Issue #48

Sent to members on December 14, 2017

That DIDN’T work out well.

Yesterday, we talked about keeping a record of things that worked. Well, we can do the same for things which didn’t. I call it my “Constraint Log”. Here’s the big idea…

Most everything we do in life is a system of some kind. A system is simply a process. You start with certain inputs, do certain steps, then you get an output.

Even something as simple as heating up a can of soup is a system, when you get right down to it. You start with a can and a can opener and a pot. You do certain things with that stuff. You then have a bowl of hot soup. Yummy!

So, your business is a system. The individual things you do in your business or with your blog is a system. Case in point, when you publish a blog post to your blog, you likely go through certain repeating steps pretty much every single time, right?

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So, that’s a system.

The PERFECT system would give you a predictable, positive result every single time with no waste. But, the world isn’t perfect. We aren’t perfect. In reality, some systems work better than others.

When you don’t get the result you want or it is taking too long, a systems-view of things would have you looking for the CONSTRAINT. There is something in the system that is messing with the output of the whole. If you track down the real constraint (and sometimes it is more than one), then the system begins to work better and things improve.

Which brings me to my Constraint Log.

When I notice something in my business which isn’t going like I think it should, I note it down in my Constraint Log. It would be things I know need to be happening which aren’t, things that aren’t working, things I think take too long, things I hate doing, etc.

All of these things represent FRICTION to the system. But, if you don’t take the time to make note of it, you likely won’t do anything about it.

So, a small example from my own Constraint Log…

Making slidedecks. You know… Keynotes or Powerpoints. It is something I need to do for my online training videos. It is a different action than content planning. It is just the act of transferring my plan to slides and making it look pretty. It isn’t my highest use of time and it actually DOES impede production. Sometimes I put it off because I don’t feel like doing it. It’s a constraint.

So, I put it in the log. The idea is that I will circle back and devise a way to alleviate the constraint. Probably by systematizing it down to the point where my VA can make these slides in the way that I want.

So, that’s the Constraint Log.

Between this and the Successful Actions log, I have a memory of what works and what isn’t.

Then, as an executive, I can spend some time working ON the business and not always in it. By ramping up that which works, and re-designing the things which don’t.

All in an effort to make a better, more efficient system.

BTW, if you want to take this whole systems things to another level, I have a whole course inside the Lab on it. It is actually one of the understated Lab courses all based around something called the Theory of Constraints. That course is called The Finisher’s Formula.

It’s a goodie. But, you need to be a Lab member to go through it. If you’re not a Lab member yet, well… that’s an easy constraint to fix. Just sayin. 😉

– David

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