Take a look back through your favorite movies and I can guarantee you’ll find one that features a main character involved in some type of montage.
Movie montages are exciting and motivating, with characters getting into their peak state for whatever tasks lie ahead.
Most of the time, you’re just as pumped as they are, and you wish that some of the key moments in your life could look just as simple as those compilations do.
Unfortunately, life isn’t like a movie montage.
Every task and activity takes time and effort.
But that doesn’t mean that you can’t get into the same type of zone in your own life. Getting into your peak state is more than possible, even though it may not produce the same fun, infectious results as a montage.
If you’re looking to get more out of your time, let’s take a closer look at what a peak state is, how to achieve it, and how you can reap the full benefits of what it has to offer.
What Is Peak State?
Peak state, also frequently referred to as “the zone”, is a state of being fully focused and energized. When you’re in your peak state, you are capable of taking on any task and doing so in a productive manner.
Chances are that you’ve experienced a peak state in the past without having noticed.
If you’ve ever sat down to achieve something feeling ready to tackle it and experiencing minimal resistance throughout the course of the task, you were likely feeling the effects of being in the zone and achieving peak performance.
Unless you know the formula for getting into this frame of mind, trying to achieve peak state without knowing what to do will produce hit-or-miss results.
Fortunately, getting started is as simple as following the steps below.
How to Achieve Peak State
Being able to achieve peak state is half awareness, half action.
You must know and alter the factors that affect your ability to perform optimally. You also need the drive to take action and put these techniques into action to get your work done.
But where do you begin? Let’s walk through some of the key areas and tips that can lead to peak state in your day-to-day life.
1. Pay Closer Attention to Your Physiology and How You Treat Your Body
Our mental health and our physical health are heavily intertwined.
In order to reach optimal performance in your work life, you must take care of yourself to the best of your ability. This can be as simple as:
- Checking and adjusting your posture for better breathing and improved confidence
- Exercising regularly (even doing short bursts of exercise to get energized and focused)
- Sleeping at least seven to eight hours per night
- Eating a balanced diet (and consuming healthy snacks that give you reliable energy when you need a pick-me-up)
- Drinking plenty of water
- Engaging in stress-relief exercises that keep you relaxed and grounded
“Why is my physiology important?”
If you feel tired, lethargic, and ill-prepared for the day ahead, you are never going to be able to achieve the clarity and focus you need to reach peak performance.
Take care of your body and you will be in a much better position to be the productive individual you are looking to become.
2. Focus on Goal-Setting, Smart Scheduling, and Maintaining Clear Intentions
Returning to the movie montage example, have you ever seen an individual multi-task in one? Absolutely not.
Why is this? Because we can’t stay focused and get more done when our minds are attempting to take on multiple tasks at the same time (this also applies to tasks that feel overwhelming before even starting them).
In order to achieve peak state focus, we must:
- Set Clear Goals: A life without goals is like driving without a road. You need a path and a destination in order to lead your life efficiently. Set aside some time to figure out what you want, how much time you need to achieve it, what steps go into achieving that goal, and how you can break down those goals yearly, monthly, and daily
- Develop a Schedule and Routine: Humans are creatures of habit. As such, having a routine can be extremely beneficial for you. Develop a schedule and routines that work well with your energy levels and help you get the most out of your day
- Take on One Task at a Time: Trying to take on too many tasks or thinking about all of the tasks you need to do can overwhelm you. Plan out your tasks ahead of time and take them on one at a time
Once you plan ahead, you will be able to focus on the things that matter most and avoid potential distractions or overwhelm.
3. Challenge Negative Self-Talk and Beliefs
This is too much to handle.
I’m not capable of getting this done.
This will never look as good as I want it to.
These are just a few common refrains that you may have uttered to yourself at some point in time.
The reality is that we are who we say we are. If you believe yourself incapable of doing something, you won’t be able to do it.
If, on the other hand, you talk yourself up and believe that you can take on any task that comes your way, you’ll find that this holds true for you.
Every time you think a certain way about yourself, as a person or your capabilities, ask yourself, is this positive or true?
If it’s not, challenge these thoughts and replace them with more encouraging, realistic thoughts that cultivate the confidence you need.
