What is a System? – And Why This Works For Non “Type A’s”

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Jonathan Stewart
Jonathan Stewart
A system is a word that is thrown around a ton. “I need to create my system” is a funny phrase that makes little sense. A system by definition is just a way of doing things.

A system is a word that is thrown around a ton. “I need to create my system” is a funny phrase that makes little sense.

A system by definition is just a way of doing things.

Now we can connect multiple ways of doing things together, to create a way of doing a bigger thing, but in a really, really simplistic model (because I’m a simplicity specialist for a reason.)

It’s just the way we do things.

Systems are NOT what tools we use.

If you design how you do things around a single app, you’re setting yourself up for failure. You’re making your life harder, The system I created for myself uses Notion as a vehicle, not as the system.

A common misconception I see is that people have to be Type A to be a systems thinker.

Do you get up in the morning, do you walk down the stairs and do you eat breakfast? This is what you do each morning. This is a system. You already do things a certain way. It’s about bringing it out into the forefront.

Here’s a practical example, this is how I create content for Ship 30 for 30.

  • I open my 30for30 Dashboard in Notion, read the quick bulleted notes from last night & create content based on those notes.
  • I edit briefly, paste it into Figma – and hit publish, then add it to my pinned post.
  • That is a system – it’s the way I do things.

Building a system is an odd way of describing “What you do” – do you build your breakfast routine? Do you build how you get out of bed in the morning?

Now if you’re a systems designer – probably yes, but for someone who doesn’t have that much time to think about it all – you just do it!

The best way to design your system – is to pay attention to what you already do.

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What is a System? – And Why This Works For Non “Type A’s”?

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