If you wish to be at the very top of your game as a leader or in life, you must learn to close cycles. The law applies whether your game is your marriage, your career, your life, or your office space. Learn what cycles have to do with feeling overwhelmed.
A cycle starts with intent, is followed by action, and is closed by fulfilling that intention. I intend to eat broccoli with dinner, for instance, so I wash a mid-sized bowl of broccoli, cook it, serve it and, eventually, close the cycle by meeting my intention to consume broccoli.
The example, of course, is a cycle within a more extensive process of eating a meal, and that is within a yet more comprehensive series of maintaining health. We call a cycle “open” the moment the purpose exists. It stays open until the intention is finally fulfilled. Certainly, each of us has many processes open at any minute in time.
Every part of our lives is composed of cycles that stay open from milliseconds to a lifetime. And every open process consumes energy because we are hard-wired to need to meet our intentions.
An individual who is encountering the feeling of overwhelmedness has numerous open cycles sapping her or his energy. In contrast, those at the pinnacle of their game feel excited and energized about life because they have far less open cycles.
To evade overwhelm or subdue it if you are already feeling overwhelmed, you can take some simple steps that I wish to explore here.
- Start by making a list of different open cycles you could imagine. Include more minor, insignificant aims, as well as pressing, important ones. When I first started this process, I was shocked to see the length of my list. No wonder I felt overwhelmed.
- Trying to keep a list in your mind is another enormous energy-eating open cycle, so make your list on the note section of your cell phone, or just jot it down.
- Keep an eye on your list, pick a task, complete it, and just strike it off. Repeat this task, and you will be amazed to see several different things you are completing, that is, the number of cycles you are closing.
- If you didn’t have the list, you would’ve ended your day with “another wasted day!” which is why the checklist is required.
An additional way to complete a cycle is to strike off the intent (cancel the intention). You may notice some intentions you set many months ago that you haven’t yet achieved or withdrawn. Canceling or withdrawing a task can release a lot of energy.
You can also try to postpone what you cannot complete right away. Focus on postdating your intention to buy a new car until March 2022. Carefully dating it closes the cycle of a year, releasing extra energy and freeing you from overwhelming feelings.
You can also delegate it. Just give the task to someone else. Delegation is an art that everyone must master to succeed as a leader.
People who are leading a healthy, successful, and happy life have become masters at postdating, delegating, canceling, and simply getting the work done.