Getting into Your ZONE: Your Productive Trigger Formula

What is your PTF (Productive Trigger Formula)?  We all have one.  It’s what gets us into the “Zone,” when everything we do flows so easily and completely.

Your PTF consists of a combination of internal and external Visual, Auditory, and Kinesthetic patterns that you can implement when you need to – if you know what they are!

For example, I discovered that I can get up to four times as much work done on an airplane as I can anywhere else.  My PTF begins when the plane reaches its cruising altitude and I HEAR that steady hum that most people aren’t even aware of – that’s Auditory External (Ae).

That hum triggers my next action, which is to say to myself, “Time to get some work done,” or similar words – that’s Auditory Internal (Ai).

Next, I reach under the seat in front of me and retrieve whatever I intend to work on from my briefcase (or I get my computer from the overhead bin).  This action is a combination of Visual External (Ve) and Kinesthetic External (Ke), as is my next action of pulling down the tray table and setting my work on top of it.

Then, I say something to myself like, “Okay, I need to finish this by __________.”  Or, “I need to read four chapters in this book by the time the Flight Attendants come by with the beverage cart.”  This is again Auditory Internal (Ai).

And away I go!

So my Productive Trigger Formula looks something like this:

Ae + Ai + Ve + Ke + Ai = Begin!

I am primarily Auditory in terms of my Learning/Thinking Style, and my formula contains three Auditory moves and one Visual External and one Kinesthetic External move – or two Visual External and Kinesthetic External each, depending on how you’re counting!


Notice that my particular PTF does not include a Vi – Visual Internal – (This would be a visualization) or a Ki – Kinesthetic Internal (This would be a strong gut feeling).  Your PTF, on the other hand, may include those two, or not, depending on what works for you.

The key to getting into your Productivity Zone, and being as productive as you can be, is to figure out how to get into the state that produces the most productive work for you.

Here is a list of the Visual, Auditory, and Kinesthetic possibilities that will assist you in discovering your own Productivity Trigger Formula:

Visual External – Anything you see that produces a strong feeling in you.

Visual Internal – What you see in your mind’s eye, a visualization.

Auditory External – Whatever you hear or say out loud.

Auditory Internal – Your Self-Talk, whatever you say to yourself.

Kinesthetic External – Hands-on, what you do.

Kinesthetic Internal – Any strong, gut feeling.

Think of a time when you were in your own “Zone” and were as productive as you could possibly be.  Where were you?  What did you see, hear, do, and/or feel in what order?  What was the first trigger?  The last?  What came in the middle?

Write out your formula and attempt to replicate it to find out if you can get into that productive state intentionally.

This may take some time and experimentation.  However, once you know your PTF and how to achieve it, you will be able to create a ritual to get there at will.

Try it; you’ll like it!

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