To maximize productivity it’s important to think carefully about the sequence in which you line up your tasks on any given day. Doing the right task first and the right task last can potentially save you hours – especially if they rely on other external factors.
An example of something that you should definitely try to take care of each day is the ‘open loop’. I will examine just what precisely this term represents in terms of business and productivity and I’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.’ It often involves other people and can 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 often job that you’ve been putting off because you have to do but you really don’t want to it. 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 don’t go away and end up making you less productive in other areas. It’s hard to maximize productivity when you have all those open-loops at the back of your mind. 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 to Help Maximize Productivity
If you have been putting off these kinds of tasks, focus on getting them out the way early. That way you can focus your attention 100% on more important tasks and maximize productivity.
At the same time 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. You can always change your mind later on. Be bold in your decisions and resolve every problem as it comes up where possible.