Do you lay awake thinking “I must remember to…”? Do you wake up in the middle of the night thinking about all the things you need to do? Do you have moments in the shower when these lists come to you? These are all manifestations of energy loops.
We all have things we want or need to do, yet for whatever reason; we just haven’t managed to get around to them yet. From arranging a check-up with your doctor or dentist, to calling a friend, consolidating your superannuation, paying a bill or even exercising. Energy loops are created when we put off or don’t finish doing these things.
The human brain is an amazing thing. It receives billions of stimuli every day from our five senses. It filters out most of it and only brings the things we tell it are important to our conscious thoughts. When we don’t do something we plan to do, we store it as a memory in our subconscious.
Keeping memories takes effort by your brain. Some memories, by their nature are imprinted deeply and do not need much effort to keep. Others that are less important take more effort to keep. Some memories keep coming to the surface so we are less likely to forget them. (Have you put the bins out?) The cumulate effect of so many energy loops drains our brain’s energy, takes up valuable space in our memory and increases anxiety.
Can you remember the last time you felt a sense of accomplishment or satisfaction because you finished something you have been putting off? That moment when you think “Well, I’m glad that’s done!” and let out a big sigh of relief. In that moment, you may also feel more relaxed, as your body is expressing your mind’s release from holding onto that item on your To Do list. Closing that energy loop frees a little part of your mind to do something else.
This free part of your brain will now move onto another open energy loop, until there are not enough loops to occupy your mind. Here’s where the cool stuff can happen. When your mind is not cluttered with energy loops, it is now open to contemplate other, more important things. This is where you allow yourself to dream and to create plans that turn these dreams into reality.
Now that you know what energy loops are, and why it is better to close them as quickly as you can, how can you close them faster? Here are a couple of strategies I use:
Not multiple lists, just one list. Write down all the things you want to do this week. Not lifetime goals (that’s for another time); the things you really need or want to do THIS week. Now, every day, choose between three and six of the items on your list and DO THEM. Commit yourself to breaking through the procrastination of putting it off and stop justifying your reasons why they have not happened before.
Every time you think of something you need to do, add it to your list. Writing it down will get transfer the memory from your brain to the paper (or phone, or whatever device you make your list on). If you often wake up in the middle of the night, keep the list next to your bed. When you do this, you will sleep better because you subconsciously know you are not going to forget about whatever you need to do.
When you think of something you need to do, take action straight away instead of adding it to the list of open energy loops. Make the booking (leave a message if it’s out of hours). Call the person or send them an email or text. Put the time and date in your diary or phone. As Nike says… Just Do It.
It does not go away until it’s done. If you are unable to do something straight away, DO NOT make a mental note of it. Write it on a post-it note or add it to your daily list until you have taken that first action to complete it.
When you tick things off your To Do list, you are reducing the number of energy loops you have. You will feel more relaxed and less anxious, and be more successful in achieving your goals without these subconscious distractions.
Paull Francis is a small business and life coach based in Adelaide. If this article has been helpful for you, please pass it on. Paull can be found on LinkedIn and Facebook or you can email him at [email protected]