Close the Loops to Open up More Energy & Control
If I were to start telling you a story (even if you didn't really care about my story) and then I didn't finish it…
Did you know your brain would start searching furiously for the end of the story? Yes, even if you don't care.
Go on, I know you’ve binge watched Gossip girl and you hate it so much but you must. know. what. happens. to. Blair. this. time… so you watch one more episode until your eyes bulge inwards and you go crosseyed. Damn you, Netflix.
Storytellers use this little trick all the time just to keep you on the edge of your seat, right at the end of TV episodes - so you “tune in next time”. It’s a natural phenomenon of the subconscious mind to want to close loops.
And it happens unconsciously with our physical space too.
An open loop is the pile of junk on your desk. It’s 4 baskets full of laundry you’re dressing yourself out of because you haven't had time to put it al away yet. It’s a sink full of dishes from last nights lasagne and sometimes, a crusty bowl from this mornings porridge… oh, go on - it’s OK!
But did you know you’re draining your energy with these open loops? Yes! It’s actually good for your health and happiness to clean up after yourself.
Holy cleaning lady - mum was right.
In today’s video, I’m sharing the simple practise I do, and how I make it consistent, that has saved me hours every week and probably thousands in therapy too - in five minute chunks at a time.
I’ve shared this with so many people and even though it’s obvious and simple, it’s a game-changer.
Find out here (and get a squiz of my new office too!)
Can’t Listen? Here’s the Transcript:
Hey, Welcome Back!
It's often said that your physical world is a representation of your inner world and something I believe very strongly as an ex-interior architect is that your physical space affects you emotionally, mentally, and spiritually as well.
Our physical space holds energy and so, if we are not conscious of our physical space what we bring into it, how we're treating it, and what we do moment to moment within it then we can become color and things can build up and it can be a buildup of negative energy as well.
I did a post on this a couple of years ago and it was called "Zen in your Den" and I'd really like to extend that idea today and share with you a couple of tips to help you with Zen in your Den.
But not only that but also to help you to complete the cycle and find more rhythm in your daily activities which is going to help you relax more at night as in switch off after work and also you set yourself up with an awesome ritual in the morning or a great start to the day.
It's really simple.
Now, if I was to tell you a story, say last night I was super stressed and I couldn't work out why and I just couldn't sleep and then I didn't actually tell you the rest of the story. Your unconscious mind is going to be ticking over wondering what the heck happened. Why couldn't she sleep. What was going on even if you don’t really care.
Your unconscious mind wants to solve the problems and close loops and it works in your physical and your subconscious as well.
Don’t worry, I'll take the rest of the stories, it’s pretty basic. But if you stop opening loops in your life and not closing them. You can start to feel scattered, your energy gets drawn all over the place and it can be really draining on you as well especially when it comes to physical clutter.
For example, you go to work and you make a mess on your desk and then you're so busy at work and just want to get out of there and you think,
"Ahh I'll just clean it up tomorrow" ...and then you go home and you cook dinner and you're too tired to clean up so you leave the dishes on the sink then you go to bed and you wake up and you're feeling a little bit "muuhh" and you've rush to work and then you get there and you just feel crap because your desk is all dirty and it builds up over time and eventually you become drained and frustrated and everything's dusty and it's heaps of clutter and you have to do a massive cleanup and it takes a lot of effort and a lot of time when really you could've just done a little bit of better clean up to keep yourself going and keep it sustainable.
Now, this is such a simple tip but seriously the way that I do it has saved my emotional life on so many levels because things just feel sustainable and consistent over time.
I have this distinction called closing the loop. Now, for example when you start an activity, you open a loop. When you finish it and you clean up after you have completed it, you close the loop by doing so.
I'll give you an example, right behind me is a random pile of crap on my desk. So, its super simple. Give yourself two minutes in every day.
One key is to have a place for everything and everything in its place.
