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Are You in Your "A" Zone?

By Ken and Lee Estridge

Many people spend less than 10% of their professional and personal lives in their "A" Zone. When you're involved in activities that drain your energy and make you feel tired and exhausted, you have little energy left for your friends and family, so they often get the "leftovers."

What's an "A" Zone?

You're in your "A" Zone when you're doing activities that are fun, energize you, and make you feel strong. These are the activities that tap into your strengths, and they're often your greatest contribution to your organization and team.

Finding Your Professional "A" Zone

This is an inside-out job, which means that you'll need to look inward and track how you feel throughout the day. You can ask yourself:

  1. Which of the many activities I engage in every day give me energy and make me feel great?
  2. What are the things that I love to do?
  3. When I have a great day, what do I think made it great?
  4. How much of my time today was spent doing things I had to do, instead of things I wanted to do and love to do?
  5. If I could write my perfect job description, would it match my current day-to-day activities at work?

Finding Your "A" Zone in Your Personal Life

Again, pay attention to how you feel throughout your time with friends and family, and ask yourself:

  1. What are the activities I do with my friends and family that make me feel great?
  2. What are the activities I do with them that offer my greatest gifts to them?
  3. How do I want my friends and family to feel when they're around me?
  4. How do I need to behave to create the types of experiences that I'd like to have in my personal life?

Know Your "A" Zone, Now What?

The challenge begins after you've identified your "A" Zone, and you've asked yourself, "How do I re-configure my job and personal life so that I'm engaged in activities that energize me most of the time?"  You may decide to change your job or job-description, or modify your schedule so that you can spend more time with friends and family. While it's true that there will always be some "have to do activities" in your life, the key to a successful and happy existence is to balance the "have to's" with the "want to's." Being deliberate about how you live your life will help you feel happier and more fulfilled.