Scaling / September 5, 2006 / Alykhan Jetha

This blog business is hard! I’ve been thinking to myself – what the heck should I blog about? I’m one of those engineer types – don’t talk much – just do! I thought I would be able to blog at least once a week – no dice so far.

I’m a guy that gets writer’s block on the first word – never mind the first sentence! It’s totally unlike coding. I can spew reams of code in no time at any time of the day, any day of the week. The juices flow, the creativity happens.

There are times that it’s slow going. In those times, listening to some Electronic or Trance music is all I need – then boom – in a few minutes the retro-rockets have fired and I’m on my way. I’m in the zone and it is sublime.

My team is always saying – the CEO shouldn’t be coding – and they are a 100% right. I code a heck of a lot less now. I limit my coding to proof of concepts, small bits or maybe some emergency work.

Let’s talk about the focussing power of music for a bit. A long time ago I read a book called ‘Stress for Success’ by James E. Loehr. This book revolutionized my thinking on the whole stress thing. Fact is – without stress, you can’t grow – personally or professionally. You need it! So don’t be afraid of it.

In this book – James Loehr talks about how music can help you perform and if it’s the right kind of music, you can perform longer.

When you work, you have to establish a rhythm. You can’t can’t be at 100% or 110% all the time. You will simply deplete your energy stores (some people call this burn-out – but I don’t believe in that). Music that oscillates between highs and lows is excellent for modulating your mental rhythm. James Loehr specifically mentions certain movie soundtracks – such as ‘The last of the Mohicans’, ‘Crimson Tide’ etc…

Hardcore Rock, Punk or Techno does not work because they stay at the ‘high’ for too long. Some music is also very repetitive – which is not good either. Along with those soundtracks (and similar), I find that Trance music works great. I’ve found that the best source of this type of music is Internet Radio – as provided by iTunes. My favorite stations are XTC Radio and 1.FM Trance.

So now I’m trying to use this technique with writing and I think it will work.

So what helps you get into the all-mighty Zone?

Join 38,877 subscribers making clients happy and growing their business.