Today I have 10 Hacks for you to get in the zone and focus better. If you’re like me, when you sit down to work you are ready to get things done, but it seems to take 20 – 30 minutes to get into the zone so that you’re effectively doing your best work. I have been practicing working on getting into the zone more quickly so I can get more done. These 10 hacks will hopefully help you do this.
It is so challenging these days to focus. There are many distractions that come at us, so I have been working on testing out these hacks to help get in the zone. By that, I mean how I turn everything off and do the work. My goal is that within 10 minutes I can be in the zone. My team and I call it the black hole. We are working, focused, and cannot talk.
1. To Get in the Zone, Start with God
When you sit down to work, have a moment of prayer. Ask Him to help you focus, be intentional, and remove all the extra thoughts away. Pray for distractions to be gone, that your mind will be cleansed and your heart be purified. That He would set your intention. That you would be spirit forward during the work time. That you would be proactive and effective. And thank Him for the blessing of focus.
Make that connection with God every morning (I’m a huge advocate for morning time with God), but right before you are getting to work. It’s super important to connect with Him. He always comes first, even before your work.
2. Cultivate and Practice a Positive Mindset
This is speaking life into the work you do, verbiage like I get to. With my son we have been practicing I can’t do “blank” yet.
For me, as we have scaled the business, we’ve dealt with a lot of ‘Negative Nancys’. It is very hard to please everyone. It’s easy to get myself into a negative mindset where I question why I am doing this. I need to bring myself back when I need to focus and get the work done. My thoughts are I’m excited that I have enough people that someone is angry about something. Or I’m so excited that I get to do this hard thing. I am so happy that I believe in this course enough to make it again. I’m so glad that we have people to sell to, and we can re-figure these offers even though it’s uncomfortable.
It’s the restructuring of your perspective to bring yourself back to a positive mindset. If you aren’t in a positive headspace, it is difficult to show up and be focused on your work.
3. You Need to Create the Right Mood
This is a tactical one. Wherever you sit and work, you need to create a workspace that cultivates a positive energy and brings you happiness. Tactically this can look like decluttering the area and cleaning it. I put on an essential oil diffuser, and open the windows to my office (even work outside if you can – fresh air is stimulating). Make sure you have water or if you are me, a cup of coffee.
What is the work mood you need to set so that you don’t need to get up again? I’ve noticed that the second I need to get up, I break my focus. So I invested in a heated coffee cup that keeps my cup heated for 90 minutes, I get the temperature right in the room, I deal with the clutter before I sit down and I make sure my dog is set.
4. Prioritze You Daily Tasks
This goes with this episode (586) where I talk about what your daily tasks are. Before you can get focused and do something, do you know what you are doing? Do you know what you are doing in your business every day?
The mentioned episode is where I unpack this and how to do this. If you don’t know what you are supposed to be doing, there is no way to stay focused on what truly matters. You’ll find yourself on social media, on your phone, wandering around reheating your coffee 37 times. If you don’t know what to do, you don’t do anything well.
5. Breaks are Crucial
When you are deep in the zone, it’s so hard to break away. But if you are finding that your shoulders are starting to hurt, your eyes are starting to droop and you are not thinking clearly, it’s time for a break. You don’t even need to leave the room (to avoid anyone else seeing you). Just do some jumping jacks. Stand up, do a couple of push-ups, anything to get the blood flow going.
For me, I have noticed that once an hour is plenty. But it depends on you. For you, it may be longer. But don’t forget that your best work means your best you.
6. Limit Distractions
I could talk forever about this. Switch off your notifications. Why do you have notifications on your phone? Your phone is enough of a distraction. How are you supposed to get anything done with it going off all the time? If someone desperately needs you, they will call you.
Set boundaries with family. If you are going to do something and you have 2 hours to do it, you need to tell them and be clear with your communication. Especially if you are going to stay in the same house as them. If you can, get out of the house to work. I’m blessed to have an office at home. But when I didn’t have one, I had to tell my family that I had work to do and to not come into my space.
If you’re a mom, this comes with a lot of prioritization on your part. We shouldn’t be resentful of little kids who interrupt and need something. This might look like working when your spouse is home, getting help from family members or investing in daycare for a couple of hours a week. We have to be honest with ourselves about the season we are in and be mindful of how we create a distraction-free zone especially if we have littles. There is always a solution to every problem.
