The Art of Closure
A Sixty-Word SZEN Story:
Bill looked around the room. Papers were piled high on the desk, files were on the floor and a few random sheets of paper found their way to the carpet, silently resting, waiting for their fate to be revealed. Bill was feeling panicky. The volume of paperwork had stymied his progress. He felt choked, but knew he had to act.
Ever been buried with work or a long list of things to do and just felt immobilized with angst, not knowing where to start? Me neither, not since I’ve learned the art of closure. Practicing closure can help maintain balance and curb the insanity that comes with jobs and projects and “things to do” that never seem to get completed – You know, those things where the status is always “pending” some type of action or response or something else that has to happen first and they just don’t seem to end. They linger like the pile in Bill’s office and they also occupy brain cells and space in our memory banks.
Closure can help. It’s a sense of finality that removes something from our list that doesn’t return. It’s the end of a project, the reconciliation of an agreement or the purging of the irrelevant and unnecessary from our psyche. It’s freedom to move on to something new. It’s the key to the cycle of life. Closure is popular as a New Year’s resolution because it cleans up the loose ends and let’s us move on. Here are a few ideas on how to integrate the art of closure into our routine:
– Know what’s pending. Make a list of ALL that needs to done. Don’t skip anything.
– Separate the list into things for us to do for ourselves and things to do for all others.
– On the list for all others, pick the easiest and get them done and cross them off the list – Anything we say we’ll do, we should probably see it through.
– On the list that is for us, get out the red pencil and cross off everything that is pending an action by another because waiting for someone else to do something first is like waiting and worrying about the bus coming. Assume it will and get it off the list for now. Then delete everything that doesn’t really matter and that no one will know if you do it or not. You can always add things back later but for now enjoy the peace of a short and more manageable list.
Closure creates a feeling of accomplishment. It adds the period that we all need to get on to the next thought. Now you can officially cross the reading of the Book of Szen off your list for this week. Doesn’t that feel good?
Szenippet: No thought is ever complete until it comes to life.