We deal with endless notifications, calls and alerts which interrupt our train of thought constantly, while stress and anxiety reduce our ability to focus, thus impacting our productivity. It really feels that in this world of never-ending noise, the art of getting into your zone is becoming harder to master.
Here are a few methods that have helped me get in my zone, becoming not only happier and healthier, but more productive too.
1. Simplify your workspace
Minimise clutter and keep your workspace clean and free of distractions. Remove distractions as much as you can- place your phone in the other room, turn off the internet if you aren’t using it for work, etc. Be honest with yourself- if something is a major distraction for you, it has to go.
2. Love your workspace
Make sure you’re working in a place that’s comfortable to be in- a comfortable chair, a nice fresh scent. You should want to enjoy the space you’re spending an extended period of time in. If it’s hot and stuffy, open a window for some fresh air. If it’s cold, keep warm with a blanket and a coffee or tea. If you’re uncomfortable in a space, that discomfort and unease will always be at the back of your mind.
3. Zero in on your senses
This is a method typically used to alleviate anxiety and put one into a mindful state. Do this by focusing on the smallest of sounds such as the tapping on your keyboard or the cars outside, or by observing the way your body feels and moves. By being in the present moment, you can clear your mind and achieve laser-sharp focus.
If you learn about mindfulness you can achieve it in everything you do, not just during times of relaxation. Activities such as meditation and yoga exercise your mind's ability to become void of worry, thought and fear by zeroing in on the present moment. But, you can harness this ability and get to a point where you’re doing it at any time, and in any situation- including during stressful times when you’ll need it most.
5. Try it sober
You may think that using a stimulant such as caffeine or other substance to zone in is a good idea. Don’t get me wrong, these can be effective, however that effect quickly wears off and then you’re back to square one or even worse, it becomes the fuel that you can’t live without. The best times of focus I’ve achieved have been when I wasn’t drinking caffeine or sugary drinks. If your body is free of unhealthy substances, your mind tends to follow suit and make you feel lighter and more present for a longer period of time.
You know yourself best, and you know what typically gets in your way when it comes to your focus. Making a genuine effort to overcome those mental hurdles will pay off, you just have to be as motivated to improve your internal being as you are for everything else. Our thoughts are the one thing we can’t escape from, so we might as well learn to work with them and not against them.
We like getting into our zone at the office with some of our favourite tunes. Check out our Chill Switch playlist on Spotify for some melodic inspiration!