45th Gear—In the Zone

Have you ever looked up at the clock after working intensely on a project and been amazed at how quickly the time has flown by? That is 5th gear. Some of you love 5th gear. Just the thought of getting in the zone without disruption revs your engines. You can picture yourself at your favorite workstation, completely focused on your task. Just thinking of that special place might cause some of you to put this book down and get back to your hobby or work—it is simply that exciting.

On the other side of the spectrum, though, large majorities of you are not even sure what 5th gear looks like. Maybe you have experienced it once or twice, this idea of being fully absorbed by and engaged in the task at hand to the point that everything in your periphery falls away and all you see is what's in front of you, but you simply haven't mastered the ability to focus for long periods of time and stay in the zone. If this sounds familiar, take heart: you are not alone. Given our propensity to multitask, not to mention the distractions of technology, many of us find it difficult to even find 5th gear, let alone stay in it.

5th gear is focus mode. It is the gear where the ability to hyperfocus and experience the flow of your work becoming something productive is key. To someone watching you operate in 5th gear, you might appear to be in a trance, completely unaware of noises, voices, and the normal distractions that might cause others less focused to shift their attention. ...

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