Systems Technology

Systems Thinking | Asian Efficiency

Systems Thinking | Asian Efficiency

Your life, like the whole lot on the planet round you, is a system. By studying how the techniques of your life work, you’ll be able to manipulate the methods to supply desired outcomes. This can be a course of we name Systems Thinking. Systems considering is a approach of taking the issues round us, and turning them into diagrams, concepts and ideas that may be damaged down, analyzed and improved upon (like time). It’s a course of for understanding how issues affect each other, and inside an entire.

This text is a primary introduction to techniques considering and the idea behind it. On this submit, we’re going to do our greatest to interrupt this idea down and make it easy to know and apply. We’re going to cowl the several types of techniques, clarify how methods considering works, and offer you examples of easy methods to put it into motion. This can be a pretty superior submit, however for those who can grasp these ideas they’ll have a constructive impression in each single space of your life. It might be slightly bit difficult, however it’s value it!

What’s a System?

Earlier than we will clarify techniques considering, we first have to know what a system is.

A system is outlined as:

  1. A set of related issues or elements forming a posh entire
  2. A set of rules or procedures in accordance with which one thing is completed; an organized scheme or technique

A great way to consider a system is sort of a manufacturing unit: you set one thing in, do a pair issues and also you get one thing out of it with the identical consistency. We will break this down and determine three key elements that each system has:

  • Enter – something you do to activate the system or give the system to make use of.
  • Course of – the precise steps and performance the system will carry out.
  • Output – the end result after doing all of the steps.

Let’s say you need to construct a home. The supplies are the enter, the precise work of constructing in response to the blueprint is the method, and the completed home is the output.

The great thing about techniques considering is that the Course of provides you a similar, constant outcomes that you simply’re on the lookout for each time. It’s a repeatable course of that lets you scale the system and its outputs to realize the outcomes you need.

We’ll offer you some examples and speak extra concerning the several types of techniques in somewhat bit, however there are a pair primary rules you need to perceive about techniques earlier than we get too far.

#1. Systems of life are there whether or not you understand it or not.

These techniques are in all places. Your whole life consists of unbiased and interdependent methods. That signifies that ignorance isn’t bliss – you is perhaps getting poor outcomes from a system you didn’t even understand was damaged! So step one in adopting methods considering is to acknowledge that the whole lot in life could be seen as a system.

#2: Systems perform appropriately 99.9% of the time.

Most techniques know what to do and need to perform appropriately. You don’t actually have to inform a system what to do. For instance, you don’t have to inform a seed that’s planted within the floor to develop up and produce a fruit. It’s “pre-programmed” – the seed is aware of what to do. That is nice information – it signifies that sustaining working techniques is definitely pretty straightforward. Nevertheless, there are situations when methods don’t work the best way they’re imagined to (that is often once we discover them). It’s your job to repair the damaged methods in your life, and on this submit we’ll present you ways.

#three: Unmanaged techniques will produce random, dangerous outcomes.

Dangerous outcomes from unmanaged techniques might seem to spring up out of nowhere, however this isn’t actually the case. Many occasions, we’ve let issues slip or we didn’t understand that our inputs weren’t any good, so the poor outcomes are simply pure outputs. For instance, in the event you solely received three hours of sleep final night time it doesn’t matter how good your morning ritual is. Or perhaps your course of must be tweaked. Perhaps you’re getting sufficient sleep however simply rolling away from bed and beginning your day. On this case, adjusting the method and including a strong morning ritual could make an enormous distinction within the output (how the remainder of your day goes).

#four: By managing and enhancing your techniques, you possibly can (& will) enhance your outcomes.

That is the place issues get thrilling. Making use of methods considering, you’ll be able to change the best way you handle the equipment to supply predictable, good outcomes. Systems considering itself is a course of (system) for understanding how issues affect each other to supply favorable outcomes. This can be a much less widespread mind-set that’s embraced by extremely profitable individuals that permits them to give attention to the issues which are most essential.

Now that you simply’re prepared to start out considering when it comes to techniques, let’s check out some examples.

Forms of Systems

There are lots of several types of methods, however they are often damaged down into 2 classes:

  • Closed methods
  • Open methods

Let’s check out a closed system instance first.

