Creating a ten year system for success is easy on paper. Just lay out the timeline and put your milestones in place. Then just graph out the results. Viola, success! There are many different types of systems that you can build. You might create a ten year savings plan, or possibly lay out a ten year educational road map. I’ve seen ten year fitness plans and certainly a whole gamut of ten year business outlines.
I really like to plan out success systems, but I can tell you from experience, that just designing a path on paper is really different from taking action and accomplishing the tasks. The real problem is us. Trying to say today, what we are going to do tomorrow is fraught with peril. Often our ingrained habits and need for instant gratification get in the way.
What I’ve found is that the more automatic and more invisible a system is, the more likely it is to lead to success. Imagine devising a simple system in your kitchen to make coffee. You just replace your standard coffee maker with a completely automated one. No more grinding beans, replacing filters, cleaning pots and internals. None of that. Just a spigot that pours the perfect cup of coffee anytime you want it.
Imagine this same machine only requires maintenance once a month. You add a new bag of beans and throw away a replaceable filter. That’s it. If you are like me the daily ten minute ritual is now gone. Let’s see how that works out over ten years.
Let’s save ten minutes a day for one year: 365 days x 10 min =3650 minutes divided by 60 min/hour equals = 60 hours or 2.5 days. Multiply this by a
It’s funny to think we spent 600 hours making coffee in a decade or twenty-five days were taken out of our lives, grinding beans, cleaning pots, and changing filters.
Imagine if you went to Starbucks or other coffee shop and sat in the drive through ten minutes a day for ten years. You not only would be out 600 hours, but at $2.50 a cup, you’d be out $7665 dollars, plus you would have thrown 3650 cups, lids and stirrers in the trash.
The numbers over a decade are startling, but the real question we need to ask is; if we change our system can we use the currently wasted time in a productive way?
I’ll use myself as an example here. Currently, I get up in the morning about 4 am. I go downstairs, make coffee, feed my dog, and have to wait until enough coffee is made to fill a cup up and then go upstairs and start working on a project. Average wasted time, ten to fifteen minutes. As the morning goes on, I additionally have to go downstairs to refill my cup three or four times. Add an additional five or ten minutes for these additional trips.
Can you see the problem here? Well John, you say, there is a lot of wasted time, and the numbers are sorta arbitrary; five or ten minutes here, ten or fifteen minutes there.
That’s the problem with the current system. It’s an arbitrary inefficient process. However, it is a daily process for me. It happens seven days a week.
In analyzing this process, I can up with a couple of solutions. An obvious one would be to set up the coffee maker the night before and schedule it to start brewing before I get up. This would save me setup time in the morning, but overall I would still need to go downstairs and I would have wasted time in the evening.
A better way would be to purchase an electric kettle to heat hot water. Keep it on my desk and then turn it on when I get up. Have cups and instant products on my desk. Now I could instantly get to work and then pour myself a cup of tea or instant coffee whenever I wanted. Refills as needed.
Let’s say this system refresh adds twenty minutes to my day by eliminating numerous trips downstairs, coffee machine setup, and wasting time waiting for the pot to brew. As a writer, I average about twenty words a minute in my first draft process including quick edits. So each day, this new system would allow me to put 400 words on paper instead of my current inefficient coffee making system.
Let’s have some fun. 400 words/day x 365 days/year = 146000 words or two 70,000 word novels. Multiply this again by our 10 year system goal and we get twenty, 70,000-word novels written. Of course, this would not include editing and revisions along with days we take off, but you can see the potential. Maybe just getting one book finished a year for a system goal. Pretty good for a simple system redesign.
Multiply this again by our ten year
system goal and we get twenty, 70,000-word novels written.
In our example we took a current system and redesigned it to be more efficient. By creating a new writing process to use this time, we have to potential to create a number of printed publications. Once the system is in place, new writing habits will form, thus ensuring our success.
By setting a timer on our desk each morning for twenty minutes, we remind ourselves of our new productive writing system.
I hope this simple example gave you some ideas for designing your own 10 year system for success.