Don’t let what’s going on inside your head weigh you down. The older you get, the more you will start to 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. Your focus should always be on 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. Work only on priorities and be intentional. Do that and it’s all good.
The Energy Drain To Overcome
Ah, if only it were that simple 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, suddenly work seems easier and gets done faster. The reason is that you have closed a bunch of “open loops.” Open loops are all those things that have been left undone but not unforgotten. In fact, they play over and over and over in your head. They take up loads of space in your mind and drain you of precious energy. Your brain was created to be a thinking machine. When you use it for storage, essentially hanging on to all those open loops, you’re wasting your energy on non-productive work.
Here are some examples of my own open loops, stored in my head and using up my energy:
- 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!
Improve Your Business; Close The Drain
Open loops drag you down due to the fact that you will literally run out of energy before you can get to what matters. You’re exhausted before you even truly begin! Simply put, to finally become truly productive, you’re going to have to close all of those open loops. 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 once and do it constructively. When you apply one of the D’s, you eliminate the turmoil in your head. I do have one little suggestion to go along with this process. There are some things you would really like to do that are going to be put into the Delay it category. Create a folder so you can write out the details of your idea and store it there. Once it’s down on paper in the file, you will have the comfort of knowing it is safely documented. That is what will relieve your mind of the responsibility of remembering the intricate details that made it such a great idea. Close your loops, get rid of the incompletes, and you will stop draining your energy so you can think creatively and productively!