The zone — that flowy, blissful place — is a wonderful place to be. How do you increase the frequency of your experiences there?
1. Eliminate distractions. Yes, when you’re in the zone, you are so focused you become one with your task and nothing can distract you or compete for your attention. But if that’s the state you’re trying to achieve, it can’t hurt to create an environment that helps you get there. So if music distracts you, turn it off. If it helps you, turn it on! Some people like the background hum of a coffee shop, while others don’t. For me, it varies from day-to-day.
Disconnect from all unnecessary technology. Close out Facebook and Twitter. Don’t let your email popup to break the flow of your thoughts. Ditto for a ringing phone.
2. Identify when you get into the zone naturally. What activities do you love so much that you forget about the passing of time? For many people, it involves a physical component, such as running, gardening, or cooking. What activities are similar to those that put you in the zone? Actively look for new things to do that will put you in the flow. There seems to be a connection between keeping your body occupied and freeing your mind, although I know I certainly can lose track of time and space while reading a great novel.
Consciously spend more time in your zone-creating activities, especially when you have a problem to solve or when you’re stressed out. You’ll find that solutions will come to you more easily and that your stress will dissipate.
3. Focus on being in the moment and present to what you’re doing. Anything can be a meditation if you let it. This is the opposite of the popular trend of multitasking, and you’ll find that you’re calmer and more effective at what you’re doing when you’re not trying to do three things at once.
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So, for example, when you’re washing dishes or your car, be present to the washing of each dish, the feel of the soap on your hands, and the warmth of the water. When you’re making your bed, enjoy the feel of the fabric in your hands and the scent of freshly washed sheets. Pick an activity each day and do it mindfully, and soon you’ll find more opportunities to get into the zone.
How do you get into the zone? Please leave your comments below and be sure to sign up for my newsletter mailing list!