how to stay in the zone
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Why is it so hard to stay “on” and in the zone all week?  You can read all the motivational quotes and blog posts as much as you want, but things hardly go as planned.

Picture this:  you arrive at your desk and you’re already feeling a bit sluggish.  (“Brain fog” is a real phenomenon.)  Instead of getting down to business right away you take just one social media hit before you start any work.  Deep down, you know exactly what you should be doing.

But you’re not doing it.  Fast forward to Wednesday and you’re now drowning in the middle of one of “those weeks” where you’re off your game. The good news is that you can start and finish every week with unstoppable energy and motivation.  

Here are 7 powerful ways to stay energized and in the zone all week:

1. Visualize The Obstacles

Practically every self-improvement book and article ever written talks about the importance of visualizing success.  That’s okay but you’ll get better results if you also visualize the obstacles that could get in the way of a successful week.

What are the occurrences that typically get in the way of you having a great week?  Think about these and write down what you can do to make sure they don’t trip you up too much when they inevitably arise.   

“One who gains strength by overcoming obstacles possesses the only strength which can overcome adversity.” – Albert Schweitzer

2. Forget About Goals

In his biography, Dilbert creator Scott Adams famously said “Goals are for losers.” Successful people instead rely on repeated actions that one can take to accomplish their specific goals.  For example, you’ll never accomplish a goal like “get one new high paying client this week” unless you have a set of repeated actions that, when done, will give give you a great chance of hitting that goal.

The person trying to land a new high-paying client is better off focusing on the repeated action of contacting at least 20 potential clients via social media per day to land that new client. Think about your big goals for the week and the repeated actions you can take that will make success inevitable.

3. Keep A Scorecard

Keeping a scorecard is one of the best ways to stay in the zone all week.  Continuing our above example, if your goal was to contact at least 20 potential clients per day via social media, it’s important that you keep score of how many you actually contact.  You can use a spreadsheet or even just a pen and paper to keep track of this.  The act of keeping score itself will keep you motivated throughout the week.     

4. Play To Your Strengths  

You’ll find it easier to stay in the zone if you focus on activities you have a natural inclination for.  If you’re constantly spending your time on things you hate, you’ll lack energy and motivation.

Ideally, you’ll want to eliminate any activities currently on your plate that are not in line with your natural strengths.  This is not always possible.  If you cannot limit an activity completely, consider outsourcing or automating it it.   

5. Eat Good Fats

Numerous scientific studies show that a diet high in dietary fats like nuts and avocados,

make it easier to maintain energy throughout the day.  Fat has also been shown to increase mental focus.

However, this only works if you limit consumption of carbohydrates, especially sugars and grains.  These will lead to the dreaded “sugar crash” that makes it difficult for you to stay in the zone.

6. Do Less

It’s a myth that ultra-productive people are getting a million things done every week.  Instead, they spend most of their time focusing on the few, high leverage activities that will really move the needle.

Before you begin your work day, identify the three most important things you need to do that day and the one thing that you must do.  By focusing on doing less, you’ll accomplish much much more.

“I continue to be drawn to clarity and simplicity. ‘Less is more’ remains my mantra.” – Stephane Rolland

7. Be Bored

We only have a certain amount of precious mental energy to use throughout the day.  And we’re better off using that mental energy on those few important activities that make all the difference.  Even doing “harmless” things like checking social media, playing on our smartphones and even listening to music can drain our mental resources.

We’re much better off “embracing boredom” as Cal Newport described in his excellent book, ‘Deep Work’. For example, instead of checking your email a during a break, just sit in a comfortable chair or go for a walk.     

Energize Your Next Week 

Combining this strategy and the others described in this article can be transformative for you. Picture this:  next Monday you arrive at your desk and immediately tackle your most important project for the day.

You feel energized and excited as the week progresses. You continue taking focused, consistent action throughout the week.  When obstacles arise (which they surely will), you don’t get discouraged. Instead, you calmly overcome them while maintaining your momentum.  You’re in the zone, and feeling wonderful.

On Friday, when you look back at your scorecard, you marvel about how much you just accomplished.  You just accomplished more in one week than you typically do in an entire month.

By implementing the ideas in this article you can and will make all your dreams come true and reach your highest potential.  So get to it!  An entire new world of productivity and success awaits you.

What are some ways you stay energized and in the zone all week? Leave your thoughts below!

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