To hear him tell it, Dilbert creator Scott Adams has failed at almost everything he’s ever attempted in his life, but has still managed to “make it big”.
At least, that’s what his autobiographical success-and-productivity guide, “How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life” says.
According to Adams, one of the most important things for success, in general, is having good “systems,” by which he means daily routines, habits, and procedures that help to move you in a positive direction, consistently, day after day.
So, here are a few systems that can help you to succeed in life.
Budget your money religiously using an “envelope” system, and use the right tools for tracking your finances generally
As an old saying instructs us; “what gets measured gets improved.” Going by that logic, it’s not difficult to see why failing to keep a budget, or to track your finances, isn’t exactly a recipe for good financial decisions or a healthy bank balance.
The trick is to budget your money religiously using a system that is adaptable and intuitive, and that you can tweak on the fly as needed. “Envelope” budgeting systems that have you move money between different categories in real time, are likely the best in that sense – with You Need A Budget and Actual being good examples.
But while you are using an intuitive system to manage your personal finances, you should also be using things like accounting software, in general, in order to ensure that your professional finances stay transparent to you, as well.
For better or for worse, money matters. So come up with systems to watch and manage yours.
Focus on doing one thing at a time, and making sure that it’s something worthwhile
There’s a lot of scientific evidence that, when we try to “multitask,” we actually make ourselves more stressed and far less efficient and effective, at the same time.
That’s not great, considering that so many of us these days are constantly trying to do more than one thing at a time, whether that’s filling in spreadsheets while listening to a podcast, or switching back and forth between Instant Messenger programs while writing a report.
In order to boost your chances of success across the board, not to mention your well-being, focus on one thing at a time, and make sure that it’s something worthwhile.
Come up with daily routines for reducing your stress, and staying balanced
Systems that can help you to reduce your stress levels are some of the most invaluable, because when your stress levels are chronically elevated, your health, mood, energy levels, and more are bound to suffer dramatically.
Come up with personalised daily routines for reducing your stress and staying balanced. This might mean taking an adaptogenic herbal supplement to keep your cortisol levels managed, having a hot bath with Epsom salts each evening, beginning each day with a meditation session, and abstaining from having too much coffee, for example.
Keep in mind that “lowering your stress levels” doesn’t mean “being unproductive.” In fact, when you are feeling less stressed, you will often be far more inclined to actually be productive, of your own accord.