Maintaining Your Sustainable Systems

large_windowsEvery Sustainable System has two components: time and space. A system involves both tangible items in a space… AND the time it takes to interact with those items. If you fail to schedule time to maintain your system, the system won’t work. You may have a lovely dishwasher in your kitchen but if you don’t factor into your schedule the time it takes to load and empty the dishwasher, your dishwashing system won’t work.

In my May blog posts, I shared strategies on how to create sustainable systems in your space. Below I’m sharing time-management strategies that my clients and I use to keep our systems functioning well.


  • Start your day with a centering ritual (meditate, say a prayer, light a candle).
  • Batch your time in blocks; do each task when you have the most energy for it
  • Prioritize; do your most important work first.
  • Have only what you are currently using open on your desk.
  • Clear your workspace every night (put items to attend to in an attractive “working” file folder with your to do list on top). You can leave that closed file folder on your desk, in your desk, or on your credenza or the floor if you prefer the look of a clear desk.


  • Schedule an hour on Friday to file items and organize your space for the week ahead.
  • Schedule weekly de-cluttering dates until your home and workspaces functions and feel the way you prefer.
  • Update your files and storage system.


  • Instead of doing a once-a-year audit ALL of your systems, you may prefer to schedule time monthly to review and edit components of your systems (for example: Jan – your financial systems, Feb – your client tracking systems, Mar – your supplier systems, etc.)


  • At least once a year, you’ll want to review and edit ALL of your systems.
  • Some clients prefer to spread the task out, spending an hour each month (see above).
  • Some prefer to spend 1-7 days doing it every January.

I would love to hear from those of you who are trying out some of these techniques.  How do they work for you?