The Essential Secret for ‘Getting in the Zone’ Every Day

You love it when you’re in the zone, in the groove, kicking butt! It’s that occasional state of total focus you go to when you are really getting things done.

Don’t you wish you could be this productive all the time? Well, there’s a way to make it happen.

Quick background: A Hungarian psychology professor named Csíkszentmihályi called it “flow,” a blissful state of complete absorption with the activity at hand.

Top research says it takes 15 minutes to achieve flow, meaning once you’ve focused on something for 15 minutes, you’re on your way to a higher level of productivity. This is more than just doing something – you need a heightened awareness, complete absorption.

The trick is to find flow for yourself everyday. You can do it. Here’s how:

  • Choose your most productive hours, based on work schedule, energy levels, and distractions
  • Schedule a set time in your planner for one or two projects during this “flow time”
  • Set a 15-minute timer where you must stay completely focused
  • Shut your door
  • Close your Outlook / email program
  • Leave the internet browser closed
  • Silence your smartphone and place in a drawer
  • If possible, find solitude: library, park, closet, or empty office or meeting room

You must get yourself to place of deep focus. How often do you really do this? No distractions, no multitasking, no email notifications – if you are interrupted it takes another 15 minutes to start again. The flow clock resets.

Try it out today. Set yourself up for achieving flow and enjoy a day of crossing important tasks off your to-do list.

Remember: flow starts with having a good day planner to set your schedule. Shop Day-Timer’s latest collection of productivity-enhancing planners.

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[photo by demoshelinski]

Day-Timer Spokesperson Jeff Doubek can be reached at

One thought on “The Essential Secret for ‘Getting in the Zone’ Every Day

  1. OMG I love my day-time diary and I am so totally a follower and she STRESSES that you can do anything for 15 minutes and here you are saying the same thing. As a Flybaby we use timers all the time and routines with them to get things done. Daytimer and should get together. The world would be a less stressed place if you did.

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