Martine Ellis
@martine
Deep Questions with Cal Newport cover image

Ep. 265: Big Ideas for Deeper Living

Deep Questions with Cal Newport

The Impact of Open Loops on Work Stress

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Open loops, obligations or commitments that are not captured in a trusted system, generate stress and anxiety at work. Keeping track of tasks solely in the mind uses up brain resources and creates a constant background feeling of anxiety. Having multiple open loops without a reliable system to track them contributes to the overall stress and unsustainability of work. The solution is to establish a trusted system for capturing and organizing tasks, ensuring that everything committed to is recorded and can be easily accessed. While the effectiveness of this approach in the modern world of constant inbox checking and interruptions may be limited, the key insight remains that reducing stress involves avoiding the mental burden of keeping track of tasks and instead relying on robust systems of full capture.

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