Are you in the inspiration zone?
I work best when I’m in the inspiration zone. For me, being in the inspiration zone means I have a feeling of “all’s well” with the world. It is a feeling of certainty nothing is going to go wrong. What I am doing is meant to be. When I am inspired, time ceases to matter. I can be working with focus and complete attention for what seems like minutes and a few hours have passed. Idea’s flow and they are easy to implement. I don’t actually think about much. I am just being and moving forward. Some people call it being in “flow”. I call it being in the Zone.
Examples of poor quality
Some years ago, I found myself struggling to define “quality” beyond the routine service level agreements when making improvements to our customer service offer. It was easy to set standards in terms of timing and behaviours for example, it was less easy to define when they were met, but the quality wasn’t good. The easiest way I found I could communicate quality in this context was to describe what it wasn’t. So for example. If a product was returned, or customers had to ring up for information we could have given them beforehand. If we got feedback which indicated we weren’t meeting on unwritten expectations, for example, an attitude by an employee, or not giving the right information at the right time. These were examples of what was not quality.
Examples of being outside of the inspiration zone
Inspiration is like that, difficult to define or put into words and often easier to describe when inspiration is lacking. So, for example, I am definitely not in the Zone when:
- I feel de-motivated
- I am resistant to moving forward
- Time is dragging or worse I feel bored
- What I am doing seems like a chore
- I feel tired and stressed
- I am overwhelmed or discouraged.
- My attention is easily distracted
Like being happy, being inspired takes some practice. Mostly, you can’t simply choose to be and feel inspired at will, you have to create the conditions which lead to an inspired state. Everyone will have a different way of doing this, but if you don’t know how to create those conditions then it might be worth your while to find out what works for you.
How to get into the inspiration zone
Over the years, I have developed a way of getting into the inspiration zone and here are some activities which I hope can help you reach an inspired state.
Writing early in the morning immediately after waking is a powerful practice. It is a great way to capture those early morning inspirational ideas and thoughts which often hit, like no other time in the day. Do this before you do anything else. Yes even before that morning cuppa. Otherwise, the “spell” is broken, and you will begin to worry about your day to day schedule, or whatever is on your mind at the time.
If you are feeling fairly negative and need to get into the Zone, then find a comfortable place and stop thinking. This is a great technique if you have to go into a meeting or an event and you want to be in an inspired state. Instead of thinking about it, just stop thinking. This might involve just observing any thoughts you might have, but not actively engaging with them. It’s a mini-meditation which should only last for about 5 minutes or so. Practising “not thinking” is like giving your tired bombarded mind a mini holiday. It also allows the inspired part of you to shine through. Like sun rays streaming through a cloudy sky.
Do something you love
Take some time out and spend it doing something you love. That might be spending time with family, reading, exercising, or just watching a good old movie. It’s always good to do this, but be warned, if you take your de-motivated or distracted self with you, then you will negate the benefits. You must completely and utterly allow yourself to give your full attention to the activity, and the good feelings which you connect with.
Listen to music
Whether it’s upbeat rousing music, slow, ballads, or indeed anything which appeals to you at the time. Listening to music clears away negativity and if given attention and focus, helps change your state positively.
A state which completely minimizes inspiration is when you are cluttered or overwhelmed, whether with things to do or physical disorder around you. To keep clear and allow the inspiration to flow, take a good inventory of your things to do list, and delete anything less than essential. You must be ruthless. Ruthlessness is also a must when you are getting rid of physical clutter either at home or at work. If you haven’t touched it in 6 months, then you need to ask yourself whether you are going to use it. All clutter and unnecessary tasks are doing to you is keeping you weighted down.
What are your top tips for entering the inspiration zone?