I’ve got an epic interview for you this week!

My guest – Marina Darlow – is a systems expert & productivity geek.

An engineer by training, she helps impact-driven entrepreneurs to get 10-20 more productive hours a week, stop leaking money, and prevent stress-fuel breakdowns.

In this episode we discuss why systems matter, how they can help you become more creative, and outline a number of examples specific to makers.




Highlights and quotes from this episode:

  • Business systems are there to support you so when unexpected things happen your business does not fall apart.
  • “Good systems are what allows most people the space to create without other things infringing on it” {Marina}
  • Systems create clear boundaries in your work processes and allow you to divert your energy to important tasks with a greater focus.
  • Jess recommends the book Getting Things Done by David Allen.
  • Establish how you work best and build systems to protect and support this creative time.
  • Schedule your creative blocks for when you are most productive and have the most energy and consider this on a daily, weekly and monthly scale.
  • Marina recommends the book Deep Work by Cal Newport.
  • The energy required to switch between tasks can be significant. Schedule the time for this transition into your systems.
  • Utilise the power of ritual to start and finish work and manage transitions. This can be something very small such as packing your tools away or getting a cup of tea.
  • “Systems make you more resilient” {Marina}
  • Utilise systems to manage your time through calendars and reminders.
  • Establish systems around money to remove anxiety. Establish systems for payments, custom orders, invoicing and budgets. And make sure you check in on these regularly!
  • “You can actually find joy, excitement and motivation in tracking your money” {Jess}
  • Streamline your communications with systems to manage your materials, suppliers, marketing and team.
  • Communication templates are an invaluable system that saves time, energy and money.
  • “Have meetings with yourself and assess the elements of your business – if you never stop and do that you can never make progress on improving your systems and processes of business” {Jess}
  • Jess recommends the book The Story of Telling by Bernadette Jiwa.
  • Start setting up your systems with one small step. Avoid getting overwhelmed by focusing on the next small task, complete it, celebrate, and repeat the process.
  • If you are stuck on which system to start first, visit Marina’s website for her tips and take her free mini-course.
  • Loved this episode? Keep an ear out for Marina’s upcoming podcast Systems Meet Humanity which features me as a guest.



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