The #1 Tool For Creating Systems That Work For You (And Not The Other Way Around!)
You have systems in your practice – there’s no doubt about it.
You wouldn’t have gotten to where you are today without some kind of systems in place.
But ask yourself – do you work for your systems? Or do they work for you?
You see, when you’re the one who works for your systems then:
- You’re grinding away day after day trying to get things done.
- You find yourself repeating the same tasks over and over again.
- There’s a greater risk of failure when you try to delegate a task.
And ultimately this means that you’re making life a lot harder for yourself – than it has to be.
So what’s the alternative? What’s it like if your systems work for you?
- Everything runs smoothly, there’s no tiresome grinding and you have the capacity to focus on growing your practice.
- Tasks become systemised so that you never repeat the same thing twice, freeing up your time add even greater value to your clients.
- You can delegate tasks successfully – because people have a working system to follow, which means you can take more time out of the practice to spend with your family and friends.
Ask yourself this question – “what could it do for me and my practice if the systems worked for us?”
The #1 Tool For Creating Systems That Work For You
So bear with me because this part is extremely important.
When you initially look at what I am about to share with you, chances are that you will have a reaction of, “What? Rudi this is so simple and so obvious, is this really it?”
Yes this is really it. Often the most powerful things are overlooked because they’re ‘too simple’.
Books and books have been written about this topic around just how useful it is.
Are you ready?
The #1 tool for creating systems that work for you is…
Checklists are the ultimate living working system. They’re not like procedure manuals you created once upon a time that have been gathering dust on your shelves for the last 15 or 20 years. They are systems that are constantly alive, being updated and changed to suit the changing needs of your practice.
Now like anything in life, there’s ways to get checklists right, and there’s ways to get checklists wrong. What I want to share with you is a 5 step process for getting checklists right, so that you can create systems in your practice that do all the heavy lifting for you.
5 Step Checklist Creation Process
Step 1 – Identify Your Biggest Pain Points
Step 1 is really simple. Sit down by yourself, or with your team, and decide amongst yourselves what system(s) is currently grinding the most/giving you the most pain.
It may be that the current system just isn’t working, or that there isn’t even a system in place.
Just identify the biggest current pain points.
Step 2 – Delegate 80%
The thing to remember is that you don’t want to be the person creating all of these checklists. Your time is too valuable.
You want to delegate it.
Find somebody in your practice who the chosen system applies to and ask them to start this process for you.
Give them a blank piece of paper and ask them to write down as many of the steps involved as they can think of.
And what you’ll find is that they’ll end up creating around 80% of the checklist for you, which means for you it’s easier working from a page that’s 80% complete rather than starting from scratch.
Step 3 – Review & Fill In The Gaps
Once you have your 80% complete checklist in front of you, it’s time to fill in the gaps.
Go through the steps, fine tune any points, add or remove any extras and take the draft checklist up to 100% completion.
When reviewing the steps ask yourself this question – “Could I truthfully start the next step of this checklist having completed the previous step?” If the answer is yes, move on. If the answer is no, then you may need to slightly adjust/expand on the step in question.
Step 4 – Go Live
The next step is to make your checklist ‘live’. Start by adding space for somebody’s name at the top of the checklist (it’s important to remember that every checklist system will have one overall person who is responsible to see its completion).
The next thing you need to add is space for the start date + estimated date of completion.
Then you want to add checkboxes next to every step.
And finally, space at the bottom for somebody to sign off the checklist to say it has been completed.
By doing all of the above, we make it a live working document. Not just some manual that will sit on your desk gathering dust.
Step 5 – Use it/Adjust it
Now you get to use it. Over time after the first two or three uses, you’ll find a couple of places that the checklist needs to be adjusted, which is fine. It’s all part of keeping it a live working system.
Make sure that the feedback loop on your newly created system is open all the time so that any changes are made quickly and communicated with the relevant people.
Control Person/Exception Reporting
One of the key factors in the success of your checklist systems is having a control person responsible for some of the systems and their relevant checklists.
This person’s job is to ensure all of the checklists are completed for the relevant systems in your practice and check that they were completed correctly and on time.
And what they also want to do is some exception reporting. They want to note down the ones that weren’t completed correctly or on time, and then they want to bring that information to you.
Then it is a matter of figuring out what went wrong, and implement necessary changes so that it is avoided from happening in the future again.
Your Practice Blueprint
When you start systemising everything in your practice with a number of different checklist systems, what you inevitably end up creating is a blueprint for your practice.
And this is extremely powerful because it means you can start to extract yourself from the day to day activities of the practice more and more.
The ultimate goal here is freedom. And one of the steps towards your freedom is the systemising of your practice.
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