How To Find Your Optimal Productivity Zone

The Comfort Zone

Where things are predictable, safe, and boring. It’s unlikely you’ll grow here, because there isn’t enough stimulation. 

The Learning Zone

Where your senses are heightened enough to absorb new information, and things are exciting, challenging, and new. This zone is right on the edge of anxiety but not quite there, yet. It needs to be close enough that all of your senses are stimulated and online, but not so close that you’re incapacitated.

The Panic Zone

Where things are tense, frustrating, and exhausting. Symptoms of living a life in the panic zone might be chronic stress or anxiety, freezing up when looking at your task load, and constantly feeling like your life is in chaos or out of control. “Fire of the day” management style creates a work environment in the panic zone.

Get it?

Everyone is different. It’s up to you to figure out how you’re feeling and responding to your work.

By understanding yourself better, you can make decisions about the work environment you put yourself in and the people you surround yourself with.

It’s up to you to know enough about yourself and TAKE ACTION to put yourself in the best position for success.

No one else is going to do this for you!

Not your boss, project manager, your mom, no one.

Where did this come from? Did you just make this up?

No, I didn’t make this up.

This is based on Vygotsky’s Proximal Zones of Development, coined sometime circa the 20th century.

2 Minute Action:

On a scale from 1 to 10, how anxious are you at work?

1 would be bored and 10 would be tearing your hair out.

If you’re between a 1 and a 5, you’re in the comfort zone. You need to step it up if you want to move forward.

If you’re at a 6 or a 7, great! You’re pushing your comfort level which means you’re learning and growing.

If you’re consistently at an 8 or higher, you may be at risk for chronic stress, which has a bunch of nasty side effects.

If your work environment changes a lot, like mine does, you may want to consider setting up an iOS or Android reminder to do this exercise every couple of weeks. You might find that you’re stressed out no matter the environment, which would suggest that you need to work on some personal growth–or you might find out that there’s really nothing exciting about your job, even at it’s best.

This isn’t a cure-all, it’s just a tool you can use to improve yourself.

The point isn’t for me to keep hitting you over the head with this stuff, it’s for you to start asking yourself how you can use these tools/insights in your own unique life.

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