-By Emile De Bruin Head coach at Meta4mance
What is the optimal state that you need to be in to maximise your performance? Well ideally it is when you are able to direct all your energy and focus on to a single subject.
“One thing at a time”
It’s a fallacy that people are capable of multi-tasking. We are not capable of doing more than one thing at a time. We are however fantastic switch-taskers, meaning that we can jump from one thought or activity to another very quickly.
The peak of productivity and in turn performance is achieved when we are clear and focused on the objective AND ONLY ON THE OBJECTIVE!
So energy is being directed into one and only one task.
“Just do it” really means “don’t do anything else.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a psychologist came up with the concept of getting into a state of “flow”.
Have you ever completed a physical activity or a project and afterwards thought about “how things were just happening?” Or maybe you don’t really even remember how you did something successful? Maybe you surprised yourself with being able to answer a very difficult question and thought ” where did that come from?” That is “flow.”
The “zone”or “flow” is where you are very naturally able to take action without conscious thought getting in the way. There are no interruptions, no inner conflict and no judgements. Switch to “Do mode” to get more stuff done in less time.
- Set up a routine and eliminate distractions and interruptions. Research indicates that it takes 10 to 30 minutes to get into the “zone”. So a routine is important because it forces you to focus on one thing at a time. An athlete warming up for their event should go through very specific routines to “tick the boxes” as they go along. By performing one task at a time you become monoideal. If you know that there may be some distractions or break states then do this. Allocate a MTG( Maximum Time Given) policy. So if you are doing something in your routine and someone else asks you for something you could choose to attack them with the ferocity of T-Rex on steroids. Or if you prefer not to come across as an #**$#@% you could give that person a certain amount of your time ,say 30 seconds or 1minute, after that you carry on with your routine. The first priority is to not get distracted so use a strategy where you can eliminate this. Use ear phones or turn off the internet while you are busy with that project so that incoming emails or noticifications don’t distract you
- Eliminate inner conflict. Procrastination is an example of inner conflict. Two internal control systems are fighting over your resources (your productivity system is conflicting with your recovery system- yes that lazy part of your behaviour does serve a positive purpose). Why don’t you explore the conflict before you commit to “half-assing” it? What you need to remember here is that you only have a limited reserve of will power. When will power is gone you first need to fill up your stocks with basic physiological requirements(food and exercise). So avoid wasting your will power on the conflict.
- Use the clock. We know that it’s takes up to 30minutes to get into the “zone”. Why not set your timer for 25minutes. In that time try to get us much of your task done as possible. If after the alarm goes off and you are not productive then you can give yourself the right to go do something else. This will hardly ever be the case.
- Use Future Pacing Visualisation . Imagine the end result of what you intend achieving. Focus on the fine details of this vision to make it significant and so that you can properly associate with it. Then see yourself going through the steps required to achieving that goal. Become a master at this and your productivity and performance will sky-rocket.
Meditation is a fantastic method to use to become monoideal. By learning to focus only on your breathing you can apply your energy appropriately.
We use ground breaking and proven methodology at Meta4mance to teach people how to get into a monoideal state and how to focus their attention onto getting into a resourceful state. By mastering these skills you can overcome performance anxiety and learn to take your performance to the next level. It’s been amazing to see how athletes, business people, public speakers, parents and others have lived the benefit by applying these skills.
Rule your mind or it will rule you