Are Open Loops Your Ball and Chain?
The older you get the more you will realize that the amount of energy you have is finite. It’s just like the battery in your flashlight. When it runs out of power, you’re left in the dark.
The reason that is so important is that you have to discover the limit of your own personal energy. You have to know what you have to give – and how far you can go.
Once you know the cap on your energy, you have the first bit of information you need to know how to constructively spend your time. Focus on priorities and be intentional. Do that and it’s all good.
The energy drain to overcome
Ah, if that was as simple as it really is to get the important stuff done.
As a business coach, I see it all the time. We don’t even realize it, but the “clutter” of life is just like the clutter on your desk or kitchen counter … when you get rid of it all of a sudden work seems easier and gets done faster. There is a reason for that – it’s that you have closed a bunch of “open loops.”
Open loops are all those things that are undone. They are undone, but not unforgotten. In fact, they play over and over and over in your head. They take up lots of space in your mind – and drain your energy.
Your brain is geared to be a thinking machine. When you use it for storage – hanging on to all those open loops – you’re spending your energy on non-productive work. You know you do that …
The stack of papers, each representing a follow-up or task to be done. Today my stack includes a subscription renewal, a bill that needs to be changed to paperless delivery, and signing up for automatic deposit to my bank account of a dividend check. Little details that would streamline my operations as well as eliminate clutter on my desk.
There’s also the clutter of “wanna do” that are open loops. I want to get a new sign for my business. I want to set up an email campaign and develop a workshop that I know would benefit several of my clients. There are many things I want to do and I roll those ideas over in my head on a regular basis. Part of it is I am afraid I will forget about them and they are darn good ideas!
These are just examples of things I store in my head – open loops and incompletes – things using up my energy, not getting done and preventing me from spending my energy on things that really matter.
Improve your business; close the drain
The open loops drag you down because you literally run out of energy before you get to the things that matter. You’re tired before you even begin – admit it, you know that feeling.
Simply put, to really be productive, you’re going to have to close the open loops. At Grow Your Business Coaching, we can attest that you need to eliminate the strain on your brain. Use what you know already. Use the 4 Ds:
- Do it,
- Delegate it,
- Delay it, or
- Dump it.
It really is that simple. Decide which D each loop falls into and then put it there. Spend your energy constructively – and once. When you apply the D you eliminate the turmoil in your head.
I do have one little suggestion to go along with this process. There are some things you “wanna do” that are going to go into the Delay it category. Create a folder and write out the details of your idea and store it there. When you get it down on paper and put it in the file, you will have the comfort of knowing it is documented and that is what will relieve your mind of the responsibility of remembering the intricate details that made it such a great idea.
Close the loops, eliminate the incompletes and you will stop draining your energy and free your mind up to think creatively and productively!
To your success!