Whether you’re a blogger, a novelist, a musician or even a professional athlete we all know when we’re “in the zone” and when we’re simply struggling to go through the motions. We also know that when we’re in the zone, we’re performing at our highest level and will end up with our best results. Everyone is different so there isn’t a specific set of requirements to get yourself into the zone, however, there are a few guidelines that you can use to pilot yourself into producing high quality content and work as efficiently as possible.
What is “The Zone”?
The zone is a state of mind. It is a state of mind where ideas flow freely and, in the case of blogging, the words seem to write themselves without any input from the actual user.
Here are a few advantages of “being in the zone”:
- Better Quality Content and Work
- Content is Produced More Quickly
- Enjoyment of the Activity Itself is Increased
- Passion is Evoked
Guidelines for “Getting Into The Zone”:
Minimize Possible Distractions
Listen to Music
Prepare Your Work Area
Don’t Think Too Hard!
If you really want to get into the zone then you need to make sure that everything else in your life can be tabled for a little while. If you’ve got laundry in the dryer, eggs on the stove and the morning news on the TV, then you’re most likely not going to get into the zone. If there are some large distractions that you need to deal with first, then deal with them! Trust me, even if you finish producing your content a few hours after your originally planned, the overall quality of the content will be much better if you complete the projects looming over your head first.
I’m not suggesting that you move to a log cabin in the hills, but you should produce your content in an environment that is comfortable for you. Personally, I don’t like that many distractions so the quieter the environment the better. I know some people, however, who work better in environments with background noise. There is no specific location where you must produce but try to put yourself in a location where you’re comfortable and where you won’t be distracted.
Listening to music can definitely enhance your production. The key is to choose the right type of music to listen to. Obviously this depends on what type of content you’re producing but, in the example of blogging, I prefer wordless, soothing music. Classical and jazz are pretty good choices but I also tend to work better listening to music with strong beats so if you think you may enjoy the same, try listening to the Thievery Corporation pandora channel. Some of the songs have words, so don’t forget to hit the “thumbs down” button.
If you really want to get into the zone, you should make sure you work area is just how you like it before you begin to produce. Make sure that everything you need is right in front of you. If you like to drink coffee, then brew a pot before you begin. Make sure you have enough room to stretch out if you need to take quick breath while you’re working.
If you feel like you’re forcing yourself to work or you’re having trouble coming up with ideas, then maybe you should take a break and try again later. Even if you’re on a strict deadline, sometimes the words just won’t flow. You will be better off delaying your work for 20 minutes and getting your mind into the place you want it to be, than sitting at your desk for 20 minutes trying to force your brain to do something that it doesn’t want to do.
As I said earlier, everyone is different so there is no specific steps you can take to get into the zone. Hopefully the above guidelines will help you out. Don’t be afraid to alter my suggestions to better fit your personality and work style. It really comes down to making yourself comfortable and acheiving the right state of mind to produce your best work. If you have any other suggestions, please, let me know in the comments.