Go to any club cricket ground on a warm, sunny summers afternoon and it will not take you long to find a scene that is familiar to us all.
The bowler poised at the top of his run, fielders walking in and the batsmen set in his guard. Everyone in a state of readiness, poised for what comes next with a centered, balanced, aware, and open state of mind.
All it takes is a small mistake, a comment or a tiny fear to knock you right out of that state of readiness and into what David Allen calls "undecided, unorganised, incomplete stuff".
In the world of work that's phone calls and emails interrupting your readiness. On the cricket pitch it's fear of failure, sledging by the opposition, an unclear team role or bad ball/shot in the air/dropped catch.
All those things stop you focussing on being ready for the next ball and start you analysing the previous one or predicting future ones. You drop out of the zone and your cricket performance goes with it.
Simply recognising when your "stuff" is blocking your readiness is enough to get you back there. Just say to yourself, as Allen recommends: "Relax, refocus", park your negative thoughts and get on with the job in hand.
Save the analysis for when you can do something about it: In practice.
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