The Power of Closing Circles
Photo Credit: YunikoStudio
Raise your hand if this sounds familiar…
You start doing the dishes and the dryer beeps. As you pile your laundry on the bed, your friend calls – she needs a number that’s on a piece of paper that’s in your car. As you’re digging under the passenger’s seat you find that earring you lost. Which goes with that dress you took to the cleaners and forgot to pick up.
40 minutes later you have half-accomplished five things and haven’t fully accomplished anything. Unless you count feeling annoyed and depleted as accomplishing something. (Which, I’m guessing, you don’t.)
This has probably happened to all of us. It’s part of the curse of being constantly connected and trying to balance a full personal, professional, and home life.
Now, I could offer a series of tips about putting your phone in a drawer and turning off social media notifications but I also think it’s important to take responsibility for our actions and talk about the importance of personal focus and completion.
I recently started an amazing practice that has dramatically changed how I deal with the tiny distractions and little obligations of everyday life. It motivates me to complete projects – at home or otherwise – even after I’ve been interrupted. It’s called…
“Closing The Circle.”
What does this mean? Basically, it’s another way of phrasing your mom’s favorite saying:
“finish what you started.” But frankly… I find “Closing the Circle” to be a much more elegant, gentle and motivating way to say and think about the process completion.
You can practice Closing the Circle in nearly any area of your life. On the surface, it might look like putting the wrapping paper away, folding the laundry, clearing off your desk at the end of the day, throwing away those wilting flowers (you know you’re guilty of this too!), or dropping things off at Goodwill.
On a deeper, more heart-centered level it could look like making a decision about something you have been avoiding, having a difficult conversation with a friend, or saying no to an invitation to do something you no longer enjoy.
There are million and a half circles we can open and close in a day, a week, a month, a year, a lifetime – relationships, careers, chores we put off, projects we don’t finish.
The power of closing circles is big. Truly.
Each time we open a circle and neglect to close it, our mind is holding it somewhere. The psychological weight of all those half-finished projects and nagging should-dos add up. Who among us hasn’t felt irritable or depressed after a week of multitasking or a day when we failed to cross anything off our to-do list? When you constantly leave things unfinished, your poor brain never gets a break. It’s continually holding room for “that thing I still need to do.”
You can free up acres of emotional and mental energy
by only opening circles you can close by the end of the day.
Implementing this new way of thinking about my to-do list has been truly transformative in my life and I am so excited to invite you to try it as well.
This week I challenge you to pay more attention to how many circles you have open at one time.
In the comments below I would love to know:
– Does “closing the circle” change the way you relate to completing tasks and/or projects?
– Do you have any tips or tricks of your own to share?
P.S. If “closing circles” is particularly hard for you, you are not alone and I can help. A little lovin and some focused support from me might be just the thing to help increase your productive and get your brain organized. Contact me and we will get you scheduled for a Discovery Session today!