A printed e-book is a closed system. It was printed sooner or later, and distributed earlier than it got here to be in your possession. In its accomplished type, sitting in your shelf, it has no inputs, and no actual outputs. Given time, a closed system like this deteriorates by itself (okay, you’ll be able to argue that point and bodily deterioration from the setting are inputs, however they’re unintended inputs – let’s ignore them for the sake of the instance). However say you’re taking a highlighter and start studying – now it turns into a special type of system: an open system.

Open methods are in all places. Virtually every thing is an open system – your automotive, an influence plant, or a rainforest. Open techniques are outlined in that their boundaries are set, however they’ve various variable inputs and outputs.

Let’s use the automotive for instance.

You set fuel within the automotive and press the accelerator (enter), the automotive’s mechanical system produces movement (course of), and get you to your vacation spot (output).

However you can too take into consideration extra summary techniques – your life as an entire, or a subsystem inside it, similar to your funds, your well being, or your relationships.

Following the instance of your life, your life is an open system. You obtain inputs (dialog, cash, meals), they’re synthesized by your mind and your physique (course of), and also you present outputs (dialog, cash, bodily motion). Understanding that is essential if you wish to obtain the outcomes you’re on the lookout for.

Your Life as a System

Your life has many elements: the bodily, which embrace your bodily physique, your garments, your home, and different possessions, simply to call a couple of. There are additionally the summary elements: your beliefs, your values, your sense of id, and so on. There are additionally these elements that transcend the bounds of your speedy affect: your well being, your relationships, your funds.

You’ll be able to view these elements in isolation, however the entire is bigger than the sum of its elements. Simply as essential because the items themselves is how they work together with one another. For instance, do your funds impression how you’ll be able to handle your well being? (Reply: Sure)

The sum of those elements and the relationships between them are a system. Systems considering permits us to control the totally different elements to supply the outcomes we would like. I used methods considering to put in writing and publish my ebook in solely eight months. Let me offer you an instance.

Let’s say you need to lose 10 kilos and get in form. The issue is that you simply don’t have additional time to squeeze in an additional journey to the health club with household duties at house and at your company job. Since we all know that the output we’ve acquired is the results of the present inputs and processes, let’s see if we will tweak issues to perform our health objectives.

Let’s begin small, by packing a lunch as an alternative of going out to eat three occasions per week. That may scale back the quantity of fatty, greasy quick meals that we eat each week, and by changing it with wholesome meals from residence we’re already making vital progress. But when we will discover a health club close to the workplace and eat lunch at our desk, we will squeeze in a exercise as properly. And along with being more healthy, we’re additionally saving cash by not going out to eat.

Are you beginning to see how highly effective system considering might be for creating the life you need? Systems just like the one we simply defined are the important thing to simplifying your life. However earlier than issues actually begin to click on, you’ll want to study to assume like a geek.

Assume Like a Geek

Awhile again, I noticed a picture that in contrast how a geek approaches fixing issues vs. a “non-geek.” This acquired me fascinated by the techniques considering mindset and the way perhaps being labeled a “geek” isn’t such a nasty factor…

Once I did some analysis, I discovered that the time period “geek” truly got here from the circus. It was initially used to explain performers who did superb feats (that doesn’t sound so dangerous). This supplies an fascinating context for the definition of a geek, which is:

Somebody with plenty of experience in, and keenness for, a selected topic.

That topic could possibly be something: from computer systems to historical past to astronomy to cooking devices. However the backside line is that geeks perceive lots concerning the techniques they’re concerned with and are continuously in search of methods to enhance them.

This picture depicts the good points that may be had from considering like a geek:

A geek appears on the world in another way. A geek has embraced the techniques considering mindset and makes use of their information of a selected matter to unravel issues they encounter. It’s not simply ineffective information, it’s the items and inputs they should get the place they need to go. In different phrases, a geek is ready to take their inputs and assemble them (like a mannequin) to create the output they want.

If you wish to dive deeper on the subject of considering like a geek, we’ve an entire podcast episode on this matter.

Placing Systems Thinking to Work

Now it’s time to make techniques considering work for us. Keep in mind, each system needs to work and does appropriately 99.9% of the time. With many evolutionary methods (like your life), additionally they need to develop (you possibly can consider this because the system’s aim). If you wish to develop as a person (output), you possibly can apply a mannequin (course of) that will help you get the place you need to go. In different phrases, when you’ve got a objective in your life, yow will discover a system that may assist you to obtain that objective.

