One of the best feelings us, humans can experience is when we enter into that timeless current of flow and get into our zone, find our groove, and then surprise ourselves with killer accomplishments. I shutter just thinking about it. This is when we are officially turned on…when our secret potential is stimulated and we get to access that ingenious part of our mind, the part that is usually bombarded by busyness. This zone is where our real creative delicacies are hiding out.
Now with all of this being said, these days, with the incessant raids of distractions firing at us left, right, and center – finding that zone we’re talking about here is almost like finding a leprechaun – and worst yet, trying to hold on to it while it’s squirming it’s way back to the enchanted rat-race forest…is tough, to say the least…but I promise, it is possible.
The forgotten place of your zone is actually always here and always accessible to you – no matter how impossible that sounds to your ego-mind right now. Your zone patiently waits for you to come back to it. And sometimes we just need a little friendly nudge to guide our return. Here are 5 steps that promote focus, help you stay focused, and arouse that steamy super-performance zone.
- Gear up your mind. Mentally pre-commit to the project or exercise. Make the decision that today is the day, this hour is the hour. Block it off, protect the time, and affirm “today I am going to do it”. Don’t pressure yourself with unrealistic expectations, just know that you are going to start and do your best, step by step. You might want to read our last blog on procrastination if you are stuck at this step.
- Physically prepare yourself ahead of time with a full tummy, a hydrated body, and a productive space without distractions. We are most certainly products of our environment, so leverage the same time, same place advantage to assist in your zoning-in process. Make sure you have a pen and paper on hand (much safer than an obnoxious dinging phone) so you can jot down and unload any to-dos as they pop into your head, this way you can let them go as they arise and get back to business.
Diet also significantly impacts the ability to zone-in. Obviously eating light, energizing food will give you that added punch to sharpen your cognitive functioning much more than if you pig out on a greasy burger, fries and pop right before getting started.
- Be on the clock. Allot yourself x much time to work at it. Zone’s have a funny intensity about them that respond well to a healthy time-crunch. It gives you that extra oomph you need to be all in – a subconscious cracking of the whip to push you through the psychological portal and keep you there. Tick tock. No time for shenanigans.
- Check out of life. Hurl into your project head first. Warm up your focus by ignoring spontaneous distractions. Stabilize your mind by resisting impulses. Let the related task-at-hand entirely consume you. Become utterly present with whatever you are doing and oblivious to everything else, including and especially your phone. Put your blinders on and keep your eye on the prize. Once you get going, don’t stop. Let the wave of momentum take you away.
You might think of this step as if you are walking out through a very rocky beach in order to swim in clear open waters. Your attention will be rough at
first,until you reach the zone where you can mentally dive right in and be completely submersed.
- Engage your focus muscle so you don’t wash up. Secure your attention tightly into the zoning-in process and allow the disrupting chatter of your ego to drown out into the background. The ego-mind generates those familiar thoughts like “ok I probably did enough today”, “I think I’ll just go shopping instead”, “I’ll finish this tomorrow”, “maybe I’ll just check my Instagram account quickly”, “I don’t feel like doing this anymore today”….QUIET EGO! And get back to work. The ego is known to act out right before a major
break through, so hang in there and tread on.
If you want to cultivate more “thought control” we have a bunch of great meditations that help quiet and tame your ego-mind on our free Ego-Less app!
- Finally, make it a habit. The more you go into your zone the closer you are to your zone. Make laser-like focus a part of your daily routine. Set time aside to mentally work out your attention and touch base with your zone regularly. The more you do it, the easier it is.
Good luck to you and hopefully you find these steps as useful as I have as you dive into your zone and unearth some of those inner treasures!