Productivity Inventory System: Tackling Inefficiencies, Patterns, and Progress


November 9, 2023

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I went from nearly losing my mind and business to an intentional, successful woman all because of systems.
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Introducing the productivity inventory system – a method I rely on to conduct a thorough evaluation of what’s effective and what needs adjustment in my life. It’s a go-to tool when I’m determined to make significant progress, avoiding the trap of spinning my wheels or constantly dealing with urgent matters. When faced with resistance or a sense of stagnation, this system comes into play, reigniting my forward momentum. 

In essence, it’s about achieving tasks efficiently, regardless of whether you already have some systems in place or are starting from scratch. Perhaps you’ve attempted similar strategies before, but encountered roadblocks. Maybe you’ve got a handle on some aspects but feel stuck in one particular area. This system, integral to my coaching methodology, provides a valuable framework for bridging the gap between your current state and your desired level of productivity, helping you pinpoint precisely what needs attention and adjustment.

Listen below for the entire episode on The Systemize Your Life Podcast

Unveiling the Power of the Productivity Inventory System

At times, we find ourselves caught in a cycle of identifying problems without knowing their root cause. This is where the productivity inventory system proves invaluable. Think of it as your trusty coach-on-the-go, ready to assist whenever you’re unsure about how to address a challenge. Consider keeping it in your arsenal for those moments when you ask, “What would Chelsi Jo do?” Whether it’s digitally starred or jotted down on paper, ensure it’s easily accessible and marked as a crucial resource.

Moving forward, let’s adopt this dual approach of language and perspective. These two elements work in harmony, influencing each other. Our choice of words often reflects our observations, and by altering our language, we can shift our perception. Conversely, when we adjust our perspective, our choice of words naturally follows suit. It’s a powerful synergy between how we express ourselves and how we perceive the world around us.

Part 1: Embracing the Productivity Inventory System: A New Perspective on Efficiency and Growth

Let’s dive into the concept of “inefficiencies.” We’re about to redefine how we discuss our challenges. It doesn’t matter what terms you’ve used before or how negatively you’ve framed things. From now on, we’re going to identify problem areas as inefficiencies. This will be the new perspective through which you view your entire life. Your focus will shift towards recognizing and addressing inefficiencies. As you go about your day, you’ll start labeling things that you observe as “that’s really inefficient.” This shift in language and perspective will be a game-changer.

Part 2: Unveiling Patterns within the Productivity Inventory System for Success

Now, let’s move on to the second concept: “patterns.” It’s time to adopt this term into your vocabulary. Start saying things like, “I’ve identified a pattern,” “I’m noticing a pattern,” or “This might be a pattern.” Additionally, put on the lens that allows you to see situations as part of a larger pattern, rather than blowing individual moments out of proportion. Often, what appears to be a significant event is just that—an isolated incident. If it does turn out to be a pattern, then acknowledge it as such: “I’ve discerned a pattern.” This shift in language and perspective will help you gain a more accurate view of your experiences.

Part 3: Progressing Through the Productivity Inventory System: A Journey Towards Positive Change and Personal Growth

Moving on to our third focus—progress. Let’s integrate this term into our discussions. Whether it’s acknowledging our achievements or pinpointing areas where progress is lacking, we’ll use phrases like “I’m making progress” or “I haven’t made progress because…”. This shift in language will be coupled with a lens focused on identifying progress. This approach—evaluating our experiences in terms of inefficiencies, patterns, and progress—has been invaluable in my own life, especially in recent weeks. To solidify this practice, I encourage you to jot down the following questions in each of these boxes. They’ll serve as prompts to guide you in internalizing and applying this new framework in your daily life.

Utilizing the Productivity Inventory System: A Three-Step Approach

Under “Inefficiencies,” jot down: “Where are my inefficiencies?” or “What is inefficient?” This will serve as a starting point for identifying areas that could benefit from improvement.