Bonus Limiting Distraction Tip
One more limiting distraction tip. When you sit down to work on something, and you know what you are working on – do you need 70 tabs open on your computer? All you need open is the thing you are doing right now. Trust yourself enough to know that if something is that important, you will go back to it later. The tabs will be calling out to you to click which will hurt your productivity and get you out of the zone.
7. Use Music to Stimulate Focus
This has been a new hack that I am using and it has been so helpful. For so many years, I worked in silence. What I found is that playing some focus music helps me get in the zone. I work 50% faster than I used to. So if you have Spotify or Apple Music, you can type in focus music. You could also use light worship music. Sometimes I type in fun, happy, focus music. If you don’t have a paid music subscription, just go to YouTube.
8. Stay Hydrated and Nourished
If you are not hydrated and fed before you sit down, you will not be able to focus. Your brain will not have the fuel that it needs to be performing at the optimal level. So before you sit down to a work block, make yourself a protein shake (my personal favorite), or grab a protein bar and drink a full 8 – 12 ounces of water.
Eating well and staying hydrated not only has helped me focus well, but my mood is better. Working hangry is not a good idea.
9. Stay Accountable
You need to surround yourself with a couple of people that support what you’re doing in your business. Share your top 3 target goals. Every week, we have 3 main things that everyone on the team is focusing on. I share the top 3 with not only my team, but I also share it with my peer-led mastermind group. It gives you the extra level of accountability.
If you don’t have anyone you can share with, get into our community. I’ve got all the amazing faith-led podcasters in my community. It’s a great place if you want to meet some new friends or get some accountability partners.
If you are enrolled in any of my courses, start in the student community. Or if you are in Podcast to Profit, you part of an amazing community there. And if you’re not, then come and join our free group, and meet some new friends there. It’s a great way to achieve your objectives because somebody else knows what you are supposed to be doing.
You also need to let people know that you are about to do something. For example, I have 3 podcast episodes to record. I am going into the black hole, I’ll see you in a couple of hours. Not only have you told people what you are going to do, but when you come out of that, you better be done with the thing you said you were gonna do.
10. Reward Yourself
Sometimes we are all work and no play. Work is never done, there is always a new level of success and another goal. Being an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart. Sometimes we just need to reward ourselves for the things that we are doing, because what we are doing is hard. It is fun and fulfilling being an entrepreneur, but it is difficult at times.
When you finish a high-priority project, create a course, and finally launch your podcast reward yourself with something enjoyable and rejuvenating. Your reward doesn’t have to be anything costly (though it can be). Find something that brings you heaps of joy. For me, it’s a mountain bike ride. Once in a while, it is a good massage or a nice dinner out with my husband. And my absolute favorite is a girls’ weekend with my friends somewhere other than my house. We don’t have enough girl time in our 30s, 40s, and 50s.
It’s Time to Get in the Zone
There you have my 10 hacks to help you increase focus. These are things that I have been personally doing and testing and I am seeing a lot of return. I hope that these bless you and help you get super deep into the zone so that you can power out that work.
Remember a strong connection with God is the most important. It needs to be the first and foremost thing you do every single day. And before you start and definitely before every work block you enter. So you can make sure you are yoked with Him and that He is guiding your steps, your thoughts, your voice, and your work.
If you want to join me in the Stefanie Gass School, whether you have not started a business, whether you want to start a podcast or you want to make money from your podcast by creating a course and learning how to sell, head to www.stefaniegass.com/school to see all the different ways we can work together.
The more I get to know my students and the more I participate in masterminds with my peers the more I’m starting to comprehend the overarching problem and prevalence of one, perfectionism, and two, overthinking.
Perfectionism keeps us in a place of constant consumption and learning. Redoing things over and over and thinking that we can’t move forward until they measure up to some elusive standard.
Why do I believe we need a morning routine? I believe you must have a morning routine because it helps you get into the mindset of productivity and purpose.
When we get right with God we: Renew Our Minds
Get Into the Word
Are Able to Live Our Life Guided by the Holy Spirit
The difference in how my day goes when I do my morning routine and when I don’t is night and day.