Thursdays are tip days at SimpleProductivity blog.
I am using my time when I would have been working to catch up on tasks around the house. The first thing I noticed is that the house had gotten seriously cluttered. What I have discovered, though, is that it is not with garbage, or stuff that needs to be given away: the clutter in the house is caused by stuff that hasn’t been put away.
A few weeks ago I read a blog article (sorry, can’t find the link) about how clutter accumulation is really about open loops. I wanted to take a look at that concept in this article.
What Is An Open Loop?
Open loops, from Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity , is “anything pulling at your attention that doesn’t belong where it is, the way that it is.” That is the ideal definition of clutter! Something that doesn’t belong where it is.
It seems to me that my family has gotten in the habit of creating open loops as we are going through daily life. For example, if I make a peanut butter sandwich, but leave the peanut butter and the bread on the counter, and the dirty knife in the sink (rather than the dishwasher), that is three open loops. All from a simple sandwich!
Closing The Loops
Another way to look at it is that open loops, a.k.a clutter, is created because we don’t complete one action before going onto the next. If I take the time to replace things when I am done, I stop the clutter and close the loop.