10:00 AM Monday morning at ColoredCow, Gurgaon. The room is buzzing with the click-clack sound of the keyboard and slack notifications. My day has just begun and I have tonnes of programming assignments to complete by 5:00 PM today. To make things worse, I just realised that I forgot my headphones back home. How do I find my “zone” now? Before I answer this question, a bit on “The Zone” first.
“The Zone” is a developers’ best friend. It’s a phase of deep focus, where your mind works at high speed and accuracy. It can help developers ace programming tasks that would otherwise take too much of time and effort. On mornings like these, when I need to ship complex tasks under a strict time constraint I put on my headphones and listen to music. It’s my way of getting into the zone.
My peers often question this method saying that it would be distracting me more. If music is something you like and there are new songs in the playlist then you could probably go and check out the song, artist and get distracted. To avoid that, I always listen to what I am already familiar with and also like.
Personally, I tend to get distracted more by random noises. I’ve observed isolating my ears with music works best for me. Similarly, something else might work more for you.
If you are a believer of the Ballmer’s peak then you might just prefer to grab a beer or two to get into the zone. Or maybe sitting in busy coffee shops where noisy hyperactive customers work together to create a different kind of white noise.
On days when I forget my headphones, I have to improvise and go find a quiet well lit room.
So if you haven’t already before you begin your day look back at what helps you find your zone and use it more.