Listen to any high profile athlete speak after a big performance and they will almost always talk about being in the zone. Often they don’t even react in the moment because their focus is so dialled in and it can take even longer for them to realise the magnitude of their achievements.

Think of David Beckham and that free-kick against Greece to send England through to the 2002 World Cup.

After several poor set-pieces earlier in the game when it really mattered, when he really had to deliver, Beckham hooked the ball up and over the wall, sending the players, the stadium, and the country into euphoria.

At that moment for Beckham, it was simple, he had one focus and one goal, to put the ball in the net, and he did. He was in the zone.

But how do you transfer that to business and to your wider life in general?

How do you stay focussed and in the zone when you can seem so far away and so far removed from the big picture?

In today’s episode, I am going to tell you how.

Staying in the zone can mean different things to different people.

Actors, musicians and athletes often talk about being in the zone as being in a state of one’s subconscious self.

Everything just seems to go right, everything just flows naturally and it almost seems as though time has slowed down as they feel and sense every movement.

Other people speak about being in the zone when they are intently focussed on one particular task and everything just seems to go right.

It could be a writer sitting down to type or an artist picking up a brush and once again, everything just naturally happens.

Entrepreneurs talk about it in the same way, they’re hitting targets, closing deals and overcoming any obstacle in their way as once again, everything just seems to go right.

The key thing with all of these examples is that there is a goal or an action that the person involved is solely focussed on achieving and for one reason or another it just seems effortless.

No distractions or outside noise can get in their way as they do everything they can to reach that goal.

I’ve experienced this myself when I’ve played Hockey and when I’ve been on stage, presenting and speaking to a room full of people where I’m fully in the zone and in my stride and I found that there were some key features which helped me to get in the zone and stay there.

Get in the zone

Before I go on stage I like to try and get in the zone, I prepare my body and my mind for what I am about to do and I focus my energy on the next couple of hours.

I practice breathing techniques, taking big deep breaths, three at a time, to focus myself and free my mind of whatever else is happening, my sole focus becomes the stage.

For me, I love being on stage and I love talking to people as each and every time I do it’s an opportunity to connect with someone and to make a difference.

There are millions of business owners out there that are overwhelmed, stressed, unhealthy and struggling in their relationships and when I get up on stage I have the chance to spread the 4 keys message and talk about my passion.

That is my focus before I walk out on stage and for those moments, nothing else matters.

I free my mind of everything else, no matter what it is and I focus my energy on something that motivates me, something I enjoy and what I want to achieve during my time on stage.

This helps me to get into the zone and become laser-focused on what happens next, then my goal is to stay there.

Stay in the zone

As I step out on stage I become consumed by an energy and a drive that keeps me focussed and ready to talk.

I never feel overawed at the moment; by preparing my mind beforehand and visualising my talk I always feel ready to get on stage and ready to make my mark.

Once I’m there I have three things that help me to stay in the zone.

  1. Be focused on a goal, on the message I am trying to get across to the audience
  2. Look for feedback from the audience that tells me I am doing the right thing
  3. Keep my mind loose and to not get too caught up in the moment.

All 3 are vitally important and all 3 help me to remain in the zone and stay focused.

By being focussed on my message I know exactly what I am trying to achieve and I understand how I am trying to get there. It keeps me on track with my talk and dialled in with my message and helps me to remain focussed.

If I had a vague outline and wasn’t really sure what I was going to talk about I would be more likely to lose focus and lose track of my message, as I began to ramble or talk about the wrong things.

The feedback I get from the audience is a way of validating my methods.

I know that I am never going to convert everyone in the room but I also know that with the right energy I can see the change on their faces as they go from looking down at their notepads, fidgeting in their seats to looking up at me, smiling, nodding and ready to engage with my message.

If I see bored or confused faces then I know it could mean I’m on the wrong path.

Finally, I keep my mind free and don’t get too caught up in the moment.

It’s something I first heard about when listening to a Basketball player talk about how they stayed in the zone.

They described the process of overthinking and called it being in the Matrix.

They spoke about how once they started to overthink their actions it was very hard to get back on track and get their focus back to the game.

They would start to doubt themselves and doubt their ability and soon after would start to make small mistakes which lead to bigger ones.

Their advice was to free their mind and not to overanalyse every small situation.

If they made a bad pass they would get straight back to it and just accept that it happens at times, instead of hiding away and hiding from the ball.

I do the same.

If I see a face that isn’t reacting to me the way that I want I don’t get upset, I don’t become over critical, I understand that not everyone will like my message and I run through my own internal checklist to make sure I am doing the right thing and spreading my message in the right way.

Whatever your goal is and whatever your objective, getting and staying in the zone can be a hell of a lot easier than you think.

If you’re trying to write content for your business but struggle to get the words down, plan it out beforehand. Free your mind of distractions, focus on your main message and don get too caught up when something goes wrong or doesn’t sound like you planned.

If you’re making sales calls but you’re struggling with the words, go back over your script and dial back into what you’re trying to achieve. Take it one call at a time, becoming unattached to the result and free your mind from being overanalytical.

Each scenario is different and might need a slight tweak of approach but the methods are the same.

By approaching your goal in this way, becoming laser focussed and freeing your mind from negativity and pressure, you can get in the zone and enjoy your time there as you perform better, more often and to a higher standard.