The clock shows 9:00 PM on a weekday. The house is quiet, and everyone is sound asleep, except for you. You are sitting in the office coding away on your computer with loud music playing on your headphones. You feel pumped, energetic, confident in your work, hell yes, you’re pumping out code during your work session. Your code debugging is flawless; everything is compiling as expected. Ten items on your to-do list have been checked off and marked done. You say to yourself, I’ve been more productive tonight than I was in the last 7 days. This makes you feel like a superhero and can take on the world. You start to rub your eyes and feel tired, not realizing it is now 3:33 AM on the clock. What just happened? Well, you were in the zone. Now you better stop and get some rest. I know, I know, you still feel you can keep going. Yes, you could, but your body needs its rest.
Does that sound familiar?
What is the zone?
Being in the zone is a fantastic feeling. You have no distractions, which allows you to have an intense focus on your task. Your mind expands, and you can finally put together this complex algorithm together. No distractions mean a better understanding of your code and how it all operates together, thus helping you become more productive. The part that makes being in the zone addicting is how it makes you feel while in the zone. It is like a drug that you want; all your worries go away, life struggles vanish, no one nagging at you, you feel complete bliss and don’t want it to stop.
Productivity through the roof
The feeling you have after being in the zone and looking back at your progress can be fantastic. It feels as if we are a superhero who crushed that to-do list.
How to get in the zone?
I can only talk about personal experience as I am no expert in this. The best way to get in the zone is through music. I put headphones on and code away. There really isn’t much to it; after 30 minutes or so, time just flies, and the next thing I know, my focus and productivity are through the roof.
Are there limitations?
Getting in the zone does not come easy all the time. If I’m in the zone on Monday, the likelihood of getting back in it on Tuesday is doubtful. Our bodies need rest to recover from being in the zone. So make sure you use it wisely. If I’m lucky, I can get in the zone 3 times a month. This requires catching up on lost sleep, exercise, and a healthy diet.
My old sleeping patterns were staying up until 3:00 AM. They were great and were able to get a lot of work done. However, the next morning I could not function as I was sleep-deprived. Long term, that was not healthy, and I knew I had to make some changes. Since then, I’ve managed to switch to be an early bird waking up around 6:00 AM and try to get in the zone throughout the morning hours. This way, I’m in control of my sleeping patterns and health overall.
Getting in the zone is a fantastic way to get work done. Not only for programming but also for athletes, creatives, writers, musicians, etc… I think you get the picture. Once you experience it, there is no other feeling more satisfying than being in the zone. It is something I go after because I am more productive during those times. Have you been in the zone before?