How to Get In The Zone Right Now And Produce Amazing Work

January 11, 2017

These steps will help you achieve flow.

Right now, I bet there’s something you need to do. Some task that you want to do well, but you are tired or distracted or just can’t get yourself motivated to do it.

It’s time for that to end. You just need to get in the zone, or as the mindfulness community calls it, achieve flow. When you achieve flow, time ceases to exist, your focus intensifies and you produce amazing work.

How is this possible? Can you will yourself into the zone?

Yes. In his brilliant LinkedIn Learning course Mindfulness, Executive Coach John Ullmen explains the four steps necessary for achieving flow, which will empower you to reach your peak performance.

The four steps are:

1. Focus only on the task at hand.

Shut off your phone. Close out your email. To get in the zone, you need to focus solely on what you are supposed to do right now.

“Single tasking, not multitasking,” Ullmen said in his course. “Carve out time and minimize distractions to be fully present with whatever your performance challenge is.”

2. Pick a task that’s highly challenging, but not impossible.

If the task you are looking to achieve is too easy, you’ll get bored. If it is impossible, you’ll become unmotivated, Ullmen said. You want something that’s difficult but doable.

Don’t think you have control over this? You’re wrong. You set the goal of the task, so make that a stretch goal, but something that’s possible if you perform your best.

3. Have a clear definition of success.

Going along with the last point, you need to have a clear definition of success before you start the task to achieve flow. The reason is if the goal is unclear, the mind begins to stray, Ullmen said.

What does that mean in the real world? Perhaps it means a perfect presentation that’ll get the sale or persuade your boss. Or an objectively beautiful design. Or a flawless snippet of code. Regardless of the task, there’s always an outcome worth aspiring to.

4. Have a way to get real-time feedback on your progress.

Here’s a key one – knowing at every moment if you're moving closer to your goal will help you stay in the moment, Ullmen said. This is easier for some tasks, compared to others.

The key is having benchmarks along the way. If you have to write a report, each paragraph completed is another step closer to your goal. If you are building something, the benchmarks are generally more tangible.

Seeing this progress, combined with a clear goal in mind and no distractions, maximizes your ambition, crystallizes your focus and empowers you to reach peak performance.

The joys of achieving flow

Following the four-step process laid out above should help you achieve flow. And that isn’t great solely because you’ll produce better work.

You'll never feel more alive than when we are in these moments of immersion, Ullmen said. And that changes work challenges in your mind from burdens to unique opportunities to achieve the highest levels of presence possible.

Mindful living has been proven to improve your health, reduce stress, strengthen your relationships and boost your career. Click here to watch Ullmen’s class on Mindfulness today.