As overextended as I am, with one thing and another (insert your “things” here) over time I’ve perfected the technique to get into the “flow”
1. Proper Planning
These three steps are essential to bringing me into my zone. If I don’t, then I struggle, I’m easily distracted, I falter and I rarely finish on time.
1. Planning: Decide on the goal. Identify the process or the steps you need to take to achieve it.
Say you needs a new pamphlet or newsletter by yesterday. Instead of going off half-cocked, sit down. Scribble a rough draft on foolscap. Mindmap some ideas. Settle on colour scheme, style and graphics if necessary.
2. Practice: Artists, athletes, and musicians practice their techniques, moves and scales over and over until they are second nature. Failing any direct link associated with your work (like say, getting training in your computer program of choice so you can format an Excel chart in your sleep), mentally rehearse the steps you need to reach your goal. This does two things: 1. You don’t have to stop when you get to the end of a step and think, “Ok, what’s next” and 2. you can potentially uncover flaws in your reasoning or redundant or out-of-place steps.
3. Focus. Turn off your email, your twitter, your browser or, if possible, your computer. (Pursuant to this post on Soul Shelter, I’ve found that a long-hand first draft stimulates a much better project. Even if you have to convert it to Publisher, Word or Excel later.
Close your office door, shut the blinds and do any little ritual that makes you feel centered and focused. (I always make myself a fresh cup of coffee, though it often cools, untouched, while I work.)
These three steps should eliminate most of the decision-making, second-guessing, fact-checking and failed attempts that tend to boot you out of the matrix.
Let me know how these tips work for you!