A guiding principle of any solid task management solution is a clear mind. For example, the popular productivity solution Getting Things Done focuses on what it would take to honestly clear the mind, and then designing our environments and systems accordingly.

It may seem odd to consider a clear mind as a centerpiece in building a working system. In many ways, we would hope such a state to be more of a desired end result than as an approach.

But a solid organizational system develops in an iterative acknowledgement and addressing of the things that are on the mind. By regularly placing those things that cannot be done now in places where we honestly and truly believe they may be done, we clear the mind of present concerns while uniquely creating and shaping the useful systems that surround us.

That system, though, must be trusted. So let us take a moment to examine what we mean by a trusted system.

The Importance of a Trusted System

Trust is the foundation upon which we can build systems to develop and maintain whatever we find as meaningful. A trusted system allows us to maintain that sense without our direct attention.

Defining trust:

Trust is a belief, developed over time, that something will continue behaving as it has in the past, such that it may be relied upon.

The theory is:

If we can truly and honestly trust something to be when and where it is needed, it will be off of the mind.

In other words, we use an honestly clear mind as the guiding principle of knowing that our environments can be trusted to help us continue developing whatever we find as meaningful.

We build our systems so that we can trust that they will optimally remind us of what we want to be reminded of, only at those times where we would like to be reminded. To build these systems, we need to know what it would take of our environments and ourselves to honestly trust them.

Trust In Self

Further, this process becomes more than about our surroundings. As we address what is on our mind with whatever honesty we can muster, we also build a trust in our selves. As our skills in addressing what is meaningful to us develop, so does a trust in our abilities. We learn what we can do, what we cannot do, what we can improve, and, sometimes, how we can improve. Another term for this is “confidence”:

Confidence is a trust in our ability. It is a developed sense of our own capacity to meaningfully decide and act, such that it may be relied upon.

The above is an adaption from Workflow Mastery: Building from the Basics