How to get in the zone
Most days work doesn’t flow; it moves in fits and starts between seemingly endless interruptions. You can, however, create conditions that allow you to immerse yourself “in the zone,” fully concentrating and working effectively.
The Organized Executive
1. Block out time.
If your calendar is typically packed, schedule an appointment with yourself. That shows your colleagues that you will be unavailable and allows you to reject other requests for your time.
2. Eliminate interruptions.
Close your door, turn off your email and send calls to voice mail. If that doesn’t stop people from bothering you, schedule time alone in the conference room, work from home or find time before people arrive or after they leave the workplace.
3. Prepare for action.
Before you start working ensure that you have at your fingertips all the materials you will need, such as research or previous years’ budgets. Clear anything that might distract you. Remove other papers from your desk.
4. Develop a ritual.
Train your brain to be ready to concentrate with a set of habits. Pour a certain type of tea. Play a particular type of music quietly in the background. Breathe deeply or stretch just before you begin. Doing the same thing over and over before you sit down to concentrate will allow you to reach that state of focus faster.
— Reprinted with permission from The Organized Executive, www.organizedexecutive.com.