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Getting in “the zone”

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Thursday April 3, 2008 )

“The Zone” as referred to by developers is a place in space and time when they are most productive. For most people, getting to that place isn’t like flicking a light switch and given the required lead up to getting in The Zone; some onlookers might think they are wasting time.

This might be just a myth but I remember an interesting related story about getting in the zone. A visitor to a sculptor’s studio would find the sculptor staring at a block of marble.. all day, every day – for months. After a while the visitor arrived at the conclusion the sculptor was lazy, a dreamer and would never achieve anything.

The sculptor was Michelangelo and the block of marble in question became the Statue of David.

For a lot of people, getting in the zone doesn’t mean staring at the task before them – in fact, it can be a great demotivator. There needs to be a leadup and sometimes for a developer it will be something totally non-related such as playing an online game, or perhaps working on a different project.

.. but, there is a point where getting in the zone becomes procrastination – it’s a fine line :).

I’ve found the best ideas I’ve had in relation to marketing haven’t come from studying competitors in the same field; but totally different fields. In our given industries, we do tend to play follow the leader and everyone winds up doing the same thing – by stepping out and visiting a totally different genre of sites, new ideas can be gained.

Sometimes doing something totally off the wall and not even remotely connected to a given task can free up the ole noggin a little to sort through information already garnered and compile it into something useful.

So if you should find me reading Dilbert, punching a monkey (in a banner), or seemingly utterly engrossed with an ant that’s crawling along the floor; don’t hassle me about it – it means I’m working really hard; well, getting ready to anyway :).

What sorts of things do you do to get in the zone?


1 comment for Getting in “the zone”
  1. […] Michael Bloch talks about developers in the zone and discusses how Michaelangelo may have been in the zone. Elizabeth Baines and C. Leigh Prutill, both writers themselves, talk about how the zone affects their craft. Robert McHenry, an Olympic purist fan, discusses “athletes” in the zone. Robert’s is a funny article! Speaking of funny, comedian Aparna Nancherla notes how comedians prepare to get in the zone. If you want a more serious discussion of the zone, check out Yoga Zone’s entry. […]

    Pingback by Grin & Grumble » Blog Archive » In the “Story” Zone — April 6, 2008 @ 5:51 pm

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