Tuesday, May 08, 2007

In The Zone

I'm sitting at work having a short break while I write this. It's 10.39pm and I've been working since about 10 this morning.

I'm in The Zone, and I can't stop!

Seems to me that we introverts are very good at deep focus - at times - but at other times we just can't concentrate at all. I've been having a few days of "not concentrating", where I've reached the end of the day and wondered how the hell that happened, and why I haven't built more web pages! Not good.

So this evening, having freaked myself out looking at the huge list of pages I have to build before the end of Friday, I figured it was time to knuckle down and find The Zone.

You know what The Zone is, eh? It's that deep place where you can work and work and work - at top speed - for hours and hours - pretty much without needing to stop to take a breath at all. I can find it most easily in the evenings, when there's no-one else around to distract me, and when I'm in it, I can produce more pages in an evening than I've managed to build over several days.

I generally retreat into my iPod just to make sure I can't be distracted. Today it's my "punk and new wave" playlist, which has the added advantage of making me code faster because I have to keep up with the tempo of the music...

I read this really cool blog post a few months ago about naked coding, and I can really relate...

Not that I code naked very much - especially in the office - dear me no, I wouldn't want to terrify my workmates (or the cleaners, for that matter!), but still - it's that moment when you slip into The Zone and nothing else can get into your head - not even (for Robert and the other brave people who commented on his blog) to realise that you're naked in front of the computer and you need to go put some clothes on. Tee hee!

Okay, that's enough blogging for today. Time to get back to The Zone.

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Anonymous said...

Here's a great quote from an article about M. Night Shyamalan that I keep on the wall in my office to remind myself that the zone really exists.

There's something more mysterious and profound. Why can't I find it? Layer by layer, fear desensitizes him until it scrapes the chilled bone of self-doubt.

Will I always be destined to fail? Then, he feels nothing. Everything is numb. He lapses into this state for what may be hours.

That's when he first arrives at "the quiet place."

Everyone who has hit this cerebral cinder-block wall can understand how valuable this place can be. Before getting there, under immense pressure to create, desperation clamps down so hard that it gets difficult to breathe. Then, it happens. You end up in this strange and wonderful place, where that all-too-elusive state of absolute awareness and clarity come together.

webweaver said...

oooh lovely!

Now that's what I'm talking about!

PJ said...

That elusive Zone... don't ya love it when you get there?

Writers describe it as the Flow state, and I've wasted lots of time in my career waiting for it to come, in the hope that I'll get lots of work done when it arrives! So for me it's been a bit of an excuse for procrastination!