When To System-atize

One of the tactical questions we hear often is this: when does it make sense to create systems in my business and which things should I automate?

Jonathan and I decided to tackle this question, especially because highly effective systems are about a lot more than automation:

The signs it’s time to systematize components of your business—and which to tackle first.

How to find the right balance between building automations and developing manual tools like checklists and reminders.

Using any friction in your business processes as a signpost to ask yourself: Is this necessary and if so, what’s the best way to deal with it?

The role of triggers—business and personal—in deciding what needs systematizing.

How to delegate to external partners and still sleep at night (hint: think mutual documentation pact).


“I don’t rush to program stuff just because I can. My experience when I do that…is that it creates an inertia for me to not want to change the system.”—JS

“I tend to err on the side of I wanting to know what is being done by any system…I want to know what it’s doing, how it works and how it interacts with anything else.”—RM

“I collapsed an hour of stressful scrambling into 10 minutes of successful execution.”—JS

“We only have so much attention…to think and interact at our highest level. So take all this “stuff” that you really don’t need to worry about and put it in a checklist or procedural outline so you don’t have to waste your brain space on it.”—RM

“Structure is freeing. It allows you to focus your brain on stuff your brain is good at and not burn your brain out on stuff that’s a waste of time.”—JS

“There is power in writing down every procedure that you outsource.”—RM

“You can’t go on vacation if you’re the only one who knows how to do everything.”—JS

“The time to hire a VA is when you decide your time is more valuable than money.”—RM

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