in our life we can then drill down on it to find out why it’s not working and aim to look at fixing it.
From the example above you can ask a lot of questions about the system of your diet and look at each different sub-system and start to tweak it. It would be a matter of testing and tweaking until you get that particular system of your life just right, and keep on tweaking it until it is near perfect.
Of course there could be two or three sub-systems that work hand in hand to affect the overall harmony of the whole system. So you might think your diet is not that great and you keep putting on a few pounds no matter how little you eat, but it could be you’re eating late at night and hardly anything during the day. This means that your body is storing fat during the day as it thinks you’re not eating enough and you’re releasing fat at night, but not as much due to your expending less energy when you are sleeping.
Looking at all your sub-systems
When you start to look at all the systems of your life in turn and drill down on them and look at the sub-systems you can really get a handle on the things that you need to do to improve your overall life.
This is just a brief overview of looking at the systems in your life and I hope it makes sense and is useful in your life.
I would also recommend a great book for further reading on this called Work The System by Sam Carpenter