3 Steps To Creating Simple Systems

You can search for the perfect tool or app, but productivity really comes down to creating systems you can stick to. A good system shouldn’t be dependent on an app. This is exactly what David Allen communicates in his book Getting Things Done.

Below, you’ll learn the three elements of every system and how to use them to create your own.


1 – Input or Trigger

An input is anything you do to activate your system. It’s the starting point or trigger.

So let’s say you’re trying to plan your next blog post about making decisions. You might start by adding your amazing post idea to a project in Nozbe.

Or for example, you are trying to build a habit of getting up at 5AM each morning. The trigger is your alarm blaring before the sun comes up.

The input or trigger is the simple action that gets things moving.

2 – Process or Steps

Process consists of the actual series of steps you take to make the system perform.

For example, you’re ready to get that blog idea moving. You might have a template that you can use to make sure you don’t miss a step. Or, you might set up Zapier to automate the process in the background.

Either way, step two is researching. Step three is writing. Editing comes next. You get the point. Follow all the steps until you are ready to hit publish.

If we look back at the early riser scenario, the process is actually getting up instead of hitting the snooze button. Maybe it’s going and jumping in a cold shower to shock your system. Or, it could be going to make a cup of coffee.

It is taking the successive next steps.

[shareable cite=”Robby Miles”]Productivity really comes down to creating systems you can stick to.[/shareable]

3 – Output, Result, or Reward

This is the result of all your hard work.

You’ve had a great idea, done the prep-work, and written something amazing. Now it’s time to hit publish. Your work on this post is complete. Now time to write another one

In the case of your 5AM goal, the reward is having an extra hour in the morning to get things done before everyone else even wakes up. You might even get to experience some of the peace and quiet you rarely get.

Overall it is important to remember that these three elements make up every system you encounter. Look around you and see if you can identify them.

Begin creating your own systems using this simple framework.

It’s amazing how quickly things will become second nature.

[reminder]What is one of your favorite systems that help you be more productive.[/reminder]

You may also like

About the Author

Robby helps busy business owners simplify and automate their productivity systems so they have more time to focus on what they're best at. He helps you design and implement plans and systems so you can work ON your business, not IN your business. Companies such as Productive Magazine, Nozbe, Matt McWilliams, and Notable Themes have trusted Robby to share his productivity systems, increase sales, and create a better customer experience.