Open loops are projects, problems and general things to do that haven’t been ticked off.
As you go through life, open loops will present themselves to you whether you like it or not. Some might be opened by others, some by yourself.
When several loops open at the same time, or when an unwanted open loop is created that seems hard to close, our natural reaction is to shut down and turn a blind eye.
I’ve been fearful myself to open a much dreaded envelope. And believe me when I say that not opening that envelope and forgetting about it… it came back to haunt me tenfold.
Shutting down doesn’t make us a failure. It’s in our nature.
The problem is that not dealing with open loops seldom makes them go away. And they’ll stack up quickly. So we’ll have to actively fight the natural reaction to set them aside.
Face your open loops in the moment, daunting as they may seem.
Open loops that take less than 10 minutes to close, close them right away.
If the open loop is bigger than that (most are), park them if the deadline allows you to – but not longer than a week. If an open loop takes more than a week to close, break it down into smaller, more manageable chunks.
Write them all down in a list on your phone as soon as they come in and tackle them later in the week when you have more time to deal with it.
For me, this list is ordered and I know exactly when I’ll attempt to close these loops and in which order.
It enables me to juggle many projects at the same time, while keeping a clear mind. It enables me to fight one battle at the time with full focus.
Blow out the candle before it turns into a forest fire.
Close them loops.