Ever notice how when you’re in the zone, you can accomplish anything? But how do you turn on that “flow” like a button?
Here are 3 Secrets of Success to Stay “In the Zone”
Nothing unblocks the brain better than syncing brain waves with music. When I need to focus, I put on baroque music.
Frederic Patenaude writes how Baroque music, such as that composed by Bach, Handel or Telemann, creates an atmosphere of focus that leads your brain into deep concentration in the alpha brain wave state. Learning, memorizing, or reading to this music is highly effective.
On the flip side of cultivating more quiet focused “yin energy”, if you’ve got more yang energy, try dance music. When I’m feeling scattered, I play Eye of the Tiger or something to get me super pumped and clear out that yang energy. I have a dance playlist I bust out if need be!
Scientifically, getting blood and oxygen flowing to your brain better circulates any blocked toxins or energy in your system. It allow your nervous system to flip from a fight or flight sympathetic mode to the “rest and digest” parasympathetic mode where you more easily focus and get stuff done!
Action: Create a dance playlist that will get you pumped up and ready to go! If that occurs as hard, then simply pick a few of your favorite songs. On my google play, I have a radio station for baroque and a playlist for dance music. Now with online stations like Google Play, Pandora, or Spotify–you can create a playlist in seconds.
2. Morning Ritual
As your brain wakes up from sleeping, the first (and last) 30 minutes of your day have a more powerful impact than any other time of the day. Why? Because by default, your brain generally wakes up in the alpha wave state–the optimum state for focus, relaxation, and creativity.
I have tested this concept for years purposefully starting off with what I know I shouldn’t like work email, facebook feeds, and responding to app notifications. Then I compare those days with other days where I start with exercise, reading spiritual or business books, or mindful eating. My ritual varies over the weeks, but typically go through 30 day sprints of different rituals depending on what my body and soul needs.
The result of my testing? I’ve discovered what works best is a minimum of 1 hour of spiritual time with myself first before I eat or work. I’m the only person I’ll ever end up always being with as long as I live, so it’s important to make time for myself first and cultivate my relationship with my soul (or true self, source, higher power, god, universe–whatever name fits best for you!)
Action: Test what works best for you! Track it each day for at least 1 week, but ideally 3-4 weeks to see your patterns. Then notice how whatever morning activity you picked, plays out on your performance and productivity for the rest of the day.
Warning! Watch out for 2 night time temptations that will serious impact your morning ritual. (Remember, your morning ritual really begins at night so be sure to create your bedtime ritual as well.) Those 2 nighttime temptations are:
- Screen time: I have the program Flux installed on all my computers that naturally mimics the sun in my computer screen, taking away blue light (that keeps your brain active instead of slowing down to alpha waves with the fall of nighttime). So if I’m accidentally on my laptop later at night, I’m still able to get sleep without any blue light trying to trick my brain to staying up.
- Eating: It takes 2 hours for your tummy to digest food. I always make sure to eat any last snacks or food at least 2 hours prior to bedtime
If I simply follow good habits for screen time and eating before my bedtime between 9:30 pm – 9:45 pm, I pop up with lots of energy between 5:30 am – 6am. That’s right, no coffee, no alarm clock. Just natural energy like a child.
HOWEVER, if I miss that window by a mere 15 minutes, I’m lucky to bounce out of bed by 6:15am and usually find myself groggy. Especially as you age, creating CONSISTENT rituals and routines becomes more and more critical to having your morning ritual work for you. Not to mention optimizing your health as you age.
3. Moving Meditation
I don’t know about you, but I cannot SIT STILL long enough to meditate. Yes, I’ve attended silent retreats where you sit still meditating for 4 hours at 4am or been in silence for several days, and I can adapt and learn that. However, coming out of a retreat, it’s simply not practical to sit for hours each day in my normal living.
Luckily, I found Body and Brain Yoga–a yoga practice based on the Tao–a 4000 year old philosophy grounded in harmonizing yin and yang energy of oneself with nature.
Basically, I’ve coined the term “moving meditations” as mindful exercises designed to circulate your chi or life energy, as well as your blood and oxygen which naturally clears out toxins, blocks, and pain in your body.
I highly recommend this awesome free app called “1 minute change” that gives you 1 minute exercises you can do each hour to break up the monotony your body faces staring at a screen or sitting. The difference with these exercises versus regular ones is that it’s mindful instead of results focused. So success is not based on what you accomplish but how you feel at the end. Is your brain is in a more alpha state that’s calm, focused, and creative? In other words–are you now “in the zone?”
I’ve given myself various challenges: 10 mindful push-ups, 1000 intestinals (kind of like crunches but focused on activating your gut or core with heat by focusing your mind there), 1 minute exercises per hour for 21 days in a row, etc. Find what works for you.
You can stop “accomplishing” exercises (still ego based) and instead allow each 1 minute exercise to nourish your soul. Instead of treating my body like a machine to take care of that are separate from my mind, these exercises allow you to mindfully integrate your brain with your body as one, resulting in a much more calm and present state.
Next time you need to focus in your business, especially when you really don’t feel like it–you really can turn on being “in the zone” like a button. Just experiment with these 3 Secrets to Success to Staying In the Zone: music, morning ritual, or moving meditation. Track your patterns and discover what will work best for you!
Stay tuned for next week when I reveal more on creating your Mojo Checklist–a surefire tool to keep you on track with accomplishing what’s aligned with your greater vision for yourself and the world WHILE boosting your ability to stay in the zone.
Higher levels of performance for anyone?
Anna S. Choi helps conscious businesses and social entrepreneurs attract more clients through her signature program The Client Accelerator for Conscious Entrepreneurs. She takes clients from scattered marketing approaches to an intentional strategic marketing plan. If you’re interested in gaining focus, clarity, accountability in a community of conscious entrepreneurs, please watch this free training video on attracting clients or join her email list.
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