I love programming, it's rare that a day passes that I don't sit in front of a keyboard to write a few lines of code. It's my job and my passion. It requires an immense amount of concentration, often I find myself so involved in the problem in front of me that I block out all other distractions. That is at least when I have a set of decent headphones. Today I forgot mine at home and it has been hell!
My office has a variety of other departments, many are on the phone chasing new leads for the next event, others are chatting amongst themselves. One thing is constant though, the radio. I hate the radio with a passion. Filled with advertising, playing music that I have heard day in day out, over and over again. I've tried to ignore it but it's always cackling in the background playing the one and only station that it can get access to.
When I'm zoned in I really don't like to be disturbed, when I get sidetracked by a colleague then I lose my focus on the problem and it takes me some time to get back to where I was. Lately I've been a fan of Digitally Imported. Streaming music that is just ideal for getting me to that point of utmost concentration.
It's hard to explain the zone, it's a place where I'm devoting 100% of my concentration to a problem. I often find myself completely detached, fixated on the problem and its various solutions, typing furiously on the keyboard trying to get my thoughts out before they vanish. It takes time to reach this place, concentration is vital. Facebook, twitter and email clients are shut off so I'm not being constantly interrupted. It's my form of meditation, it leaves me completely relaxed and focused.
I don't attempt to do this all day though, there is a time when exhaustion will set in. Regular breaks and fresh air is vital.
All that said, I really wish there was a new office rule; when I wear my headphones then simply fuck off; let me enjoy the zone for just a little bit longer.