Pages: Close the loop and get things done!-A A +A
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Business Is A Team Sport
WHEN I opened my FB account a few nights ago, one extraordinarily lengthy posting struck me. After reading it I said to myself, “I have to share this with others because its message is so powerful. This can surely help a lot of people!” And, so with the permission of PR consultant and publicist April May Tudtud-Ramos I’m sharing a speech she delivered last Saturday at the Queen City Toastmasters Club. It was a requirement to gain the title of “Advanced Communicator Gold” in Toastmasters International. It’s entitled “Close the loop” and best read aloud.
“Closed another loop today - cleared the clutter off our bedroom, arranged my clothes in the closet, sewed torn seams and spent a relaxing day at home. Thanks to Bunny Pages!
I am sure each one of you here has an idol – you know a person you look up to for inspiration. One of mine is Bunny Pages, the man behind Thirsty, Mooon Café, Lantaw and many others.
A few months ago he visited Richard, my husband, to check out an old Mercedes and he shared an anecdote I will never forget – that in order to move forward in life, you need to fix your open loops.
Bunny got the idea from the book “Ready for Anything” by David Allen. The basic principle is this – clear your mind of distractions and close the open loops.
Open loops are thoughts unresolved that keep popping in your head and distract you
from concentrating on things you need to do at the present. Thoughts like a promise to call a friend, or bills yet unpaid, or projects yet undone. When these open loops accumulate, they become problems and become sources of stress that eventually keep you from moving forward. To close the loops, you ask yourself, “What’s the next step?”
The Mercedes in Richard’s garage has been rotting there for over 25 years. I even felt embarrassed when Bunny was there to see it in its un-glory – draped in dust, filled with cobwebs and rusted.
That open loop was closed when Bunny decided to buy it.
Since then, I became aware of my open loops. There are so many! And that’s what I want to pay forward to you today – be aware of your open loops – and close them!
My biggest loop was taxes. I had open cases that spanned 15 years! It was a headache that remained a headache for such a long time I was even scared of it! So what should I do? Close the loop. How should I do it? Ask “What’s the next step?” True enough I closed the loop. I paid a bundle of penalties, but hey, I saved myself a load of worry! Last Tuesday, I paid my business tax. Honestly, it was not as hard as I thought it would be!
So ask yourself right now, what is my biggest open loop?
I live in my mother-in-law’s house that is 75 years old. Naturally, the house has so much clutter – well, 75 years worth of accumulated memories, so go figure it out. The living room was filled with clutter – so much so that we couldn’t sit on the sofa anymore! It bothered me for ten years! I kept telling myself I’d help remove the clutter but I just couldn’t start!
So what should I do? Close the loop. How? Ask, what’s the next step?
It took me months of taking the next steps. Each day I could spare, I threw away used magazines, shredded old press kits, and dumped accumulated junk in the garbage can.
Now, the sala is spic and span, everything neatly tucked in its rightful place, visible and usable, and a huge sofa I can plunge into every day with a laptop to do my work. Sweet.
How did I do it? I closed the loop. I asked, “What’s the next step?”
Being a mother of two growing boys can be a source of gazillion open loops. I used to suffer the pains of forcing my boys to wake up, eat breakfast, and change for school every morning. Then urge them to take a bath, eat dinner and study every night.
I vowed to make a chart that they can follow, but it me took so long to make the chart, let alone implement it!
So what did I do? I closed the loop. I asked, “What’s the next step?”
Now the chart is there, ably followed and I enjoy lesser to no headaches daily!
The principle is simple really. It is actually the adage “Don’t procrastinate.” “Don’t be lazy.” “Don’t delay.”I know you hate to do it. Sometimes, you are scared to do it. But do it anyway!
So I urge you once again. Close the loop. How? Ask yourself, “What’s the next step? What’s your next step?”
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 29, 2013.