In the Zone

June 4, 2021

Focusing intently on a single thing seems to be pretty good for our resilience – how do you get in the zone?

We love a good Venn diagram – humans are, after all, great at pattern recognition and the ability to see relationships between different concepts is something we tend to find particularly satisfying.  The diagram above – developed from our research into resilience – is something that has struck us as pretty interesting.  Time and again, resilience literature talks about the benefits of being able to turn our attention, wholly and purely, to one single thing.  This is, in a nutshell, the essence of mindfulness and a really important component of a range of meditation techniques (if you need any further convincing as to why you should be meditating, check out this post).  It’s also pretty similar to what Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi called ‘flow’ (more on that here) – “a state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter”.

There’s also overlap with Francesco Cirillo’s Pomodoro technique – an incredibly powerful method of getting stuff done, which involves setting an achievable task and a time limit (generally 25 minutes) and ruthlessly eliminating distractions such as mobile phone alerts, screen pop-ups and co-workers (to clarify, don’t eliminate your co-workers – just let them know you’re not to be disturbed during your Pomodoro!)

And finally, the idea also aligns with a cycling concept known as la volupteWe were introduced to this concept by Australian federal politician and economist Dr Andrew Leigh in a cracking chat we had with him on the Unforgiving60 podcast.  La volupte refers to “the voluptuous pleasure you get from cycling” – Andrew, an amazing distance runner, finds it on the trails, and we reckon you can get it in a whole range of physical pursuits.

The bottom line is that there a bunch of ways to get in ‘the zone’ – and it’s great for your resilience.

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