Introduction to Systems Thinking

Asian Efficiency has a good introduction to systems thinking with some nice diagrams in their blog post “Systems Thinking

There is a reference to a simple example of the human element using the tooth brushing habit. Open and closed systems are mentioned and a brief explanation is given how mental models and diagrams can increase your awareness of different factors that can influence your results.

Generic system tools are introduced as a way of organizing and managing activities. 5 foundational tools are identified:

  • 1. Calendar
  • 2. Timer
  • 3. Notes
  • 4. Address Book
  • 5. Task Manager
  • It is a good start to consider what system tools you have in place in each of these categories and how well they work together to help you achieve results.

    In my case I use the following core programs supplemented by specialist programs to fill some specialized functions:

  • 1. Busycal
  • 2. TBD (I am currently evaluating several timers to determine a winner).
  • 3 Simplenote (IOS) and nvALT (Mac) are currently my mainstays.
  • 4. AddressBook hasn’t been replaced completely yet but I am looking because this an area that needs improvement.
  • 5. OmniFocus is a strong foundation that I am customizing and enhancing to work better with the other foundation tools.
  • Asian Efficiency always ends their posts with some action items which are good reminders that taking action with newfound knowledge is needed to achieve the benefits.

    Action Items:

  • List your core systems.
  • How could your systems be improved?
  • What training do you need to best leverage your systems?
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