We’ve all experienced it. One minute you’re working on something, and then you look up from your keyboard a minute later. Hours have passed, the clock reads 10:00pm and you’ve finished massive amounts of work.
We’ve also experienced the opposite. An hour after you’ve started work, you’ve checked e-mail 17 times, and your document is still blank in front of you.
Everyone has different things you need to do to get into the zone, and this article gives some helpful suggestions on where to look.
On a personal note, I find the best thing for me is a block of time, a closed e-mail client, headphones, and music that I’ve heard before (new music means I’m more likely to listen to the music than think about work). My circadian rhythms prefer night, which is probably why all my good PowerPoints are written after 10:00pm. When I get really desperate, I’ve had good luck with an app called White Noise. It plays tracks of ambient noise such as rain, wind, a waterfall, a plane engine, and so on. It blocks outside noise and doesn’t give your brain anything to get distracted with. (Just don’t fall into the trap of trying all 40 ambient sounds to find your favorite- that will kill another hour or two. Just pick one and go)