For the “Patterns” section, note down questions like “What are my patterns?” “Is this a pattern?” and “What is the pattern?” These questions will guide you in recognizing and understanding recurring behaviors or tendencies in various aspects of your life, such as relationships, emotions, and household management. This approach can be particularly effective in situations where you want to assess the significance of certain emotions or reactions. Remember, it’s a tool to help you gauge whether an emotional response is linked to a recurring pattern or if it’s a one-time occurrence. This method can be applied to various areas including your household, relationships, finances, and more.

In the “Progress” section, jot down questions like “How will I make progress?” This prompts you to think proactively about the steps you’ll take to move forward. While “How have I not made progress?” can be insightful, it’s crucial to focus on the actionable steps that will lead to progress. So, prioritize “How will I make progress in this area?” to empower yourself with a forward-looking perspective and concrete strategies for improvement. This approach applies to all facets of your life where you seek advancement and positive change.

Adapting to Change: Noting Inefficiencies in My Daily Routine

After settling into our new space, which took us from April to August, right up until the kids started school, I felt a welcome shift. Our home is becoming a cozy haven, a place for love and laughter. While there are ongoing projects and my closet isn’t quite where I want it yet, it’s functioning smoothly. We’ve achieved a systematic way of living that feels great. However, with the recent addition of our dog, I’ve noticed some changes. Even before this, a few things were shifting. As I go through this process, I’m simply jotting down observations, always on the lookout for inefficiencies, not to make a big deal out of things, but to make improvements where needed.

Here is the list that I have noticed in my life:


The before-school routine and my own morning routine need attention, as routine stacks in these time blocks are currently chaotic.


The presence of the dog has added significant distractions and inefficiencies to my schedule.


Getting to the gym has become a less efficient process, with various factors contributing to this. Plus I am dealing with a knee issue that flared up, beginning physical therapy, and making necessary adjustments have led to disruptions in my routine.

Water Bottles

Addressing this seemingly small inefficiency has the potential to make a significant difference. Managing water bottles has become a recurring point of inefficiency in our daily routine. With everyone having a water bottle, it leads to constant requests for my own. Since I track my water intake, I prefer not to share mine. It’s time for everyone to have their own designated water bottles to streamline this process. Additionally, the issue extends beyond just having water bottles. The kids want them at their bedside, but in the mornings, they often forget to bring them down. This leads to a last-minute search for water bottles as we’re trying to get out the door and into the car. Addressing this issue will not only save time but also reduce unnecessary stress in our morning routine.

Lack of Lunch Plans

Currently, there’s a need for a more structured approach to lunch planning. Jotting down meal ideas on our communication board, which happens to be our refrigerator, has highlighted this inefficiency. A more proactive and organized strategy for meal planning is required.

Dirty Dishes

Managing dirty dishes has become a significant inefficiency in our daily routine. It’s time to implement a more streamlined approach to handle this aspect of household chores. Finding a way to efficiently tackle this task will free up time and reduce unnecessary stress.

Unearthing Persistent Patterns in the Productivity Inventory System

In my daily routines, certain patterns have become evident through consistent observation. These aren’t isolated incidents tied to specific circumstances like the kids’ absence due to illness or unusually busy work periods resulting in piled-up dishes. Instead, they persist regardless of external variables.

Adapting Meal Planning

One notable pattern centers around meal planning, particularly for lunches. While I’ve excelled in orchestrating well-balanced dinners and breakfasts, I’ve inadvertently overlooked lunch preparations for the kids. This leads to extended packing times, as I lack a structured plan for their midday meals. The shift arises from the fact that my sixth grader and first grader now require entirely different dietary considerations. My eldest, at 11, consumes nearly as much as I do, necessitating a more substantial meal. Given my particularity regarding their nutritional intake, which encompasses a balance of micro and macronutrients, I must now allocate additional time for this aspect of meal planning. This shift in dynamics directly correlates with the inefficiencies I initially noted.

Addressing Water Bottle Management

A recurrent issue involving misplaced water bottles has persisted. While the kids often struggle to locate theirs, I encountered a similar situation when I lost mine. Unfortunately, it wasn’t turned into the lost and found, leaving me a bit disheartened. Although I’ve resorted to using a cup with a lid and straw, it’s just not the same. I’m eager to implement a progress plan within the Productivity Inventory System to retrieve or replace my beloved water bottle. This is something I’m looking forward to addressing.

