ARTICLES • 06-10-2013


These three features I've introduced are many times inseparable. For example, you need a good library to make trustworthy choices. Only that safety will allow you a high level of focus. On the other hand, if you don't control and monitor your motion, it's no use to set the path. Too many demands for your focus will weaken conclusiveness and lower both your direction and control. At a higher level, if you don't believe you can achieve your dreams, you'll set a less-than-fulfilling direction, and that can damage your focus and motivation, because inside you may feel you were suppose to be doing something better. In that case your under-achievement may seem to be lacking control or even focus (and in a way it is), but the true origin is that your didn't set the right coordinations to begin with. That is many times the case when you don't set coordinates at all and find yourself in a place you feel is far away from where you wanted to be. (By the way, discovering that has tremendous value in itself. If that's you, congratulations for the conclusion; now just don't go and bury your head in the sand again and keep doing the same things pretending you don't know. We'll address this deeper later on.)

Whatever your system is, if it works, it will be helping this interdependent triangle to work better with the least effort and discipline required. And it will keep adapting to different needs and circumstances in order to accomplish that. Note that your level of productivity will never depend solely on your system. But a good system can be an effective vehicle to leverage productivity, specially if you tend to be invested in multiple projects and activities and have a lot happening around you. It's a bit like traffic lights in a big city: it's not that you couldn't completely live without them - you could - but they just make things a lot easier...

Like an executive lady once put it to me: "When I have my system really in place, my golf swing becomes a magic flow, reflecting my inner state of deep relaxed focus and control. I know I'm exactly where I'm supposed to. I can think of my kids and my life as a whole and my professional challenges, in a zoom-out way, and I know I have a map and a direction and I'm fully enjoying the traveling. Then I look at the ball and it's like the moment owns me. I focus and for some seconds not even a single bit of my mind is elsewhere: I'm totally there. I love it and that's my personal indicator that the system is working."


Though I consider these three vectors to be quite generic for any system with almost everyone I have worked with or talked to, please feel free to complement it with your own fine tuning of these ideas in a way you find suitable. What else do you think the system should do for you in particular? Which of these vectors you think may be your biggest improvement opportunity, and which aren't much of a concern because you have it already quite covered? Think of this for a bit, and then make it clear in a final wrap up: "At this moment, what I want my system to do for me is: ..."

Now, based on this fundamental notion of purpose for the system, let's get deeper into how to set it up, bringing these success criteria into the building of each component.


1 comment
Gonçalo Araújo
in 2014-01-20 10:16:22
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