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  • What "Trusted System" means

    I am REALLY getting a subtler and more profound feel for what a “trusted system” means: it has to serve as a complete “outsourcing” of the task tracking function that my brain used to perform. It is not a fancy way of assisting my brain in remembering the things I have to do; it is a complete replacement of that mental function by an external physical object.

    Tasks that are neither automatic (shaving) nor attractively pleasant (eating) go into it. The point is, don’t waste your brainpower by using your brain as a task tracker.

    I mean, you don’t carry files around the office with you half the day before working on them: you leave them down somewhere until you need them. Do the same with task tracking: leave it down somewhere you trust.

    Dave

  • #2
    Trusted System

    Dave,

    I really like how described the trusted system and what it means to you. This helps cement it for me as well. Thanks for sharing.

    Jon

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    • #3
      So how do you know when to look at your trusted system? You have no clue it's time to shave until you look at your system? You don't know if you should eat until you look at your system?

      I'm also not sure why I'm supposed to trust a system that I perfectly well know that I created myself.

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      • #4
        Maybe "Learn to Trust System" is a project.

        The successful outcome would be "Trust System"

        Now if I can just figure out the N/A....

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        • #5
          Shaving in GTD

          I am a big fan of GTD, but I think adding shaving and eating may be too much. If you are just making a point, I understand. If your post was serious, I contend that adding things like shaving and eating may dilute the system so that it may become too cumbersome to be useful.

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          • #6
            I know it's a pretty smart bunch around here, but you guys need to slow down. He said, "Tasks that are NEITHER automatic (shaving) NOR attractively pleasant (eating) GO INTO it." In other words, if it is automatic, or attractively pleasant, he won't forget them so they don't have to go into the system.... The "reminder" is already in his life in some other form.

            Gordon

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            • #7
              This exact topic has been on my mind, man! The words have been a mantra in the past few days. Trusted System is like Shangri la -- you're always trying to get there.

              Here are my random thoughts: I was frozen in an early phase of GTD for a long time because I thought the Trusted System needed to show up at my door like Elijah the Prophet before I could begin the work. So I knelt before the Palm and then I prayed before the Planner and then I bowed before the Binder and then I worshipped at the altar of the Hipster.

              Two years slipped though my fingers and I hadn't COMMITTED.

              The system BECOMES trusted. Once you CHOOSE to trust it the way you CHOOSE to trust a lover, the relationship takes off. Doesn't mean it's the perfect one, or that it will last, but it sets you on the path. It works until it doesn't. And when it doesn't, and only then, you are motivated to make an adjustment or you find another and you become surprised that it works better for you.

              There's a great saying for the lovelorn -- don't try to find the right partner, try to be the right partner. Same goes for the Trusted System.

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              • #8
                Gordon thanks for straightening out that misreading of my first post.

                Vilmosz, nice expansion on the topic.

                I think part of the process of learning to trust your system is to pinpoint the times and places that you actually need to be reminded of things. For example, you may have a meeting scheduled for 4 pm, but your natural behaviour may be to want to read through a relevant file at 12 noon in order to refresh your thinking, so your trusted system should cause you to read the file at 12. If it’s a new client meeting, you may also want to rub a cloth over your shoes and wash your face half an hour before hand – the system should deliver this too.

                So, the real subtly is to figure out the way you would like to be reminded of things, and to customise your system so that it does this reminding for you. Part of this will be to just develop the habit of consulting it on a regular basis.

                SpectecGTD, try this: imagine the scenario where you have a system that does all this for you, then start noticing all the things it is actually doing for you. Then notice what you would do to stop things crawling back into your head instead of remaining in the trusted system.


                Dave

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