Trust Your Systems

I’ve been designing systems to automate myself for years. Despite this, I sometimes stumble when facing a problem, and the reason is almost always the same. I falter when I don’t trust the systems I’ve built.

I have specific spots where I put all physical objects that I own, as a way of automating the process of “remembering where I put stuff.” When I can’t find an object, it’s rarely because I didn’t put it in the right spot; rather, it’s usually because despite this I look somewhere else first. It’s silly, and it’s usually only a second before I slap my forehead and say “duh.”

The deepest system is this chronicle. When I write down advice or lessons, it’s almost always because I encountered a particular problem and I wrote down my solution. And yet sometimes, when I encounter a problem, I forget to look here first. I forget my own advice.

Which is the point, of course. I can’t possibly keep in my active memory everything I’ve written here. That’s why I write it. But that means I don’t always know that there’s a particular piece of advice I need – but often there is, and I can use it to solve my current problem.

And if there isn’t, then I solve the problem from scratch. And I write it down. Trust your systems.

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