Be in Thought Zone

This book was written for BigBinary team members who are focused on getting work done. But the goal begs the question - what’s really the best place to do this?

The obvious answer is ‘office’ - after all, isn’t it the place to get work done? Don’t people go there every single day, specifically for that purpose?

Jason Fried decided to uncover the truth. He asked a bunch of people a bunch of questions - and found out something interesting and unexpected. Here’s the reality: not much work gets done at work.

Surprised? Check out Jason’s excellent TED talk on the subject ‘Why Work Doesn’t Happen At Work.

Here’s the summary. Being constantly interrupted is bad for your workflow - nothing really gets done. These interruptions could be as simple as a co-worker walking up to your desk, or getting a message on Skype, or receiving an email notification.

To really get work done, you need to be in the thought zone.

How to achieve this? Well, you need to completely immerse yourself in work, without any interruption whatsoever, for a certain period of time. That’s when work happens. That’s when you finally get to start ticking items off your to-do list.

Here comes the difficult bit - in order to get work done, you also need to deal with interruptions like the ones we described. You need to talk to that co-worker, chat with someone on Skype - and you most definitely need to read (and reply to) work emails.

So how does one balance out the need for a thought zone with dealing with necessary activities that interrupt our workflow?

At BigBinary, we don’t disturb people when they’re in their thought zones.

We believe we shouldn’t. Thought zones, in most cases, don’t last hours. People focus intensely on getting something done, and then after an hour or so (the period varies), they need a mental break before they can get back to their thought zone.

And that’s when our team checks emails, replies to Skype messages, and so on.