Everyone has their zone

That place where your concentration, motivation and focus is higher than anywhere else. Some people find it by listening to music, some find it by working with others. It’s funny how different locations, emotions and times of the day affect our ‘zone’. Designers are renowned to have an up and down mood, whether that be over a matter of days, weeks or months. We’re never at the top of our game constantly as sometimes we can find our motivation and creativeness in the middle of the day or in the middle of the night. When it happens it happens. Most if not all designers love what they do, sometimes to the point that it becomes a danger as we seem to be unable to stop what we’re doing resulting in an extended amount of time at our desks thus creating this burning the candle at both ends scenario. Fatigue sets in and we’re an emotional mess, unable to find that motivation and ‘zone’ until we’re fully recovered.

My zone is in a room with the door shut and in the pitch black. You’ll find me with my headphones on and the music turned up. Depending on what type of design I’m working on I’ll listen to different genres of music but that’s my place, my operating zone where I’m most comfortable and confident in my own ability. I don’t care at that point if the sun is shining or it’s throwing it down with rain. Needless to say that when I’m in my zone, my productivity goes through the roof.

What’s your zone?

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Head of Interaction and Service Design at DigitalDWP.

2 thoughts on “Everyone has their zone”

  1. Spot on mate.

    I’m at my best during anti-social times – during the day is a complete waste of time for me, at night is when I shine.

    It is for this reason that I am mostly knackered, because business dictates that I should be available to deal with business enquiries etc. during the day when everyone else is around.

    Thankfully, since moving to freelance in 2007, I tend to take it easy during the day and just generally fanny about with regards to code. I spend time with the wife, and we go shopping etc – a couple of hours to respond to an e-mail is absolutely fine in my book and if a phonecall comes in it forwards to my mobile.

    When 8pm hits, and the kids are in bed that’s it for me … I hit the code. I could quite happily sit until 5 or 6am knowing full well that there would be no phonecalls, no e-mails and no knocks at the door to interrupt my flow. In reality, I get shouted at by the wife if I stay up much after 1am which is fair enough but those 5 hours from 8pm are super-productive.

    I’m definitely an advocate of working to hours which suit you, your mind, your body and your family – 9-5 is positively archaic in this industry (in my opinion) and probably detrimental to companies with staff who struggle to work at their full potential through no fault of their own due to not being able to find that ‘zone’ during the day.

    1. Couldn’t agree more Steve. Everyone has their maximum productivity time, it’s a shame that most workplaces dictate when this should be. Especially in our industry.

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