How would you describe your level of productivity?
Is it like a beautiful, serene lake that’s calm and constant in appearance, or it is like the waves of the ocean – at times tumultuous and other times calm? Do you have bursts of productivity then days go by when you lose your motivation to be productive?
While constancy is preferred and recommended, ebbs and flows are not all bad. In fact, getting ‘in the flow’ and getting ‘in the zone’ are two things that are highly desirable to achieve specific goals.
When to Get In the Zone
You’ve got a task that you need to complete. It’s something that you really want to do, and it contains enough challenge to keep you engaged and on-task without feeling anxious or doubting your ability. What’s the best way to get it done?
Get yourself into the zone and you’ll find that you’ll complete it more quickly than you thought possible. So how do you get into the zone?
But first, what does it mean to get in the zone?
Getting “in the zone” or “in the flow” are terms generally used in psychology to depict being in a powerful state of productivity…being in a purposeful state of focus.
Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi defines “being in the zone” as “flow” — a state of heightened focus and blissful immersion.
For our purposes, it’s being in a heightened state of productivity for a period of time where you eliminate all distractions in order to achieve a goal you’ve set for yourself. And really, there are advantages to being In this heightened state for only specific periods of time, otherwise, you would actually be placing your body under a lot of stress.
If you have something huge to accomplish, something that’s really important to you and could make a difference in your life and the life of others around you, you may want to get into the productivity flow by applying the points mentioned below.
6 Simple Steps to Get In the Zone
There are six simple steps that can get you in the zone or in the flow.
Step 1: Time – make sure that you give yourself enough time to complete the task. For that, you’ll need the right environment.
Step 2: Environment – you will need a calm, comfortable, and distraction-free environment to work in. Make sure that you are wearing comfortable and suitable clothing, have been to the bathroom, had a snack and drink, and that the temperature is neither too hot nor too cold.
Step 3: Focus on the Process – while you are working toward an end result (goal), it is essential that you focus on the process itself. By doing this you are able to remove all expectations and restrictive thought patterns so that you can release your creativity and problem-solving skills.
Step 4: Engage Your Emotions – to be in the zone you need to be alert and fully engaged because it’s a positive state of being. Negative emotions will only hamper your ability to get into and remain within the flow state, thus diminishing your level of productivity.
Step 5: Action – maintain a state of action and keep the momentum going forward. It’s important to not stop and think as this will prevent negative emotions such as self-doubt creeping in. You need to remain in a state of immersion in the activity without focusing on your ego.
Step 6: Practice – “Practice makes perfect” as the saying goes. So by practicing getting into the zone regularly you will create your own set of rituals and cues that will help you get into the flow state. Over time these will become second nature and your body will respond by entering the zone more quickly and easily.
Regular practice will help you create a unique set of cues and rituals to make the process simpler. Imagine if you were to immerse yourself and get into the flow of what you’re working on without internal or external barriers how much, at least once per week how much your productivity would increase!