You are on page 1of 10

PREMIUM

NEWSLETTERS
Volume 03
Issue 02
2
PREMIUM NEWSLETTERS: VOLUME 03, ISSUE 02
OPEN LOOPS
It’s Thanh here and I want to get really personal with this newsletter. Let me ask
you this: have you ever experienced a bad breakup? Can you remember those days
where all you could think about was your ex and how much you missed that person?
Recently I’ve experienced this myself. I was dating this wonderful girl for a while and
everything was great…till one day where everything suddenly ended. I couldn’t sleep
for days. I tried to bury my bad emotions under my pillow. Whenever I was writing a
blog post, I had to stop every five minutes and think about “what if this happened or
that happened…then it would have never happened”.
I’m sure you’ve experienced something very similar. When you go through such a
period, it’s hard to focus and get things done. Your quality of work sufers. Your mind
is always wandering. All you can think is “what if…”. You’re not being completely
yourself…and the list goes on and on.
During that period, I couldn’t get stuf done. The simplest things seemed impossible
to me. Procrastination became my best friend and the writing I did wasn’t as good I
as I know it could be.
Eventually I got over it once I realized that this was just another open loop I needed
to address. I’m not trying to turn this newsletter into a monologue about bad
breakups. The point I want to illustrate is that open loops - the unresolved thoughts
that are pre-occupy our mind and prevent us from focusing on what we need to do
- rob us from our focus and energy to get stuf done. Do you have any open loops
right now that are preventing you from getting stuf done?
The bad breakup is an extreme example, but
open loops come in many shapes and forms.
It’s really anything that makes you constantly
think about other things that prevent you
from being fully engaged at work. Here are
some other examples of open loops:
• That thought whether you locked the door
or not on the way out.
• The guilt you’re feeling about that junk food you ate earlier.

Open loops come in many
shapes and forms. It’s really
anything that makes you
constantly think about other
things that prevent you from
being fully engaged at work.

3
PREMIUM NEWSLETTERS: VOLUME 03, ISSUE 02
• A question you’ve been pondering for days but haven’t answered yet.
• A promise you made to someone but haven’t fulfilled yet.
• That appointment you vaguely remember for next week.
• That hunger you’re feeling but trying to ignore.
• A conflict in your relationship that might jeopardize everything.
And the list goes on. All these little monsters keep pulling your focus away from you
really need to do. It robs your energy and distracts you, and oftentimes you don’t
consciously realize it.
No matter how big or small the open loop - you want to close them as soon as
possible. There are quick fixes like meditation or drinking 14 glasses of whiskey (not
recommended), but it doesn’t fix the root cause. You want to bring closure to them
so you can move forward and be fully engaged at work. When the mind is pre-
occupied, there is no chance that you’ll get “in the zone” and that you can deliver
the highest quality of work.
CLOSING OPEN LOOPS
Closing open loops is not always easy. Some loops are harder to close than others.
Addressing your hunger is easy. Addressing a bad breakup… much harder. But if all
you can think about is your ex, then deep down inside you know that you need to
get closure before you can move on and be productive again.
Just remember this - the harder it is to address the open loop, the more important
it is for you to close it and to move on.
For the little open loops, capturing will usually address it. With capturing I mean
writing down somewhere what you’re thinking so you can revisit it at some other
time. When you externalize your thoughts you free up your mind so it can do more
important things (thinking, decision making, analyzing, etc).
For example, if I’m constantly thinking about how I need to buy concert tickets
before tomorrow, I’ll make a calendar appointment for myself to remind me. Or if
I’m always thinking about how much that Ferrari is, I’ll add a task to my to do list so
I can research it later.
Now these are relatively easy, but how do you handle something more extreme like
4
PREMIUM NEWSLETTERS: VOLUME 03, ISSUE 02
a bad breakup or a family incident?
One word: journaling.
Grab a journal somewhere and start writing down what you’re feeling. Write down all
the things you want to express and get of your chest. Address all the issues in your
journal before you actually take action on them. This therapeutic process will help
you get all those thoughts out of your head and bring closure.
Once you have journaled your way out of that open loop, sometimes you need to
face the issue head-on with a person. This can be tough sometimes, but you have to
do it. You want to have that closure so you can move on.
If that means talking to your ex and resolving things (whether or not you get back
together is another issue) or having a talk with your co-worker about an incident -
do it. You’ll be glad you did and then you can happily move on and be productive
again. That’s what I did and I recommend you do the same.
Before we part ways, I want to ask you: do you have any open loops in your life? I
really want to make sure that you’re aware of them and that you resolve them as
soon as possible.
Here are some action steps to help you get started:
1. Take out 10 minutes and think about your top 5 open loops in your life. What’s
constantly pre-occupying your mind and focus right now? Write it down.
2. For each open loop, write down action steps on how you’re going to resolve
them. Plan it out. Journal if you want to.
3. Now go out and actually do it. Remember, the more painful it is to do it, the
more important it is that you bring closure.
Thanks for reading. I don’t usually like to make our newsletters this personal, so I
really appreciate it that you read this far. I’ll see you in our next newsletter.
-Thanh
5

