One of the things you learn in NLP presentation skills trainings is the value of ‘open loops’ in which a topic is briefly explored and then left hanging while the focus moves on to something else – only to be returned to later.
‘Open loops’ is, in essence, one application of the Zeigarnik Effect which states that unfinished tasks are remembered better that finished ones.
So on a training programme skilful and judicious use of open loops means we can cram a lot more learning into a given amount of time – and achieve better retention of the material. Retention can be increased by as much as 90% in adults according to the Zeigarnik Effect paper which Lithuanian-born Bluma Zeigarnik published in 1927.
The down-side of this phenomenon is that it can be the cause of much stress and emotional unease – something which is explored in the early April issue of the Pegasus NLP Newsletter – because the amount of multi-tasking demanded by our daily lives ensures there are always lots of unfinished issues to prevent us from switching off and enjoying recreation time.