3 Steps to Close Open Loops

Mar 01, 2020
 
How's your sleep been lately? Lots of people seem to be complaining of insomnia caused by Covid. You know what I'm talking about, right? Lots of worries going round and round in our heads, about life going back to normal and all the things we need to do. I'm lucky and sleep through the night, so that's not when these thoughts hit me. I get my fair share during the day though.
 
Do these thoughts tire you out? It can be like a suspense movie playing on a loop inside your head, that never gets to the end. Instead, the suspense keeps growing and growing and it’s exhausting!  
 
If this sounds familiar, then you, my friend, have too many open loops in your life.
 

Open Loops - what are those? 

 
Have you heard of these before? Open loops are commitments that you make to yourself or someone else, that haven't been done yet.  They can be tasks or projects you started but didn't finish. They can also be something small you know you have to do but may not want to. Either way, it’s something you haven’t done yet like:
 
The laundry needs to be done. The kids need to be picked up. I have a meeting tomorrow. I still have to buy a wedding present. I have to make that phone call…
 
Open loops can also include relationship issues left unresolved, someone you meant to call but haven’t got around to yet, an awkward conversation that has to happen but that you keep putting off, things you need to remember like, ‘must buy milk’… the list is endless.
 
 
OK, so why are Open Loops a problem? 
 
 
Think of open loops as open tabs in your browser. If you have too many open tabs, your browser starts to slow down and will eventually crash. This is exactly what open loops do to your brain!  They can wreak havoc on our energy, our confidence, and our health. Because we carry them around for days and weeks, they use up our mental and emotional energy. We’re left feeling drained and exhausted. But that's not all...open loops also keep our brains active even when we take breaks because we can’t shut off. So, if we can’t shut off our brains, we need to close the loops. 

 

3 Steps to Close the Loops

 

It’s time to take control, learn how to recognise the open loops and what action to take to tie those bad boys off once and for all!

Here are 3 easy strategies to close those loops off:

 

Step 1- Brain Dump

Write out all the open loops you currently have going on a piece of paper. Get them all out of your head and stop the torture!

One of the problems with open loops is that they live inside our heads and set up home. Getting them out of that space is the first step to closing the loop. Like a juggler struggling with too many balls, take one away and it starts to get a little easier. Just the act of consciously writing it down, removes a loop from the play reel inside your head. The energy that was used to keep it rolling in there, can now be spent in a more efficient way.

 

Step 2 - Sort the Loops

Generally, you can sort the loops into 3 categories:

  1. Quick but tedious tasks like finally making that doctor’s appointment you’ve been avoiding or booking a flight to visit that friend you’ve not seen in years. Usually, these items account for the greatest number of loops, but they can also be dealt with the most quickly.
  2. Big and time-consuming tasks that typically take a long time to work on and complete, in some cases weeks or months. Want to write a book? Create a digital course? Build a new home? These biggies need to be dealt with separately. Watch this space for a future project planning lesson…
  3. Don’t matter anymore, like that plan you had 5 years ago to learn Chinese. Your energies should now be directed towards more important things. These items can be crossed off the list.

 

Step 3 – Diarise!

Take these categories and put them into an organisational/ productivity system. I use Apple to help me with this, but you can use whatever tools you like. Even pen and paper can do the trick as long as the open loops come out of your head! I am an Apple girl so recommend Notes, Reminders, and Calendar (all free with no need to purchase).

For example, big and time-consuming events go into the Calendar (like a holiday, a launch or a workshop). That way you know your deadlines and can work towards them.

Quick and tedious tasks can go into Reminders by day or week (like paying your tax disk or writing a newsletter) and Notes can be used for the famous to-do list!  This can help you empty all your thoughts and ideas out instead of having them taking away mental energy from what you’re doing in the moment. You can also use Notes for your brain dump if you like.

Breaking down your tasks in this way allows you to transition from mental energy constantly playing the loop over and over to the physical energy of actually getting things done.

 

Top Tip: Two-Minute Rule

Many of the tasks that end up floating in our heads as an open loop are actually quite small. It’s because we don’t do them, that they begin to build up and we allow them more power than they deserve. If a task takes just two minutes to do, don’t write it down on your To-Do list or put it into your reminders. Instead, as Nike say, “Just do it”.

 

Benefits

The act of closing off loops allows you to transfer that energy that was spent fixating on the loop to actually getting things done. 

It allows you proper rest— no more lying awake at night focusing on open loops. A rested mind has more clarity and is able to tackle tasks more efficiently and has more energy and confidence to tackle even the biggest boulders on your task list. 

And as you fly through your To-Do list with ease, you’ll gain an even greater sense of completion and accomplishment.

 

With a clear mind, you may be ready to take your business to the next level, but don't know where to start. With my FREE worksheet,

 

6 Easy Steps to Get More Done in Less Time

 

I give you a step-by-step process to identify the crucial activities you MUST focus on right now to get bigger results in your business (in less time).  Just follow the steps to get more big wins while spending less time and energy to make them happen. Just click or tap the link below and get your free copy today!

 

 

6 Easy Steps to Get More Done in Less Time

  

Committed to your success,

 

Marina x

 

Want to know more about getting your POWER back? 

I want you to know that Transformation is possible. Progress is possible. I’ve implemented these steps in my own life and coached my clients through the process

 

Maybe now really is your time to make a change? Maybe this is that moment for you. If so, then I would like to invite you to book a FREE Kickstart Your Power Session, where we get on a call for 60 minutes and identify what obstacles are stopping you from reaching your goals and work out a plan for overcoming them.

 

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