A BRIEF MESSAGE FOR CUSTOMERS
Thank you for purchasing our Premium Newsletters.
If it wasn’t 100% clear on the product page, Premium Newsletters are past issues of
our newsletters which are no longer publicly available.
We release new newsletters for FREE on a monthly basis to our subscribers (by
buying this product you should already be subscribed!). If you have accidentaly
unsubscribed or want to be sure, you can sign up again through the main Asian
Efciency site at www.asianefciency.com/newsletters.
We also have a blog about all-things productivity, time management and personal
technology at www.asianefciency.com/blog - be sure to read it!
- Aaron Lynn
Bangkok, Thailand
... AND FOR THE PIRATES
If you’ve managed to get a hold of this without buying it... good for you!
We hope that you get great value and information out of it, and do consider buying
other Premium Newsletters at store.asianefciency.com/premium-newsletters.
Please note that we like to reward AE Premium customers and people who have
bought this Premium Newsletter with goodies and surprises.
6

PREMIUM NEWSLETTERS
Published by Asian Efciency Limited
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
Copyright © 2013 Asian Efciency Limited
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a
retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical,
photocopying, recording, scanning or otherwise, except as permitted under the Hong
Kong Copyright Ordinance, without the prior written permission of the Publisher.
Requests to the Publisher for permission should be addressed to Asian Efciency
Limited at legal@asianefciency.com.
TRADEMARKS
All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
Asian Efciency, Asian Efciency Premium, the A+E Logo, related trade dress and
intellectual property are trademarks of Asian Efciency Limited, and may not be
used without written permission.
7

LIMITATION OF LIABILITY/DISCLAIMER OF
WARRANTY
While the publisher and authors have used their best eforts in preparing this
work, they make no representations or warranties with respect to the accuracy or
completeness of the contents of this work and specifically disclaim all warranties,
including without limitation warranties of fitness for particular purpose. No warranty
may be created or extended by sales representatives, sales or promotional materials.
The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for every situation.
This work is sold with the understanding that the publisher and authors are not
engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If professional
assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be
sought. Neither the publisher nor the author shall be liable for damages arising
therefrom. Any organizations or websites referred to in this work as a citation
and/or a potential source of further information does not mean that the author
or publisher endorses the information the organization or website may provide or
recommendations it may make. Readers should be aware that Internet websites
listed in this work may have changed or disappeared between when this work was
written and when it is read.
Also from AE Premium:
BETTER SLEEP
Better Sleep. More Productivity.
The audio guide to getting more
sleep, falling asleep faster and feeling
refreshed every morning. Click here
for more info.
OMNIFOCUS
PREMIUM POSTS
OmniFocus. Simplified.
The fast and practical guide to use
OmniFocus the right and efective
way. Click here for more info.
BETTER
SLEEP
Z
Z
Z
OMNIFOCUS
PREMIUM
POSTS
THE AE PRIMER
Our Best Content. All-in-one.
We’ve collected our best and most
popular content, updated it and put it
into one handy volume. Click here for
more information.
ASIAN EFFICIENCY
PRIMER
For more premium products, visit:
store.asianefciency.com