4. Find Ways to Stay Motivated Throughout Your Work
Peak state relies heavily on motivation. Motivation serves as the fuel that helps you act.
But how does one get motivated?
The first step is finding things that excite you in the work that you do.
When you don’t enjoy the tasks that you have to take on, they become a chore rather than a source of joy. While you can’t love every task that you do, there are certainly some aspects of said tasks that may help you stay on course.
If you work a job where you’re regularly engaging with customers, you may find that your motivation is to make a difference in others’ lives.
Whatever works best to keep you focused, positive, and energized is what you should pursue.
You could also boost your motivation during certain tasks by engaging in an activity you enjoy doing, like listening to focus music.
Another way to stay motivated is through incentives.
Incentives can be anything from a special treat that you give yourself after you complete a certain amount of work to a major gift that you offer yourself if you meet your weekly or monthly goals.
Find what motivates you and make that the center of your attention if you wish to achieve peak state on a regular basis.
The Importance of the Flow Channel in Peak State
It’s easy to say that you’re going to stay focused on the task at hand. But you tend to forget that your focus will ebb and flow based on factors outside of your control, such as the type of work you have to do.
One of the strategies I use that will play a major role in getting more out of your peak state is something known as the flow channel.
Think of a flow channel as if it were a river. On either side lies the potential to crash and ruin your forward momentum. One side is symbolized by boredom, and the other side is stress and anxiety.
When a task is not challenging enough, you may begin to zone out or lose the excitement you need to power through it. When a task is too challenging, on the other hand, you may end up procrastinating or finding it difficult to get it done.
Riding the channel relies on finding a happy medium between the two. Tasks must be challenging enough to hold your interest but not so challenging that it drains your positive energy and focus.
If you end up crashing on either side of the river, all of the tips provided above will not be enough to keep you on track and maintain peak performance.
Staying in the Flow
Being able to get in the zone and flow is an art form. Here are some tips that will make this easier for you once you start going through your daily tasks.
- Arrange Your Tasks Appropriately and Balance Them Out: Remember, the goal of staying in the flow is to keep a balance between challenging and simple. As such, you should arrange your tasks based on your energy levels as well as your level of engagement. For example, if you feel best-suited to tackle complicated tasks in the morning then feel a lull in the afternoon, you should power through some of your harder work earlier then balance it out with lighter, more fun work later on in the day. Balance is key to flow
- Make Simple Tasks More Challenging: If you find something to be too easy and can’t stay focused, look for ways to make it more challenging. This could include trying to get it done within a certain time frame or making certain rules for yourself that boost your overall engagement with the task at hand
- Make Challenging Tasks Less Stressful: On the other hand, if you find something to be too challenging for you, look for ways to reduce your overall stress and anxiety. This can mean breaking down your task into more achievable steps or finding ways to motivate yourself towards your goal
With the right balance and strategy, staying in the flow channel and maintaining your peak state is definitely possible.
Getting More Out of Your Efforts By Achieving Peak State
In order to get the most out of your day, you have to be in the right headspace.
Fortunately, doing so begins with learning more about peak state and how you can achieve this state of mind.
In summary, a peak state is something you reach when you:
- Put Your Physical Health First: A sedentary lifestyle can be bad for your health and your focus. Put yourself first by making sure that you’re treating your body right, reducing stress, and changing bad habits that are holding you back from being your best self
- Create Systems to Stay Organized: Without goals and systems, you have no direction. Lay down the road for success by setting goals, developing routines, and creating systems that help you get more done (more efficiently)
- Pay Attention to What You Manifest: Your words are your reality. Pay close attention to what you think and say. Does it make you feel confident or do these words keep you down? If not, say what you need to hear, believe in yourself, and create a more successful reality
- Find Ways to Stay Motivated: Find motivators like upbeat music, frequent breaks, or small gifts or treats that help you stay incentivized to get your work done
- Make Sure Your Tasks Are Balanced: Stay in the flow channel. If your work is too easy, find ways to stay engaged. If you feel anxious, simplify your work
With the right determination and effort, every day can be a peak state day for you.