Down to Business: Getting in the zone

Andy Singer - Speaking

Many of us have heard the term “getting in the zone.” Getting in the zone is not just important for athletes; it’s just as important for business leaders and managers. We realize that our performance and productivity is greatly enhanced when in the zone, but what exactly does getting in the zone mean? More importantly, is it possible to get in the zone when we want or need to, or does it only happen at random moments? Let’s take a closer look at this phenomenon and see how we can use it to enhance business performance.

When we get in the zone we feel exceptionally productive and time seems to disappear. We feel much more in control and performance is enhanced. We are focused and at our best. Getting in the zone is really just a state of mind, a rather positive state. I often experience being in the zone when I’m wind surfing and the wind is strong and I am up on a plane. The time goes by in an instant and my mind is clear of everything other than moment, the wind and the water. Sometimes you will have your best ideas at a moment like this because of how clear your mind is of all the thoughts that normally clutter your mind and produce stress. For us writers, we can experience periods where the next sentence, paragraph or page evades us and at other times we are in the zone and the pages just keep flowing, one after the other. Achieving this positive state of mind is essential to ensure maximum performance. The secret is to understand what prevents us from getting in the zone. Certainly, unresolved situations and challenges can keep you from getting in the zone. It’s important to find methods to get closure on these matters.

By getting past these challenges it is much easier to get in the zone and reap the benefits of this state of mind. One way to resolve these matters is to write down the situation that is bothering or distracting you. Then write down a description of what a successful outcome would be. Then write down the next physical action that would get you closer to the solution. Often you will find that taking this concrete step toward resolution is all you need to feel better about the situation. This will clear your mind and make getting in the zone easier.

Don’t let the zone elude you, just because you are not currently there. Once you have removed any issues and distractions, some other methods that may assist with you getting in the zone when required include finding a view that soothes you, listening to certain sounds, or certain types of music or repeating a phrase you have developed to get you in the proper state of mind.

For me, I find being near water really helps. A view of the water and some wind blowing in the trees or wind chimes is often all I need to relax and get into the zone. Time of day can also impact your ability to feel comfortable and productive. The other factor that can be indispensable for getting in the zone is passion. If we feel passionate about what we are going to work on, getting in the zone is that much more achievable. Learn what helps you get in the zone and place yourself into that environment when you need to be at your best and seek maximum performance.

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