Work the System: The Simple Mechanics of Making More and Working Less

One of the books I recommend in my business training programs is Work the System by Sam Carpenter. Naomi Manuel participated in a recent edition all the way from Ghana and wrote a book review that is so useful I decided to share it on my blog. Enjoy!

I have just finished reading Sam Carpenter’s Work the System. It was a slow and boring read at first because I felt he kept repeating stuff and going on and on. Now am I glad I kept on.

The book covers how setting up systems can simplify our lives. This extends to practically very aspect of life including relationships, finding a potential customer, making a presentation and closing a sale. Systems help with interviewing, hiring new employees and what you must do to keep them.

Sam Carpenter advises that you make your systems visible and observe the systems objectively. Create the Strategic Objective first, the General Operating Principles and then the Working Procedures bottom-up. This will help create a fireproof environment rather than one that kills fires. The result is that calm efficiency will pervade our place of work. Awesome!

He explains how setting up systems has reduced his work week to one hour and how one becomes more professional as a result. There is a lot to learn.

First work the system, then your systems do the work. -Sam Carpenter HT @WorktheSystem Click To Tweet

The story of Ben and John was so confusing for me at first. Precision that is produced but not required is useless information and time wasting. But why? I always thought that one should exceed expectation. But he says that the quality of work must not exceed the required result and to approach each task with an objective and detached persona. Amen.

I learned about Point-of-Sale thinking and procrastination. Procrastination is an enemy.

I learned about automating, delegating and discarding. He posits that multitasking is for machines and advises readers to give full attention to the detail at hand in a single sequential linear format.

The author says because ideas can pop up at anytime, you should be ready to record them on your phone immediately before you get distracted and forget. Smart move.

I learnt about managing BPT and MPT and to visualise how you can assemble the pieces of your machine in a way that will remove you from the production and deliver the peace and prosperity you want.

BPT (Biological Prime Time) is your peak period or prime time when it is easier to get important projects like writing done. Take advantage of your BPT. For some people that is in the morning hours, from 5am, and others at night time. Figure yours if you have not already. MPT (Mechanical Prime Time) is the time to recharge and spend catching up with exercise, napping, periodicals, movies and activities that recharge your biological and psychological batteries.

Precision that is produced but not required is useless information and time wasting. -@ashleygreyz HT @WorktheSystem Click To Tweet

I’ll close with a quote that summarises the central message of the book: “First work the system, then your systems do the work.”

Daba Naomi Manuel is a teacher and student of life. She has a background in language, literature, business administration and food safety. Her interests are entrepreneurship, youth development, education, volunteering and travel. To connect with her, reach out on Twitter or visit her website.

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