5 mind tricks to help you get into the work zone and back out again
Via Mashable : When you’re at work and you have important things to do, you want to be able to focus entirely on the tasks at hand — so you can get them done efficiently and effectively, without the starts-and-stops that tend to come when you’re vulnerable to distractions.
When you’re in that productive sweet spot, when you’re fully focused and present, you’re in something some like to call: ‘The work zone.’
It’s a great headspace to be in, of course, but only while you’re at work. Once you’re done for the day, you want to get out of the work zone and enjoy some time for yourself — whether you’re spending it hanging out with friends and family, getting a workout in or just binge watching on your couch.
Here are a few great ways to get into —— and, importantly, back out of — the work zone to help you maintain a healthy work-life balance.
1. Compartmentalize your playlists
As anyone who has experienced the pain of forgetting their headphones for a gym session will attest, music helps you get into all kinds of zones. Identify some songs that will help get you into the work zone — songs that signal to your brain that you’re about to get down to business — and give them a listen while you’re making your morning commute.
Then, queue up some songs for the way home that help you relax and unwind (or get ready to party, if that’s what you’re into). You know — jams that help you transition out of the work zone.
If you’re driving a 2016 Kia Optima, you can use its innovative UVO System to quickly and simply voice-control your song selections without taking your eyes off the road.
2. Schedule some time for mini-breaks
It might feel contradictory, but sometimes when you’re deep in the work zone, the most beneficial thing you can do is get out of it and give your brain a break for a few minutes.
Schedule some time every hour or two to stand up and stretch your legs, and to spend a few minutes doing something you enjoy, like reading an article or two or checking out a YouTube video. (Or you can dance. That’s always a viable option.)
If you give yourself a short break, you’ll regenerate mentally and be more effective when you get back into the work zone. As a bonus, these mini breaks will take a bit of the pressure off, making it easier for you to stop dwelling on your to-do lists when the day is done.
3. Set achievable daily goals
Start the day by choosing just three to five work-related things you want to achieve and you hold yourself accountable to complete them all. By setting a manageable amount of tasks, you’ll avoid the overwhelm that so often prevents us from achieving our goals and there’s every likelihood you’ll tackle the list in record time and find yourself over-achieving as a result.
This method has two-fold benefits: Not only will you stay focused throughout the workday, but you’ll feel accomplished at the end of it all, which will make it easier to leave the work zone when the clock strikes 6pm.
4. Embrace daily rituals
Getting into the habit of performing certain daily rituals just before the beginning and just after the end of your workday will help your body and mind keep work and life separate.
For example, you may want to start your every work day by taking 15 minutes to read and respond to emails that you didn’t check the night before, because you were too busying enjoying time outside the work zone. Then, to end your work day, you might want to meditate for 10 minutes to de-stress and unwind before starting your evening.
5. Use the ‘if and then’ method
It works like this: You tell yourself that if you work hard to complete a certain work-related task, then you’ll feel justified about rewarding yourself with some time away from the desk or office later on.
If you keep in mind the ‘if and then’ you started the day with, you’ll be more likely to concentrate on your task and less likely to be distracted — which will ultimately help you get your work done more efficiently and get you out the door and on your way home at the time you were hoping for.
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