How Simple Systems Can Supercharge Your Business when You Have ADHD

Abstract business flow chart diagramAs a business owner with ADHD, you probably don’t like systems. You think systems may stifle your creativity. Or you think they’re too difficult to set up. Or you’ll never follow them. But I urge you to give systems a second look—if you want your business to be successful.

With structure comes freedom

If you know me at all or have worked with me, you know that one of my favorite sayings is “with structure comes freedom.” Many of the people I talk to want it the other way around. They want the freedom to work on things without the structure. They want to work “when they feel creative,” because they didn’t start their business to become a slave to time or schedules. You may feel this way too. I guess that’s okay if your business isn’t serious and you don’t want to make money.

The purpose of a business is to make a profit

I’m going to be hard on you here for a minute. The definition of a business is “the purchase and sale of goods and services in an attempt to make a profit,” so obviously money is a big part of it. And you can’t make money if you don’t have reliable systems with which to do so. Really, you can be creative just to be creative in your free time. During business time, you have to set up structures to be productive.

Systems give focus, comfort, and confidence

You may say it’s boring to work by a system, and as an ADHDer, you don’t work well with boredom. That’s true about the boredom part. But my experience with ADHDers is that without systems, ADHDers lose focus. Without systems, you miss a wonderful boost to your productivity, a boost that will cut the anxiety and make you feel great. And while systems may sound boring, after they’re set up, they can be a great source of comfort, focus, and productivity—as well as giving you extra confidence that you’ll be able to follow through with what you’ve promised.

You can set up systems to:

• make the best use of your time,
• make sure you’re working on things that matter,
• move you closer to your goals,
• make routine things happen automatically,
• keep you focused,
• sustain momentum,
• shore up your weak memory,
• keep you from reinventing the wheel,
• keep you more organized,
• prioritize your work load,
etc.

How to set up your systems

The best way to set up a system is to “watch” yourself the next time you do anything, and write down what you do—then follow those steps and add to them next time. Start simple, with something as easy as how you answer the phone.

What do you do first? Write it down. Sound silly? Who cares? It’s the beginning of your new system. I set up my first system for how I paid my bills. I hated paying my business bills and it seemed to take me forever—until I had my system. After I started writing down and following my steps, I found I could do it in my sleep, and I cut the time in half. This came in really handy on brain fog days, and when I hired my first office manager, I was able to just hand her my bill paying system!

Don’t be afraid, you can’t make a mistake. Just try it! And let us know how it works for you in the comments below.

Watch me describe a simple system to prioritize your workload on youtube.

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