Many athletes talk about getting into the zone, that place where they perform at their peak, where time seems to slow down and the background fades away. They move effortlessly and everything seems clearer. There is even a sense of euphoria. Runners call this the runner’s high. The “zone” is not just for athletes, though. You could get into the zone at your job or even when working on a home project.
What does it mean getting into the zone? It’s probably different for everyone, but there are some common denominators. When you are in the zone, you are focused with a single-mindedness. Whatever you’re engaged in at that moment has your full attention. Your peripheral vision narrows. You’re not thinking of what you’re going to do next. Your energy and focus is on the task at hand. Your brain and body reshuffles for maximum efficiency. Not a drop of energy is wasted on anything but what you’re currently doing. Your body, mind and soul is in full alignment with your purpose and goal, creating an eclipse of the superfluous in favor of only the essential.
That is getting into the zone!
So how do you get into the zone? Again, there is probably no consensus because we are all wired differently. However, there are common techniques, such as visualizing what the goal of your activity is. The more specific your goal is, the clearer your vision will be. Eliminating multitasking is another way. Switching between several tasks requires the brain and body to switch in accordance. It’s like switching between playing offense and defense. There is lag-time, reorientation and refocusing involved in the transition. You might think you could train yourself to excel at switching between tasks, but it requires energy to do so and you will tire quickly.
At the core of the zone, it is about simplifying and reducing to only what’s necessary. The next time you’re feeling like you are in a zone, pause and take inventory of how you got there. Do this enough and you just might figure out your own formula for getting into the zone. Then maybe you could get there at will and see your productivity soar.