When you’re extraordinarily focused for a short period of time, you are in “the zone.”
No Interruption Policy
Getting in the zone at work means no phone calls, no texts, no tweets, no meetings, no dialog with anybody, no checking your friends’ Facebook posts, no interruptions – period , except for an occasional sip of Red Bull.
We’ve all been there. You know it works. Getting in the zone empowers you to focus with laser-like accuracy on a specific task, problem or issue that requires your utmost attention. Everything else is tuned out. There is just one mission: get your task done.
It’s hard to get in the zone for long periods at a time. It’s like swimming underwater. You need to come up for air and have a change of pace.
All too often, we never allow ourselves to actually get in the zone. There is always an interruption. We use the interruption as an excuse not to focus. At the end of the day, we haven’t accomplished nearly as much as we could have. It doesn’t have to be like this. You can squeeze out so much more juice out of each day with a small shift in your mindset.
Pretend You’re Going on Vacation
Think about the work day before you leave for an extended vacation. You are so focused on making sure that everything you are working on has either been completed or your colleagues know the next steps to address in your absence. You are able to get in the zone. You take a shorter lunch break and avoid all distractions so you can wrap up in time and enjoy your vacation. Getting in the zone is forced upon you so you ensure that everything on your “to do” is knocked out.
What if you planned in advance to get in the zone as if you were about to go on vacation the next day? How much more could you accomplish at the office tomorrow if your mind was dead set on completing a series of tasks that are important. Tune out the noise, the “triviata.” Only hone in on your mission and make it happen.
This magical day of accomplishment usually won’t happen by itself. You need to mark it on yourcalendar. I often take an imagination day just to allow myself to get in the zone about business strategy. Other days, I schedule in 2-3 hour blocks of time when my phone is on do-not-disturb and my door is closed.
I can’t do this all of the time. When I do, this technique of pretending I’m going on vacation and allocating concentrated time to focus gives me a boost of energy followed by a sense of accomplishment.
Tell me about ways you focus to accomplish your tasks and goals.