The Best Productivity System Is the One You Can Trust

If your productivity system is not one you can trust to truly help you get the job done, then it’s no use. In a recent GTD blog post, David Allen explains why it is so important that your productivity system is trustworthy or you end up putting more effort into the system than the work you need to do.

For example, if your system half reminds you of what you need to do and everything else you have to remember, it doesn’t help. If you spend more time managing your system than what your system requires you to do, it doesn’t help. He clarifies:

A beginner driving a car will make sharp, small movements. They retain control only with a slight increase in concentration. Only when they learn to trust the vehicle’s agility will they be able to let go of that level, broaden their horizons, and travel easier at higher speeds.

Likewise, if you don’t fully trust your personal systems, you are likely to pay inappropriate and unnecessary mental attention to detail and content, often with a negative emotional component to it. You will feel drawn, depressed, and often close to losing control.

But you cannot trust your system until it is trustworthy. When is that? When you know that you have met all your commitments, clarified what you are going to do with them, decided the actions you need to take in relation to them, and posted reminders of these actions in the places that you know you will be looking for, where and when you need it.

Bottom line, when your system makes you feel comfortable and confident that your bases are covered, and it really helps you do your job without missing out on anything important, then it’s worth your trust and you can relax.

If you haven’t found a similar system, perhaps your existing one needs to be improved, or it’s time to go back to the basics and start with something simpler .

Are you micro-controlling your mind? | GTD Blog

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