Dishwashing Dilemmas: Establishing Consistency with the Productivity Inventory System

Another pattern I identified revolves around dishwashing. I noticed that I lacked a consistent schedule for loading and unloading the dishwasher. I’ve been contemplating where to place my tidy cues, as I’m aware of the system that needs to be in place. However, I haven’t fully committed to a specific approach yet. The irregularity of the dishwasher being full or empty has disrupted my pattern, making it challenging to devise a solution and make meaningful progress in this area. I realize it’s something I need to address and stop putting on the back burner.

Implementing the Productivity Inventory System

Let’s discuss my progress plan. While getting up at 6 am could significantly improve my mornings, it’s not currently feasible due to the dog situation. The puppy requires a lot of attention and stimulation, making it challenging to follow my usual routine. I find myself waiting until I’m fully ready to engage with him. My morning routine block is crucial for me to prepare for the day ahead. While I could potentially wake up early enough to address some of these issues, I’m not yet at the point where I’m ready to implement this into my progress plan. It’s a step I’m working towards.

Gym Progress: Defining Dedicated Work Hours

The next area is the gym. To make progress, I’ve established dedicated work hours to ensure all tasks are completed. I’ve allocated 20 hours a week while my kids are in school, and I’m aiming to hit the gym before picking them up. This plan is now well-defined and I’m excited to put it into action. I’ll assess its effectiveness, gather data, and make adjustments as needed. It’s a step forward in the right direction.

Streamlining Water Bottle Management: A Centralized Solution

Next on the list is getting a new water bottle. Additionally, I’ll be reminding the kids to leave their water bottles on the kitchen island consistently. This way, we’ll establish a central spot for them and avoid the constant search. I’m looking forward to seeing how this change impacts our routine. I’ll keep you posted on the progress!

Revamping Lunch Planning: Introducing Meal Cards

Another important step is to create lunch cards for my menu board meal planning system. This revelation came to me when I realized I could streamline my grocery list by having a dedicated set of favorite lunches for my kids. By organizing these options in my recipe box, I can easily pull them out and prepare the grocery list. Now, I plan to extend this system to my own lunches, a tweak that I believe will make a significant difference. With my older child’s increased appetite and my younger one’s pickiness, this adjustment is bound to be a game-changer.

Dishwasher Efficiency Trial: Morning and Evening Tidy Cues

Lastly, I’m committing to setting tidy cues in the morning and evening to ensure I start and empty the dishwasher consistently. I’ll give this a one-week trial. While I’ve been pretty dedicated to running it nightly and unloading it in the morning, there are moments when it’s not entirely full, and I entertain the thought of skipping a day. I’m curious to see if this adjustment will contribute to smoother mornings and help us stay on schedule.

Elevate Your Productivity: Unleashing the Potential of the Productivity Inventory System!

Implementing a productivity inventory system has been a game-changer in identifying inefficiencies, recognizing patterns, and strategizing progress in my daily routines. By breaking down these aspects, I’ve gained clarity on where I can make meaningful improvements. Remember, even seemingly minor tweaks can lead to significant positive shifts in your life. So, what are you excited about progressing in your own journey? Share your productivity inventory system with us in our Facebook group. Let’s support each other as we embark on this path toward enhanced productivity and balance in our lives!

“Implementing a productivity inventory system has been a game-changer in identifying inefficiencies, recognizing patterns, and strategizing progress in my daily routines.”

Wanting to figure out what other systems work for you? Check out Building a System That Works: Three Important Factors for Effective Home Systems. Or maybe looking for more ways to implement systems into your business as well? Have a look at The TOP Seven Systems Every Busy and Productive WFHM Needs to Run Her Business and Make a Profit.

Embark on your entrepreneurial journey with the unwavering support of our thriving Facebook Community! And when you’re ready to turn your dreams into tangible achievements through ideas similar to the Productivity Inventory System don’t forget to explore Systemize Your Life and Systemize Your Biz. We can’t wait to welcome you into our community!

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