In Addition to outsourcing some task or finding partners to take care of them, there are probably specific tasks that you should stop doing. Period.

We as a whole, realize that there are many tasks and activities that need to be done. What a significant number of us don’t understand is that others can be abandoned completely without consequence. You probably have many habits that take up time, however, produce no return. You might need to keep some of them, however, you are most likely unaware of a considerable lot of them and therefore don’t know how much time you are wasting away.

I suggest that you keep a journal of all of your activities for a week or two. You will be flabbergasted at what number of things you are doing that really don’t add to the business. Some of these can be done by others, but some should not be finished.

The concept of Open Loops is applicable here. Activities have a cycle: Start, Change, Stop. You initiate a task, something gets accomplished, and you come to an end. When you complete a cycle, another begins. The problem lies in too many open loops that are not closed in a timely fashion, if they are closed at all. Each Open Loop is like an item on your “to do” list and anything still open stays on the list. If your “to do” list gets unwieldy, you are going to be overwhelmed. I am willing to bet that you have tasks from more than a year ago not yet done. Any Open Loop adds to your stress level. Reorganizing your files and boxes in your attic may be an Open Loop. One solution might be to throw them out rather than sort through them meticulously. (Some de-clutter experts argue that other than “must save” information such as financial statements or personal information, you should throw out anything you haven’t consulted in a year or two.) The existence of the Internet makes such a practice more workable, as much is available online that couldn’t be found a few years ago.

Think of Open Loop as unfinished business that you should take care of as soon as you can. The longer these open loops stay open, the more your mind will be filled with “things I need to do.” De-cluttering your mind will allow for clearer thinking and better decision-making. Your brain has a limited capacity to focus, and confusion is the enemy of clarity.

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