I do a lot of work with complex computer systems (maybe you’ve heard the term DevOps), which often involves building cloud systems and data management. These large systems save time, effort, and money in the long run and we can apply that way of thinking on a personal level to the things we do every day. We can take back so much freedom and flexibility by creating and working within our own systems.
A practical example of saving time by investing in a system is using online bill pay. We may not have it as bad as we did in the old days when we had to wait for a bill to come in the mail and then mail it back with a check, but even logging in to different accounts and making individual payments does still take appreciable time.
But what if (for the sake of easy math) it took you an hour to enter all of your monthly bills into the bill payment feature that many banks have which allows you to write and transfer a payment directly from your account? Let’s say that you would save half an hour every month by not having to log into each account and make payments one at a time.
By investing one hour in creating a system, you break even in time after two months of making payments and you’re saving half an hour of time each month from then on. Spending a little bit of time creating that system saved you a lot of time in the long run.
An example from The Purple Dog Vegan is the way I make Pinterest posts (check out my Pinterest page here). At first I invested an amount of time setting up a specific process where I write a blog post, get pics for the blog post, format the pics, create a Pinterest pin using a template, then upload to Pinterest. Before I had that work flow in place I felt that I was reinventing the wheel every time I wanted to do a new Pinterest post, but now I save an incredible amount of time by having a system in place and using it.
Systems require maintenance and optimization and you can use some of the saved time to monitor and refine your systems making adjustments as needed. This is much more efficient than changing each individual step every time.
Instead of starting from scratch and possibly missing key steps or processes, investing in systems can give you peace of mind, better efficiency, time savings, and freedom to focus on other things that also matter.