using your weaknesses to create systems and routines

Designing Productivity Systems with Your Strengths & Weaknesses in Mind

Have you ever wondered how to focus on your passions and priorities when you feel stuck doing mundane tasks like laundry, buying groceries, and paying bills? 

I think it’s safe to say we’ve all been there, but I’ll let you in on a secret: systems. 

This week on Episode 151, I sat down with Laura, a wife and mother of two sons, ages 10 and 12. 

On top of the responsibilities that coincide with motherhood, Laura has a Ph.D. and works at a university with faculty, students, and staff to support the use of technology in the curriculum. 

During our conversation, we dove into how she can make systems work for her so she can live a life that’s more centered around her priorities, and so much more.

But today, I want to focus on creating systems. Specifically, systems that allow us to use our strengths to our advantage, and that help us strengthen our weaknesses to boot.

Because, to me, having systems in place is key to finding the time (and energy), we need to follow through on our dreams in the pursuit of our best life. 

Your. Best. Life. It’s exciting to imagine, isn’t it?

Let’s get started!


Designing Systems with Yourself in Mind: 3 Questions to Ask


What Exceeds Expectations?

A great thing that I like to consider when I’m looking to design and rework existing systems at home is to take stock of all of the things that are working well already. 

In other words, take note of where you’re already exceeding your expectations. 

Perhaps you have a plant watering schedule down pat, or you’ve created systems for yourself at work that do wonders in terms of your productivity and freeing up extra time for yourself.

What makes those systems work so well? Is it your organization, your delegation, or the outsourcing that you’ve done? 

Make a note of those exceptional areas, because you can use what you’ve done there to design systems to strengthen areas that are lacking elsewhere.


What Needs Improvement?

As you look around your home, let’s say, what are the specific problem areas that you notice? 

Maybe you have a lot of paper clutter on your kitchen countertops, or shoes kicked every which way in the foyer or hallway, for example. 

How might those problem areas be addressed, with your strengths in mind? 

Carrying our example forward, maybe you’re good at organizing at the office, but somehow, somewhere along the line, the paper clutter from the day’s mail consistently got away from you at home.

As in the case of Laura on Episode 151, could you create a system to keep the clutter down? 

Maybe you could make it a habit to sort your mail as you’re walking back from the mailbox so that you can quickly put it where it needs to go (at the family command center, or in a designated mail bin on the wall or a table) until you have time to sit down and address it completely.

By focusing on the biggest problems (i.e., weaknesses) you have facing you on the homefront, the easier it will be to design systems that work well for you and your lifestyle, with your strengths in mind.


What Feels Reasonable?

One last question to ask as you pinpoint where you need a system in place is, what systems feels reasonable to implement right now

What could you do with the time you already have, to help things at home flow more smoothly? 

Maybe you could delegate some items to your kids or design a system specifically for them to help keep the chaos down. Perhaps you could recruit your partner or other members of your support system to help you streamline more effectively. 

Navigate options that feel good and feel reasonable enough for you to start immediately. Remember, slow, baby steps are still steps in the right direction!

On that same note of reasonability, would it be an option for you to automate specific tasks at home? Think of items like deep-cleaning the house, mopping the kitchen floor, vacuuming, creating a laundry rotation throughout the week, and so forth.

Consider what feels reasonable as you’re starting out, and work up from there. You might be surprised by how well systems work when they’re designed with YOU in mind!


What systems do you have in place at home? Share your favorite tried-and-true productivity systems in the comments below . . .

And tune in to Episode 151 to hear how Laura was able to make systems work for her and her family at home!

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Tonya Dalton
Tonya Dalton