Creating A System that Works for You
Many people “wing” it daily in the various areas of their lives. There are so many aspects in our lives where structure is beneficial. It is valuable in our careers, businesses, relationships, investment plans, spiritual-life, health and other areas.
In the educational sector for instance, during my tenure as the Special Adviser to the Governor on Education in Lagos State, between 2015-2019, one of the key projects we worked on was Ready Set Work (RSW). The vision was for every student who graduates from a tertiary institution located in Lagos State to possess the knowledge, skills and mindset required to be self-employed or become a value-adding employee. We started RSW in 2016 and it was tough because we had to put the resources in place, the ministry had to get the right people and volunteers to effectively execute the project. We then had to develop a structure for the programme to run for thirteen (13) weeks intensively (Saturdays only) and administered this training during the Second Semester of the school year. Whilst we had struggled to put structure in place at the outset; between 2017 – 2019, it was a breeze, you know why? The structure was there and we could get things done.
Three (3) ways you can do that in your life:
1. Identify the Areas in Your Life You Want to Put Structure
Is it business? Marriage? You need to identify that area, and once you do that, take time to study it and put the necessary structures in place.
Albert Einstein once said, “If I had one hour to save the world, I would spend fifty-five minutes defining the problem and five minutes finding the solution”. In other words, spend time defining the areas which require improvement. It is easier to get a solution to a problem you understand.
2. Remember that the Structure Must be True to You
You might seek advice from people, or copy what others are doing, but when you are copying, copy well. Make sure the structure works for you. Flex it to your temperament and to your type of person.
Though structures can be replicated successfully, one solution does not necessarily achieve the same result in different circumstances. If a solution does not work for you, be open to modifying it till you get it right.
3. Stay Consistent
Stay long enough with the structure to see whether it is working or not; if it’s not working, tweak it, but you have to give it time to ensure your structure is working.
“…a person and an organization must have goals, take actions to achieve those goals, gather evidence of achievement, study and reflect on the data and from that take actions again. Thus, they are in a continuous feedback spiral toward continuous improvement. This is what ‘Kaizan’ means.” – W. Edwards Deming
Do you want to move forward and live a balanced, value-adding life? Put structures in your life. If you do that, you will live a fantastic life.
“To build anything you have to have a structure. Structures don’t restrict you, they strengthen you. What I have learned is that anything that carries a lot of weight for a long distance has a lot of structure within it…. To go high you’ve got to go deep.” John Maxwell
Remember, You Have Only One Life to Live, MAKE IT COUNT!