Create an Ideal Work Environment to Get a Lot Done
You know the phrase “being in the zone”? It is mostly used for athletes to describe the optimal state of consciousness where they feel and preform their best. From the research that I have done, I have found that getting into the zone isn’t just for athletes and is arguably the most perfect state to work from.
Have you ever experienced where one minute you’ve finished lunch and start to work on a project, the next minute its 7pm and you have no idea where the time went? It is the mental state where we are so focused and engaged with what we are doing, we produce our greatest results and where peak performance happens.
Unfortunately, most coaches have a hard time getting there because they are so distracted by the emails coming in, by social media, and by all of the interruptions they get.
I know that I can’t just show up and expect it to happen. It certainly isn’t going to happen if I am jumping from one task to the next every 3 minutes because I am so easily distracted. Ultimately, there is a way to get a lot of work done in a shorter amount of time, but to do it, I need to be intentional and strategic about creating an environment where I can create total focus void of distractions.
I’m going to recommend some ways you can get in the work zone to get more quality work done faster, and stay there for as long as possible. As I am going through this, think about your ideal work set up, and if there is maybe something you can change.
Being intentional and strategic for me started with my energy. I don’t know about you, but I am never as productive or have great focus when I am tired and hungry. You know when you tired when your head is on your hands or you’re slumped in your chair vs being up and total engaged in what you are doing. I try to go to bed and get up at the same time, I eat a good protein filled breakfast, I drink 2 liters of water before I leave the house, I pack a healthy lunch and snacks so I don’t have to run and pick up something quick, and try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise to rev up my energy for the day.
When is my energy best
Emails to my top recruits get done first and are worked on in the morning during a time when I have found my energy and focus is really good and I get interrupted the least.
Get up and move
Before I sit down to write, I get up and move around a little just to get the blood flowing. I go to the bathroom or run some errands or whatever. I find that not only does it give me a little jolt of energy, I also have a lot of creative thoughts pop in my head while I am up moving and away from my desk.
Get everything I need first
I try and make sure I have all the info I need in one folder. I make sure I have water and my hot chocolate/coffee drink.
Listen to music
Before I get started, I turn on some music. I have found for me that I get more creative and get into an email flow better when I have music playing in the background vs when it is quiet.
I get my best work done either in my office early in the morning or at home after I have dropped the kids off at daycare.
I schedule a set hour or hour and a half almost every day to do nothing but recruiting emails. I shut my door so I don’t get interrupted. I turn off my auto indicator on Outlook so I am not distracted by new emails coming in, I don’t stop to do other tasks that I remember to do (I write them down on my Master to To-Do list so I get it out of my head but don’t forget to do it), and I turn down the volume on my phone so I don’t hear when a new text message or phone call may come in. Recruiting emails, that’s it.
I try to eliminate as many distractions as I can so I can concentrate all my attention on exactly one thing and one thing only. To reach the state of flow at work you need to be totally focused at your task and not distracted every 3 minutes.
Getting to the point where I am even doing all of this has taken me a few years’ worth of trial and error. The set-up doesn’t take me that long anymore because I have been doing it for so long now. Each step individually helped save some time here and there. When I do all of these things at once, it is like recruiting email nirvana. I love it. I spend a lot less time on my email but I can get so many more emails out. I am more in control of the recruiting process. I am not as overwhelmed anymore. Of course, I still have bad days with it. But adding more structure to the set-up process of doing recruiting emails, really has been saved a lot of time for me.