Tuesday 18 June 2019       info@tesladuo.com

Reaching Peak Performance in Your Career

Sports psychologists call it The Zone. Athlete Sally Gunnell knew she had achieved it when she ran the 400m hurdles Final at the World Championships in Stuttgart 1993. Sally is the only female athlete to achieve Gold at Olympic, World, Commonwealth and European level.  According to Dr Robert Kriegel, author of C Zone: Peak Performance Under Pressure, achieving such ‘Peak Performance Episodes’ is possible for all of us, whether we are high-performance athletes or just trying to do a great job at work.

However, there are challenges.

On the one hand, there is a mental state of hyperactivity, which is characterised by low levels of attention span; jumping from one activity to another; talking to somebody whilst checking your emails, Tweets and Facebook; etc. This in some obvious way impedes you from being really present and having the intense focus required for a Peak Performance Episode.

On the other hand, we can indulge in a State of Sedation. It is distraction in another form. Gawping at boxsets for hours on end in a deep trance; sedating yourself with alcohol or food; being in a trance-like state and unengaged with real life, etc. Of course, sometimes we do need to distract ourselves. Even Frank Underwood of House of Cards fame plays video games to decompress. However it would be difficult to have a successful if this is your default state.

So what are the elements of being in The Zone or having a Peak Performance Episode, and how can you get there?

Well this is the subject of whole books, but briefly, here are some of the words that people have used to describe achieving this state of mind:

  • Intense focus
  • Transcendent
  • Effortless
  • Vital
  • Energised
  • Positive
  • Time disappears
  • Committed
  • Moving between challenge and mastery
  • Peak Performance Episodes will greatly enhance your productivity and have a beneficial effect on your career.

Turn off the distractions, turn up your attention.

Practice intensely focusing on whatever matter is at hand - be it working on something independently or being present with other people.

Plan to achieve this zen-like state for short periods of time at first, and as your ability to focus intensely increases, so getting in The Zone will become a more consistent part of your working day.

Visualisation is an amazingly powerful tool used by professional athletes. They will picture themselves winning, scoring, crossing the finishing line, etc., hundreds of times before the event and in fact, they are indeed programming themselves. Imagine doing this for an important business meeting where you run through in your mind not only how you want it to go, but dealing with the possible scenarios that could come up, including objections and counter-arguments. Then when it comes to the reality of the meeting, you’ve walked down the path before, which makes it easier for you to step into a state of flow.

Think about ways in which you can design your environment; choose your activities; and select the people you spend your time with, to enhance your ability to work in this ideal state.

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