The Zone of Concentration

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In the movie, “The Legend of Bagger Vance” a pivotal scene depicts the legendary golfer Bobby Jones getting into the ‘zone’. You know those classic movie scenes where everything goes into slow motion, the edges of the screen becomes blurry, the audio is muted to barely audible whispers and the hero has steely eyed determination and complete focus.

I asked a professional golfer once if he had seen the movie and if he agreed that that sort of thing was possible in competitive sport. He said he had and definitely!

He went on to describe his routine on the golf course and the “Zone of Concentration”. You see when he approached wherever his ball lay he would place his golf bag about eight feet away and just inside his bag he would mentally draw a circle with the ball at the centre. This became his “Zone of Concentration”.

Once he had selected his club and stepped into the circle, he would clear his mind and his entire focus was on just two things – his routine and striking the ball – just like in the movies!

Imagine if you treated your desk at work as a “Zone of Concentration”.

Those people who are good Leadership and Management technicians know how important and easy this is. It really just starts with a clean desk.

Good managers don’t spend a lot of time looking for things? Research tells us that the average person spends about 10% of the day looking for documents. If that were so, you could gain 5 weeks a year just by getting your retrieval methods under control!

Good leaders don’t utter the phrase ‘it’s right here somewhere?’ Because they have a clear desk and tidy drawers, they can access things readily and easily. As well as getting their hands on things quickly, they importantly understand that too much clutter is emotionally draining and prevents you from concentrating.

Your desk is not intended as a storage space. There should only be four things on your desk: your telephone, your computer, your to-do-list/memo pad and the job you are currently working on. This means you don’t have several things vying for your attention and breaking your concentration. You can be in a “zone of concentration”!

Clear your work area and put away things so you know where to find them. Establish a sensible filing system and a place for everything. Put everything away you aren’t using. The few minutes you spend doing this makes it quicker and easier to retrieve that memo or file than searching for it on a messy desk.

Spend ten minutes at the end of the week to clean up and organise your desk. Evaluate paperwork: Can you discard it? Delegate it? File it? This way when you arrive on Monday morning, only what’s important is waiting for you on your desk.

Alternatively, if you have a desk or other surface that is cluttered, set aside five minutes at the end of each hour to clear off one small part of it. At the end of your five-minute session, set a timer for fifty-five minutes so you’ll remember the next five-minute period.

What can you get done in only five minutes? Try it – clean your desk and create a zone of concentration – you’ll be surprised at the difference it makes. At the end of two weeks you’ll see a vast improvement.

Australis College provides a variety of business and management programs aimed at providing individuals and businesses with the knowledge, skills and tools to make a positive impact in their job roles, careers and personal lives. The information in this article is from the BSB51915 Diploma of Leadership and Management. For more information on Australis and our programs please visit our website by clicking here for more information and to get started today.

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