The Decompression Zone

  |   Personal Effectiveness Print Friendly and PDF

Remember the last time you went shopping at a mall? You parked your car and walked (probably fairly briskly) toward the mall. When you entered the mall, you slowed down, oriented yourself, and decided what to do next.

When you decided to enter a store, the same general pattern repeated. You entered, slowed down, oriented yourself, and decided what to do next.

I’ve heard retail consultants talk about that space just inside the door. They have different names for it. “entry plate” and “landing strip” are two of them. The one I like best is the “decompression zone.” They’re not just for retail.

You need decompression zones all through daily life. They’re the places where you slow down, reorient yourself, and decide what to do next. For most of us, the beginning and end of the day are decompression zones.

If you want to be more effective at work and not feel too rushed you need to give yourself decompression zones. You have to give yourself the time, just for a moment or few to slow down, reorient yourself, and decide what to do next.

Don’t rush directly from one high intensity activity to the next. Put a decompression zone in between them. If you take a break, take the time afterward to slow down, reorient, and decide what’s next/

It’s a simple habit, but it gives you the space to take charge of what’s happening in your day.

Boss’s Bottom Line

When you move from one thing to another give yourself a short decompression zone so you can slow down, reorient, and decide what’s next.

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