Are You Distracted at Work? Close Those Open Loops!

Are you often distracted at work? Do you interrupt yourself in the middle of an important project because you suddenly remembered something else that you need to do?

In this video series, we’ve been talking about distractions and interruptions. Sometimes those distractions and interruptions are external – they come from someone else. Other times those distractions are internal – they come from our own thoughts or actions.

If you find yourself easily distracted at work, or you interrupt yourself frequently because you remember something else that you need to do, you probably don’t feel confident that you have systems in place to capture all of the things you have to do. Like many of my clients, you are probably trying to keep everything in your head. And let’s face it – with the amount of information that we are all bombarded with every day, it’s impossible to remember everything without a system.

David Allen, author of Getting Things Done, calls this closing all of your open loops. Essentially, an open loop is anything that is not complete that pulls your attention away from what you are working on at the moment. Those open loops can be things that you want to do for yourself, commitments you have made to clients, colleagues or family members.

Our brains are marvelous tools, but as we’ve discussed in my previous video about multi-tasking, our brains are not good at concentrating on two different things at the same time. On top of that, open loops create additional stress on our brains, because we tend to focus on tasks that are incomplete. If you’re using your brainpower to try to remember everything on your to-do list, you won’t have enough left to concentrate on your most important work.

Take the pressure off of your brain and develop systems that help you capture all of your open loops so that you can concentrate without worrying that something will fall through the cracks.

In my next video, we’ll talk about some of those systems.

If you want help creating systems that help you close your open loops, please contact me.