You're gone to the pile of crap and you just quickly clear it up. You doesn’t have to deal with everything in that moment. You don't have to go to Inbox Zero but might have a space where you put things that are unpaid and a space where you can actually file things.
You might have a bookshelf for all your books, a place for all your pencils, a place to put your teacups and just generally clean things up so that you can go through the next phase and your desk is cleared.
So, here we go...And there you have it!
Simple, quick, effective, very very fast but it's going to allow me to come into my office tomorrow and everything is fresh and I can sit down and start with a clear mind instead of bombarding up against all the promises of yesterday that haven't been fulfilled.
It's like starting your day by looking at social media or reading emails before you've even had a moment to yourself which is a whole lot of blog post in it of itself right? This is just about you having so little ritual and cleaning up up yourself.
Now, how do you make this practical? How do you make it fit into your day?... And more importantly, how do we make it joyful?
So, I have a tip for you. Reward yourself. Now, it doesn't have to be a bunch of flowers or something amazing every single day but it could just be that all of the things you do in a day that make you feel amazing or that make you feel good or that you know little treats or break times, place them after you've actually done something that helps you stay consistent.
For example, you might want to get your daily coffee and so you make sure that in the morning after breakfast, your bed is made, your breakfast is clean up or you've eaten breakfast and then your reward can mean to go out and get your morning coffee before work.
You're going to do it anyway but it feels so nice to have it as a reward for taking care of yourself previously.
It might be that you have a really nice evening ritual you take a bath, moisturize your whole body, you listen to some nice music, do some meditation, have some yoga and it might just speed it instead of doing that and leaving the whole pile of crap in the kitchen to clean up.
You make sure that dinner is complete and everything is cleaned up and put away before you going to start your evening ritual or it might be that before you go home or before you finish work every single day. Your reward is finishing work and before you do it, you spend five minutes just clearing up your desk and making a quick plan for the next day and then you go out, have a glass of wine, do whatever you do after work and really enjoy it as the reward for doing what you want to do.
Now, I think it's really important to mention at this point. Please do not beat yourself up. If you feel like your house looks like a bomb hit it because you've got kids and you're thinking, "That is so unrealistic Haley, it's literally impossible and by the way that pile of crap, you ain’t seen a pile of crap because that is very small and that does not compare to the pile of crap that is in my house. I hear you and what I'm saying is, done is better than perfect, off the desk is better than all over the desk. A little bit is better than nothing at all.
So, do your best and start where you are. Because even though it would be really nice to have everything spick and span and perfect that might not be your reality at this stage in your life. That's Okay but if you take a little bit of time to Zen your space and complete each cycle when you do it it's going to make a huge difference to your emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual life and you might have kids running around, you might be taking care of a lot of people. You might have a phone that rings off the hook and you might have a really high-pressured job that you have to be on call or on the ball all the time and this is going to help you so much.
So, spend two to five minutes at the end of each task just doing a quick tidy if you can't complete the full cycle and then devote yourself to a little bit of timing once a month doing a bit of a deeper de-clutter.
So, everything does have a place and you can get that space really really easily. Now this is super simple and it's a tiny shift in activity that over time it builds up as much spaciousness and so much consistent joy in your life because you're essentially closing the loop at the end of the day on all the activities that you started.
So, you're closing the loop on work by cleaning up your work for the day after dinner closing the loop on dinner and it allows you to move into your evening feeling complete and clear, it helps with sleep.
So, I have a question for you. What are you going to add as a reward to doing the things you already do or what are you going to now start doing that you're going to reward yourself for with the things yourself with so that you can have more consistent energy and feel clean and clear and keep closing the cycles of your day and if you do it.
What are the tips do you have? How does it make you feel? I'd love to hear about it in the comments.
If you like this video please like it, subscribe to my channel, share it along with anyone who you think could really use some advice in closing the loops and I thank you so much for watching. I'll see you next week. Bye!
Stay Curious, Stay Open. You are the Omega.