When it comes to getting the most done possible in a given day, it’s often important to think carefully about the sequence in which you line up your jobs. Doing the right task first and the right task last can potentially save you hours – especially if they rely on other external factors.
One example of something that you should definitely get out of the way early on is the ‘open loop’. Here we will examine just what precisely this term represents in terms of business and productivity and we’ll discuss why it’s so important to complete these kinds of jobs early on.
What is an Open Loop?
An open loop is anything that you’ve started on that has been left ‘unresolved’ and often that involves other people or a potentially stressful/anxiety-inducing exchange. A good example of this for instance would be calling back a client to discuss future work or perhaps having a difficult conversation with a service provider who has let you down. Maybe it’s negotiating a better price on some supplies.
In other words, this is that job that you’ve been putting off that you have to do but you really don’t want to. And in fact, open loops even exist in our private lives and include things like calling back a friend to tell them we have to reject their invitation, or calling the landlord to tell them the shower isn’t heating up.
Our natural tendency with these sorts of tasks is to put them off and hope they go away. Of course they do not and in fact they will also end up making you less productive in other areas due to the fact that you won’t be able to concentrate as much on other tasks. Having these sorts of open loops ‘hanging over you’ can prevent you from getting on with your other jobs properly.
How to Prevent Open Loops
If you have been putting off these kinds of tasks, then in future you should focus on getting them out the way early so that you can focus your attention 100% on more important tasks. At the same time though, you can also take steps to try and prevent these open loops from emerging in the first place. You might even choose to dedicate a day or half a day just to closing these loops.
One way to do this is to make sure that you resolve everything as soon as the opportunity comes up. Don’t defer decisions – make them quickly and you can always change your mind later on. Be bold in your decisions and resolve every problem as it comes up where possible.