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We all have times when we need to be in our ‘PRO’ zone. This is where we Get Things Done.
Unlike your Go Zone, which is about running on the spot, your Pro zone actually moves you forward. The mindset is kick ass, rather than kick back.
You cross things off your ‘to do’ list – I mean real things, not those you include just so you can give yourself a pat on the back when you score them off. You know the ones I mean. (This from someone who once put “eat breakfast” on her task list. I kid you not).
Every task has an objective. On a good Pro day, you can get more done than you can in a whole week of faffing around in the Go Zone.
Your Pro Zone is essential, especially in the early days, before your business develops to a point where someone else can take care of everything that doesn’t involve you being in Flow (which I’ll describe tomorrow).
Being able to summon your Pro Zone at any time will bring that day closer.
How often do you berate yourself for being unable to focus?
How many days do you have where you think, “I’ll just check Facebook/Twitter/Ebay/emails before I get down to work”… only to emerge, three hours later, hyper-ventilating and beating yourself up for the amount of time you’ve wasted?
1. Each morning before you get out of bed, take a minute to set an intention. Say it out loud, with vigour and energy. Perhaps something like: “Today I’m alert, full of energy and fully tuned in to my end goal. As soon as my foot touches the floor, I’ll be completely in my Pro Zone.”
2. When you feel yourself faffing around, consciously stop. Close your eyes and take six slow, deep breaths. Now visualise how you want your life to be – what is your end goal?
Make the vision very detailed. What does happiness and success look and feel like? Where are you? What are you doing? How do you look? Who are you with?
Tell yourself firmly that the tasks you are about to do will take you once step closer to making that vision a reality.
Let go of the vision. Now imagine that there’s light all around you and that light is pure, focused energy. With each in-breath, you’re breathing in focused energy. Imagine that your body is filling up with that light. When you can absorb no more light, open your eyes and get on with your tasks.
3. Anchor the feeling of being productive in a physical gesture so that you can summon it whenever you want.
On days when you feel super-focused, sit quietly for a moment. Close your eyes and magnify the feeling of energy and productivity in your mind. Expand it, and at the same time, increase the volume and brightness of that feeling until the energy threatens to burst out of your body.
When the feeling is at its height, touch your thumb and index finger of your left hand together. Direct all of the positive energy you’re feeling into those two fingers for half a minute or so.
Then let it go. Release the energy and allow your fingers to separate.
Take a few deep, slow breaths, then repeat the exercise. Connect strongly with the feeling of being productive and focused. Imagine there’s a knob marked ‘intensity’ in your mind and dial it up as far as it will go. Feel that energy soar. when it’s at its most intense, touch the same two fingers together. Keep the connection for a further half minute. Then let it go and allow your mind to go blank.
Repeat this anchoring cycle one more time.
Congratulations, you’ve now installed an anchor in the gesture of touching your thumb and your index finger together.
Several times a day for the next few days, connect those two fingers and imagine feeling super-focused and productive. This is known as recalling your anchor. Practise this whenever you remember. You should soon be able to conjure up the feeling and accompanying surge of energy and focus at will.
The next time you’re dithering in your Go Zone, try touching your thumb to your index finger and pay attention to the amazing effect. If you’ve installed your anchor with sufficient energy and imagination, you should feel a surge of focus and determination.
Your anchor will benefit from topping up so the next time you’re feeling totally fired up in your Pro Zone, refresh your achor by repeating the installing exercise to strengthen it.
Anchoring also makes use of two other mindset techniques that I often use with my clients: mindfulness (paying attention to the present moment) and taking your thoughts off autopilot and bringing them into conscious awareness. I’ll deal with both of those in future posts.
Above all, keep in mind that your Pro Zone is a means to an end. It’s about moving forward to that you can spend more and more of your time in your Flow Zone, which is the fifth and last of your Functional Zones. We’ll come on to that one next.
In the meantime, what methods do you use to maintain focus when you need to get things done?
Leave a comment and let me know.