Getting into "the zone"
As you may have noticed, this week’s newsletter is a few hours later than usual and there’s a good reason for that. I lost track of time, kind of.
I didn’t actually lose track of time but I was in a kind of flow where I just couldn’t put down what I was doing to write the newsletter. So I decided to finish my tasks first and the newsletter after.
To some extent, this was the result of somewhat poor planning on my end. I wanted to do too much in the morning while I knew that it was unrealistic to try and do that much in just a few hours.
For a lot of people, “the zone” or ‘flow” is a state of mind where they’re fully focussed on a task. They keep working, and working, chopping away at code for hours on end until their task is done. For me, “the zone” is nothing like that. It usually involves plenty of context switches and breaks for me.
The key part for me is that I’m productive, I’m busy, and I’m not worrying about how long something takes.
It’s just me and my list of things to do.
I don’t even get bummed out when I hit a wall. It usually does involve focussing on one or two related tasks but sometimes I do much more than that. Again, the key for me is that I’m doing a whole bunch of work without paying attention to the clock or distractions that aren’t part of the tasks I want to accomplish in a given period of time.
This morning was like that. I was working on a small project and I planned to spend maybe two hours on it. As it turned out, I was having fun with the project so when the first task was completed, I picked up a second task. Before I knew it, it was time to grab lunch. And after lunch, I was still so into my project that I put a bit more time in. Just so I could finish the task.
That’s the zone for me. It’s working on something because I’m excited to the point where I might shuffle my todo list a bit to accommodate my current flow.
Writing this down made me curious about what your flow is. Are you like me? Or being in “the zone” mean hours of uninterrupted work for you?