Event Loops

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Growing Pains

As your company grows, so does your responsibility and the scope of your work. You start owning more areas and in turn having more meetings and project.

It is not a problem of more. The nature of the work you do changes as well. Rather than owning 4 key initiatives, you are now in charge of leading 4 direct reports with 4 initiatives each. You no longer have the bandwidth to be ‘hands-on’; but must still provide insightful guidance from the birds-eye perspective you have. 

As the wait of the world gets heavier, your performance starts to slip. You start missing meetings and check-ins. You drop the ball on a priority. You forget to check-in with an important customer, respond to an important email, or prepare for an important meeting. 

If you haven’t realized by now, you are experiencing growing pains. The remedy I’d like to share with you today are Event Loops.

… Key in drum roll…

What is an Event Loop?

According to First Round’s article and The Engineer to Manager Transition by David Loftesness, an event loop is:

“a management checklist to run through periodically — every day, week and month… The objective is to ensure you’re making time for the important activities that can get lost in the noise…”

In simple words, it’s a long list of things you don’t want to miss or forget. It could be a list of activities, reminders, check-ins, etc.

How to use Event Loops?

Building an Event Loop is pretty simple. Here’s the recipe-algorithm:

  • Outline the different areas of ownership you’re interested in or care about.
  • Define the periods that you and your business operate on.
  • For each area of ownership, for each period {
  • => Add items, deliverables, and reminders to the event loop. }
  • Repeat until satisfied with the list.
  • Add Event Loop check-ins to your Calendar.

Event Loops and Life!

Event Loops aren’t limited to work activities. They can also be pretty useful to guide your attention in your personal life. Here’s a simple example.

Personal Event Loop Example

Personal Event Loop (Example)

As you can see, Event Loops are pretty flexible. You can define the categories and frequencies that are important to you. As long as the tool is helping you achieve your goals in a simpler and more effective way, everything is up to you.

Why use Event Loops?

1) Event Loops help build a rhythm. They help build a cadence, a drumbeat, to guide the march of your management efforts. Rhythm is a necessary component of building habits and routines. Rhythm is how you ‘operationalize’ your business. 

2) Event Loops help make sure nothing falls through the cracks. Event Loops make items explicit and provide triggers to remember them when the time is right. 

3) Event Loops enable you to switch from Top-of-Mind to Back-Burner. Event loops help you identify things that may be important today, and schedule items for later on. They remind you that while these items may be important, they may not be urgent at the moment; and nudge you to check up on them later.

I encourage you to build Event Loops in both your personal and professional life, iterate, and reflect on what worked and what could be done better. You’ll feel more proactive in tackling your priorities and experience an overwhelming sense of being in-control

That’s it for now. Cheers till next time!


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