In last week’s post, I introduced two out of three exercises that will help you to find your zone of genius. You can find them here. This week, let’s focus on the third exercise aimed at finding energy and time to redesign your life and to start living in your Zone, and 10 strategies for you to stay in your Zone as much as possible.
I believe that you can get in your zone of genius and in that state of flow throughout any kind of activity you’re doing, no matter whether you’re enjoying it and no matter what kind of challenges come up. To me, being in your zone means having a flow of living – not being in a state of flow with one activity at a time. In short, that can be achieved by getting crystal clear on the bigger picture of your life and using the gifts you have instead of resisting them. The first step, as was mentioned last week, is to identify your values. The second step is to identify your gifts. But what is the third step?
The third step first and foremost focuses on finding time and energy to work with the first two steps. The third step is called ADOD, and I’m not sure whether it was my business coach who came up with this acronym, or someone else before her, but this acronym focuses exactly on the things that need to be cleaned up. It stands for automate, delegate, outsource, and delete. The exercise is to first write down all of the things that you don’t enjoy doing but think you have to do every day. Those things don’t feel aligned with our values, and don’t really fall into the category of our natural gifts. You need to pay attention to what you do with your time and how you feel about that – in detail. That way you will start seeing the patterns where your time goes and identify who can you transfer the job to, and does this job need to get done in the first place. You can see that your energies and motivation are dipping in some parts of the day, and then they go up again: maybe those are traits related to your prime times and your natural rhythms, but maybe it is about your schedule and how you have designed your life.
When you have seen some trends and got some clarity, start thinking, what can I automate here? For leaders time often means money, so you should start thinking about what can be done better and quicker if you delegate it to others. You are being out of your zone of genius if you constantly have to spread yourself thin in order to do power-points, getting through your emails and filtering away what is important and what is a waste.
Think about time and energy as one whole. Sometimes you feel like “Oh, my time investment here is not so bad”, but your energy is just down to the floor level. Think about it every time you consider doing something as it uses your time and energy.
The last part to focus on in this scheme is “delete”. What are the things that you can skip doing completely to free up the energy and the time for yourself to be in the zone of genius? When thinking about those things, relate them to your values and gifts, and that will help you to put your finger on the issues faster.
Those few tips that were given in the exercise are 4 of the 10 strategies for you to stay in your Zone as much as possible. But the most overarching tip that connects the ADOD structure is committing to actions. Repeat to yourself: “I commit to acting from my zone of genius, doing what I love most to do, and expanding, in joy and creativity.” Those are the words that Gay Hendricks, the author of The Big Leap and psychologist who coined the term zone of genius, is using. The word “commit” is very powerful, so when you say it to yourself or to someone else, it changes you. So commit, and use it to really get and expand into your zone of genius.
If you are interested in hearing the rest of the strategies for you to stay in your zone of genius, listen to the Genius Leadership podcast here.
Stay tuned and be genius!