Finding yourself in the zone is something that frequently feels like it just happens naturally. One minute you are starting something, the next two hours have passed, and your work is done. While this feeling of naturally slipping into the zone is not incorrect, it doesn’t give the whole story. You can flip your own switch that will allow you to find your zone.
1. Be Challenged
If the task you are working on is too easy, you will probably not find yourself in the zone. You need to be challenged, give your brain and maybe even your body something to focus all its energy and ability on. However, you don’t want the task to be too challenging as that could lead to burnout if you don’t experience progress.
2. Know Your Goal
Having a clear idea of what you are working towards will give you an outcome that you can picture in your mind’s eye. This will not only be motivating, but it will also allow you to envision how to get to that endpoint.
3. Caffeinate, Strategically
Don’t gulp espresso unendingly! Instead, consider when you will need a boost. Maybe a cup of coffee to get started and a second cup at your midway point. Timing your caffeine consumption with planned breaks can also be helpful.
Drinking water is one of the most critical aspects of your body performing at its peak (mentally and physically). Hydrating allows your body to function correctly, and if you are exerting yourself in any way and consuming caffeine, you need to make sure you are staying hydrated.
5. Make Your Own Cue
Creating your own cue to flip your switch will give your brain and body something to recognize that things are changing, and it’s time to work. Think of this as a pro athlete walking through his or her pre-game routine. Maybe making your morning coffee and sitting down at your desk is your cue, or perhaps you will repeat an affirmation to yourself. No matter what your signal is, you should proceed to start working immediately in order to train your brain and your body.
Training yourself to flip your switch is not a one-time deal. Learning your triggers and cues can take time and patience, just like learning anything new. Take time to practice your cues and learn your triggers, and then reap the benefits of putting yourself in the zone.