The Zone Isn’t Some ‘Magical, Random State’

The Zone Isn’t Some ‘Magical, Random State’

The zone. We understand it as a state where one is at optimal productivity and/or creativity. For some it’s elusive, for others all it takes is the right environment to get going. And while it’s beneficial, the mere act of trying to enter into the zone could be the very activity preventing you from breaching it.

Picture by Adam Lynch / Flickr. Licensed under Creative Commons 2.0.

As Martin Rue argues, we should “stop worrying” about music or the “view out of the window”. Rue believes that getting into the zone boils down to two factors — caring about what you’re doing and knowing how to do it:

First, we really need to give a shit about what we’re doing. This is so often ignored when talking about productivity in general. Remember back to the days of high school when the nerdy kids would get awesome grades at difficult subjects. They got awesome grades because they enjoyed it

Second, we need to know how to do it. The overwhelming desire to start work is useless if we can’t because we don’t even know where to start. We’ll jump into the work and be idle 10 minutes later as we uncover many of the finer details we skimmed over when thinking at much higher level earlier.

We all find reasons to procrastinate — don’t make getting into the zone one of them.

What Is ‘The Zone’ Anyway? [Martin Rue, via 99u]

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