January 23, 2003 | Category:

Zen Focus

I was sitting, blankly enough. No ideas and little real understanding of the subject matter. I could see what to do on a very superficial level, but lacked the language to consolidate it into something usable; something more workable.

The thing is I had left it a little late. I only really began working on it the day before, and even then it was a very vague look to try and get the outline into my head; to start thinking about thinking about it.

A day later, I’m sat working on it. The clock eats away at the deadline, and fear is all around. Not just from me. The others are rushing around: either refusing to accept that failure is inevitable or calmy banging their heads off the nearest wall.

Except for that one guy. You know the one: he started weeks ago. He was done days before anyone else bothered to look at what was required. He’s only there to look down his nose at everyone else, interspersed with small bouts of “This is so easy”. He’s not impressing anyone though.

And then BAM! It takes a few seconds for it to hit in all it’s glory, but you start working without really knowing why, what or how you’re doing it. Everything glues together for just a few minutes, creative dams in your mind burst and flow into the work. THIS WILL WORK!.

As you finish, you kick out of your Zen-like focus and worry. Will it work? Of course. Nothing is quite like the feeling of being “in the zone”, as some put it.

Yes, it works. And yes, it is accepted. And yes, you get the credit you deserve. But no, the smart-arse who started first doesn’t combust spontaneously.

You’re probably wondering what I’m talking about. While it was actually a program I had to write that I was talking about, that does not matter. A moment of pure focus and creativity is all it takes to go from a blank slate to a finished and polished fully-working creation.

So remember the next time you’re on a tight deadline: clear your mind and just work. You’ll thank me for it.