In my work as a business systems consultant, I meet countless busy entrepreneurs working long hours and burning themselves out.
When discussing business systems too often, I hear the same excuse: “I’m too busy to work on my business systems.” With so many urgent things on the table, many business owners think now is not the time to work on their systems.
But let me tell you: Being too busy is a poor excuse for building better systems for your business. It’s quite the opposite: Being too busy clearly shows a lack of proper systems to manage your business operations.
Are you too busy to work on your business systems?
Let’s be honest. You’re always busy. You always have your hands full of work.
Still, being busy putting fires out left and right is not a reasonable excuse for putting off creating better systems for managing your business.
The best way to get ahead of the curve is to start developing systems for managing your work TODAY.
It will take some time upfront, but it will make you more productive and efficient in the long run. Think about it this way: You’ll have more free time in the future.
And here’s why that’s so important: Tomorrow, you’ll have more time on your hands, which means you can do even more to achieve your business goals.
4 reasons why being constantly busy is a sign of lacking systems
1. Lost documents and information
When you don’t have proper systems, you will waste countless hours looking for lost documents, notes, and other information. Having this information scattered around various tools, files, and notebooks, you will never know where to look for something when you need it.
2. Difficult to delegate
Not having systemized the way you run your business operations also means delegating work effectively to others is impossible.
You may have various time-consuming tasks you would want to delegate to a virtual assistant or some other contractor. However, delegating will not be possible if the operating procedures and resources relating to doing that task are not documented or organized anywhere.
3. Inefficient workflows
A large share of the work in almost any business consists of various repeating tasks. When you have not defined systems for managing those repeating tasks, you will quickly end up “reinventing the wheel” every time – which again means a lot of valuable time is wasted.
Let’s take client onboarding as an example: Too often, I see entrepreneurs not having documented the steps of that process and developed a system for managing the emails, contracts, surveys, and other documents involved.
As a result, they waste countless hours trying to figure out the actions on the fly, forgetting essential tasks, rewriting the same things repeatedly, looking for lost documents, etc.
4. Mental clutter
Yet another reason why lacking working business systems causes you to be constantly busy is related to a lack of mental space.
When you don’t have a system to keep track of everything you need to remember, all those things will clutter up your brain. This mental clutter makes it hard to focus on your essential tasks, stay productive, and disconnect effectively after work.
5 ways systems help you save time
Building systems to manage your business effectively is key to getting out of the vicious cycle of being constantly busy. Here’s why:
1. Easy to delegate work to others
Having your processes and other work systemized and organized make it easy to delegate work to contractors and team members.
Delegating frees you to spend more of your working time in your zone of genius and more free time with your loved ones.
2. Efficient team collaboration
When your team has systems to manage all the projects, tasks, and information in a centralized way, collaboration among team members becomes efficient and saves time for everyone involved.
You, as the CEO, will also have a single source of truth on who’s working on what and the status of different tasks, which reduces the time spent in status meetings and messaging back and forth.
3. Less time looking for lost things
When all your documents, notes, and other information are logically organized in your business system, finding what you need when you need it becomes a breeze.
This way, time is no longer lost looking for things.
4. Streamlined processes
When you document and systemize the repeating tasks in your business, you will save a lot of time not having to “reinvent the wheel” every time.
You will always know the exact steps to run your business processes and have all the documents and other resources, saving you hours daily.
You can even create automated workflows to run specific steps of your processes, which helps save you even more time.
5. Mental space to perform your best
Finally, having a business system you can trust brings you peace of mind knowing everything is under control.
This regained mental space saves you time in two ways: Firstly, it will be easier for you to disconnect and recuperate, which helps you be more productive during the workdays. Secondly, it brings more clarity of thought and focus, helping you spend your time more effectively.
If you want to read more about business systems, check out my other article on what business systems are and the 5 reasons they are critical for any business owner.