Live Simply in 2019, February Mantra: Stick To Your Systems

February 1, 2019

Stick To Your Systems. #LiveSimplyin2019

Conceived during moments of epiphany, revelation, and ambition, the systems we build into and for our lives become integral to our overall functioning. We design them (or have them designed) because we need them in place in order to go about the business of being our best selves.

Without systems, our lives are chaotic. The flow of our days is unexamined and unconsidered. The optimal order of operations never nailed down.

Without systems, every action we take and choice we make is a laborious one, since there are no prescribed next steps to follow.

A life without systems is the trickiest trick, because it appears as though it requires less work. It’s less work to not to have to commit to doing things one way. It’s less work not to pause and overhaul your entire, daily routine. It’s easier to just keep going as you are: flying by the seat of your pants.

But the amount of energy that seeps out of a system-less life is incalculable–drained in the flurry of looking for lost items, of doing tasks over and over again without ever feeling as though the needle has moved forward, of moving piles from one corner to the next corner to the next corner with no plan as to what to do with it next.

Systems simplify.

They create clarity where there was once crazy. They are your steady foundation when the building of your life is creaking in the wind.

The right system will straight up change your life.

But there’s a caveat to all of this.

Everything created requires intentional and consistent maintenance, or it falls prey to entropy.

Order devolves back into chaos so easily, my loves.

The good news is that sticking to your systems (which sometimes means pushing yourself to hang up that last shirt even though you’re tired, and sometimes means slowing down enough to put that glue stick back exactly where it belongs) is still eminently easier than the alternative, which is something akin to flying through a heavily-wooded forest down a miles-long zipline in the pitch black, while strange birds you can’t see squawk at you, and wet leaves swat you in the face. It may sound exhilarating and spontaneous at first, but in actuality it’s terrifying, torturous, and utterly exhausting.

So, stick to your systems. And if you’ve been slacking, go pick up the pieces. In today’s world, Simplicity requires hard work to achieve and sustain. It’s worth it, I promise.




Annie Traurig was born with the ability to see order through clutter. As a child, she spent playdates organizing friends’ closets and packing their duffle bags for summer camp.

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1 Comment

  1. DD on February 7, 2019 at 4:57 pm

    Welcome back. My system — radical purging followed by rapturous joy — stays in place all by its little lonesome because I have nothing extraneous left to go astray and vex me. It feels good. Best wishes.

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