Machen MacDonald: Systems to the rescue |

Machen MacDonald: Systems to the rescue

Who wants to save more time, energy and money? I see you rolling your eyes to that one as you sigh, “Who wouldn’t want that?”

There is no reason you can’t do so. You just need a system.

Think of the word system as an acronym for: Save Yourself Time Energy and Money.

How often throughout your day or week do you catch yourself, or perhaps even curse yourself for, struggling with the same things over and over. Well, that’s your wake-up call telling you that you need to develop and implement a system.

Do you find yourself with more month left at the end of your money? That’s your wake-up call for a putting a system in place.

Are you a victim of hitting the 2:30 p.m. energy wall or are you exhausted at the end of the day? Wake up! System time.

Noticing you and your significant other experiencing more spirited debates with one another as of late? Yep. Systems can save the day.

Allow me to share some simple systems to help in these various areas.

When it comes to having a bit more money available when you need it, a simple system is to pay yourself first. That’s right.

Take a percentage of your commission or paycheck each time you get one and set it into a special account first. Do this before you pay your bills so you can build a reserve fund.

In just a few months, you will find you have a rather tidy sum. Consider thinking long term on this one. Do your best not to touch it until retirement.

Ever wonder why you are so exhausted at the end of the day? It may be because you are thinking too much after you have already thought.

As humans, we are constantly evaluating a situation by running a loop of three primary questions. When something comes at us, the loop we all run through is: 1) What is it? 2) What does it mean to me? and 3) What am I supposed to do about it?

The catch is that most people run through the loop without being mindful, i.e. they forget the answer by the next time something similar comes at them and they have to go through the whole process again. Your e-mail is a perfect example of this.

If you end your working day with more than zero e-mails in your in basket, you are in dire need of a system to manage your e-mails.

First, your in-box is not a to-do list. When an e-mail comes at you and you have run through the three evaluation questions, it’s time to either respond to it, delete it, file it for reference or CYA later, or transfer it to your to-do list for execution at the appropriate date and time. Guess what? That’s your system. Simple.

Systems don’t need to be complicated or complex. In fact, the more simple it is, the better chance you will benefit from it.

Need to get back some of your physical energy throughout the day? A simple and effective system is to replenish your body’s H20.

Let’s stop and think for a moment. If our body is over 70 percent water, wouldn’t it be a good idea to keep the water flowing? Nothing good was ever found in a pool of stagnate water.

Set your alarm to consume water throughout the day. How complicated is that? It’s not! Breathing deep and getting oxygen to the brain at least hourly is a good practice, too.

No matter what your issue, you can set up a system to enable you to be more effective.

Machen P. MacDonald is a certified life and business coach with ProBrilliance Leadership Institute in Grass Valley. He is available to speak to groups or organizations. Call (530) 273-8000 or visit

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User