So this month, my topic has been Simple Systems: 31 Small Ways to Simplify Life, and even though I didn’t make it to 31 systems total, it’s been a good month. But what good are systems to us, really?
I think as stay-at-home moms we often don’t even realize just how many draws there are on our energy, even our mental energy. Decision-making is exhausting and implementing a system means there’s less stress in that area once it’s in place. Multiple small systems can add up to a significant reduction of that burdensome drain we can feel by mid-afternoon when it feels like there’s nothing left and we don’t care any more. Or is that just me?
Simple Home Systems: They Don’t Run on Autopilot
I spent years reading and thinking about housework, homemaking, organizing, cooking, and parenting. I still do read about them. I want to discharge my responsibilities within my home capably. I want to learn and grow and figure this thing out.
Systems help solve our problems, but not in the way we want
But I realized not too long ago that what I was looking for while I was researching and trying out theories and practices was not really to grow. What I wanted was the secret. I wanted to find the tricks of the trade that were surely out there that would make life run on autopilot for me. I wanted to get the house clean “once and for all.” I wanted to set things up just right so it’d work in perpetuity.
I wanted to find the system that I could put into place so that I wouldn’t have to work at it anymore, so that I wouldn’t have to put forth energy anymore. I wanted the system that would make life smooth and easy.
There is no such system.
If I’ve been given a role with responsibilities, my job is not to give it a push and let it take off downhill. My job is to put my shoulder into it and push it up the hill. That’s always going to take work, effort, and sacrifice.
And it’s going to be worth it.
So what good do systems do us if they won’t make the work go away?
Much in every way.
Systems are a manner in which we do our work – they aren’t something outside of us. In a way, they are us – they are just how we do things. Do we do things randomly and haphazardly or do we take thought and consider on a wise course? Then, the course being set, do we stay the course or do we bail at the first hiccup?
Putting a system into place is a way to streamline making good habits, intentional choices, and
A system is saying, “I’m going to do things this way.”
But it’s more than that, too.
A system is also doing it that way over and over and over again, consistently. It isn’t a system unless it’s actually practiced – and practice means lots of small repetitions.