Step one is to take the system, which is a set of steps, procedures, concepts, and ideas, and add in an enter (you). After you have all of the items in place simply the best way you need them, you’ll get your required consequence or objective. You might have to enhance the inputs (your self) with a view to get the utmost outcomes, however the course of will work.

That is an unimaginable concept! It means which you can take anybody else’s system, and instantly apply it to your personal life to realize comparable (or the identical) outcomes. Right here at Asian Efficiency, we’ve a number of productiveness specialists with very totally different conditions and views, however we’ve all seen methods considering work for us. For my part, it’s one of many issues that makes Asian Efficiency distinctive (and profitable). We’ve constructed a tradition of methods considering which works simply as properly for a single CEO (Thanh) because it does for a former company employee with a household (Brooks). In truth, one of many issues that we speak about every time we get the workforce collectively is what techniques are working for us in order that we will study from one another! It isn’t essential to provide you with the system your self. When you contemplate how we study expertise like driving, touch-typing or studying, all of it begins with us emulating another person’s system in an effort to obtain comparable outcomes.

Inside our system for studying, we already perceive an alphabet. We additionally perceive printed phrases, meanings, grammatical construction. We definitely didn’t invent these – we discovered them from others (in all probability a instructor). As soon as we’ve these conditions in place, we then add within the enter of written phrases – often within the type of a guide – and we output concepts as ideas and pictures in our thoughts.

And since the whole lot is a system, what you have been capable of do with studying, you can even apply to anything – be it enjoying a sport, studying a career, or, being productive (actually, most of our programs are step-by-step “mini-systems” that will help you obtain leads to a selected space). All you need to do is figure the system.

I actually like the best way Austin Kleon describes this within the e-book Steal Like an Artist. Studying this guide was a tipping level in my life and it actually helped me to understand the idea of methods considering.

You see, I used to assume I simply wasn’t artistic. I couldn’t draw, I didn’t like writing, and regardless that I loved enjoying guitar and writing songs I might get mad once I realized that I had unintentionally copied a melody or chord development from one other track. I used to assume to myself, “what is wrong with me? Why can’t I create anything original?”

However once I learn Steal Like an Artist, I understood that basically everyone seems to be artistic. There’s nothing utterly unique as a result of the method of making is just rearranging the inputs in our life to supply the logical output. In different phrases, even creativity is a system.

“Your job is to collect good ideas. The more good ideas you collect, the more you can choose from to be influenced by.” – Austin Kleon

Swiftly, I used to be free. I didn’t have to guage what I made as inferior as a result of it was merely the outcomes of my inputs. And once I began altering my inputs (listening to podcasts, studying guide), I discovered I used to be capable of affect the standard of what I created.

Let’s return to our studying instance from earlier. Is it actually so simple as altering your inputs? Am I actually saying that in case you learn the proper books and get the fitting concepts, you possibly can obtain no matter you need?

Sure, that’s precisely what I’m saying.

Jim Rohn stated, “you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” Why not encompass your self with a number of the brightest, most profitable individuals to have ever lived – individuals who have embraced a progress mindset? Why not profit from their expertise and skim their books, permitting you to reap the benefits of the identical fashions they used to turn into profitable?

Subsequent Steps

Begin desirous about the methods in your life. Take into consideration how one can make small modifications to realize the outcomes you’re on the lookout for.

Listed here are a few motion steps that will help you begin implementing methods considering for your self.

  • Begin in search of a damaged system in your life. Listed here are some questions that will help you determine methods that may be optimized:
    • What do I want was totally different?
    • What annoys me?
    • What do I not need to do anymore?
    • What do I want I had extra time for?
  • Work out what inputs must be modified. Listed here are some query that will help you work out what you need to change:
    • What ought to I begin doing?
    • What ought to I cease doing?
    • What ought to I maintain doing?
  • Determine the method modifications you need to make. Listed here are some questions that will help you know what to repair:
    • How can I spend extra time on this factor I don’t need to do?
    • How can I spend extra time on this factor I do need to do?
    • How can I get rid of this factor that isn’t a superb use of my time?

Keep in mind, you possibly can apply good methods with out having to provide you with all the system your self. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. That is the place a group just like the Dojo can actually allow you to shortcut the method. By surrounding your self with different like-minded achievers who’ve figured issues out for themselves, you’ll be able to profit from their expertise and remove a number of trial & error.

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