Entering the zone – Part VI : Protect

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Every time when I was competing in sports games or when I was working every Saturday on my blog and various projects, I enter an empowering state of mind.  In this state, I forget my surroundings, the people around me, the music I am listening to, and the difficulties I am struggling with. Furthermore, in this state, I can channel my whole brain’s capacity. Everything is slower around me and tasks are clearer than ever before. In addition, I ignore all kinds of distractions from my phones and surroundings. I am entering the zone.

In the sports industry, this phenomenon is known as the “Zone”. A state where players and athletics channel their full capacity. They perform in their peak condition. Having full control of your body or that time runs slower are effects of the “Zone”. It is similar to having an adrenaline rush when you are in danger.

This is the fifth and last permission in our Focus Funnel. Furthermore, this is the only stage where we finally are active. The Permission to Protect, the time to hustle, the moment to channel your power, and execute all of your tasks. Let’s talk about it.

The Focus Funnel – Select and entering the zone

Focus Funnel - Entering the zone

I already introduced you to the Focus Funnel. Comparatively, the Focus Funnel is a filter you should apply to your life constantly. When you understand the Focus Funnel and you can use this, your life would be easier in terms of multiplying your time.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • “Is this task I can live without?” -> First Permission: Ignore.
  • “Can I systemized my tasks?” -> Second Permission: Invest.
  • “Do I have a person who can perform this task for me?” -> Third Permission: Imperfect.
  • “Can this wait until later?” -> Fourth Permission: Incomplete.

If the answer is “No” to all of these questions, you finally have a priority. Priority is the next most significant thing on your list. Furthermore, every priority will be an important task if the significance of the priority grows. In other words, this Focus Funnel and Multiplying your time is not identifying your priority. Because we know what is important, Family, Faith, Fitness, Fun, Faculty, and Finances. Instead, the real question is what is your priority – right now? – singular! Yes, what is your priority right now? As in what is the next – and only priority? What next priority should I entering the zone for?

“Is what I am doing right now the next most significant use of my time?”

Your next significant task - entering the zone

For two years now, every time I go to a party, I got this feeling of emptiness. And most of the friends of my age have these feelings, too. It differs from loneliness because they have no partner to have no “real” friends. Maybe they are on drugs and some like me do not see any sense in parties anymore.

This feeling is quite weird. It suddenly kicks in and I am depressed hanging out at the party. I asked myself: “What am I even doing here?” Instead, I could sleep a full 8 hours, stand up early, go to the gym, read my unfinished books, or finally start one of my idea as a project. Instead of doing these important tasks, I said no to them. I am not doing the next most significant task right now.

What you do right now = your priority

Moreover to understand the importance of priority is that everything you do right now is your priority. If you read this post right now, your education may be your priority. If you watching TV, then entertainment is your priority, if you hit the gym to feel pretty then your self-esteem based solely on the outside is your priority, and so on. But do not tell me, others, or yourself that your goal is financial independence but instead you waste your time outside chilling or watching Netflix all day long. It does not work, clearly.
Whatever you are doing right now, is important to you.

It is good to know that one current priority is a step to the next one. In addition, it will bring you a lot of clarity to know why you are doing everything you are doing. Moreover, it will help you see that all the activities you spend time on not reaching your goals are simply distractions. Until you accomplish your next most significant priority, everything else is a distraction. It will make it clearer when you are entering the zone.

But most of us do not

I am on vacation right now in Amsterdam with my friends. And even after a whole day of exploration of this beautiful city, I am still working on my posts. I am tired and exhausted. Furthermore, tomorrow we have to be ready at 9 a.m. and I am still working on this post. Even though it is 2 a.m right now and I will probably be working for another hour to finish this post.  But, why do I work on vacation? Does someone force me to do it? Am I crazy?  I just apply the Focus Funnel. As a result,  I cannot let my blog die, I cannot build a system for my blog, neither let someone write it and I cannot delay the next post. So, I work and concentrate on this task right now.

But, even I have a weakness where I delay every priority of mine. It is family. For them, I will even stop the world. As a matter of fact, to which everyone can relate, we do know what to do right now, but we traded our important things for the things other people want us to do.

Reasons why we do that

  • We have a big fear of letting other people down.
  • We do not want to let people think we do not care about them, so we make ourselves available 24/7 to answer their call.
  • We do not want to be seen as mean, so we agree to things that are not right for us.
  • We do not want to be considered resistant, so we go along with decisions that we know are the wrong ones at the wrong time.
  • We do not want to be viewed as disloyal, so we overcommit.
  • We do not want to be thought of as weak, so we take on too much tequila. Always too much damn tequila…
  • We do not want people to think we are selfish, so we ignore our priorities and focus on theirs.

Looking back, my younger brother and I are different at this point. While I do everything to support our family, he is always setting his priorities first. And this is a strong characteristic trademark. On one hand, he is disciplined, always on time, worked thoroughly, and is the more independent guy of us. But, on the other hand, he is cold, he also admits to having a connection problem with a girl. And in addition, you cannot rely on him because he tends to work late until 4 a.m. As a result, he sleeps until 3 p.m because his sleep is one of his high priorities and rarely helps me.

The Fifth Permission

And this is what the fifth permission is all about. Protect yourself. Be selfish, be the one to say: “No, I do not want this!”
And do not think that being selfish is a bad characteristic.
Because when you start to see yourself as less important than your surroundings, it will end up badly. To summarized, I always put everyone above me, and it cost me a lot of energy, time, and money. I forgot, who I was, and what my goals are. It became more like “our goals”, “our decisions”. I have truly lost myself several times so far.

However, you are not like me! You should…no you have to give yourself permission to focus on and protect: you! You have to take all the costs and risks to protect your goals, your visions, and your true self. Help yourself before you can help others. Not because you are selfish, but because you aim to serve others. You are not doing this for yourself, you do this because it is for those around you. Be selfish!

Summary – Entering the zone

Summary - entering the zone

To summarize, the last permission of protecting should remind who is important. It is you. After applying the Focus Funnel it is time to act. Furthermore, it is all about you now. Your skills and knowledge are tested. Protect yourself from distraction and put yourself above everything else, so you can finally entering the zone.

This is the last post on Multiplying your time. I hope you like it. For the next weeks, we will go back to normal posts.



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5 years ago

“We have a big fear of letting other people down“ that’s so true.
Thanks for the useful post! It’s great that you can enter your “zone” to enjoy writing this blog lately but remember to take care of yourself.

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