How To Achieve Flow: Productivity Nirvana

Flow is a state of mind where you are so absorbed in what you are doing that time seems to disappear.

We all want to be in a state of flow. Whether that is while you are working, exercising or playing with your kids. But how do we get there? What does it mean when someone says they are “in the zone?” Flow has been described as being immersed in an activity and having intense focus on what one does – but not too much focus so that everything else falls away from their mind. Being in this state can help people achieve optimal levels of personal satisfaction for themselves and also success at work because they have achieved such deep concentration on what’s important without distraction. It sounds like a great place to be!

We’ll use the chart below to describe how flow can be accomplished regularly.

https://alifeofproductivity.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/flowdiagram-1.png

When you are doing activities, they fall into one of these two categories.

The first category is where the job is easy for you, but it uses many skills that you have.

The other category is when the task is hard for you to do, but doesn’t use many skills that you have.

You want to be in the “Flow Channel,” which means both parts of the chart are roughly equal in challenge and skill requirements. When someone does a task where they experience flow and feel happy, this also falls in this range of skill and challenge level.

Let’s use learning to play tennis is used as an example to illustrate how flow can be achieved.

A1: The starting point. You are in the beginning of playing tennis. You are trying to serve the ball over the net. It is not easy, but it is possible when you practice. You also try to hit the ball across the court when it is on your side of the court. That makes you feel good because you know how to do it and it is difficult enough that you can still do it well even though you have never played before. From here, one of two things can happen:

If you move to A2, that means that the challenge of playing becomes less than your skill level. If you stay at this level, you will no longer experience flow.

If you move to A3, the challenge of playing is greater than your skill level. You will also not experience flow here.

From here, we want to get back into the Flow channel (A4). How do we do this?

If you get bored (A2), you need to find a way to make it more challenging. Play against someone who is about your skill level. If you are anxious (A3), work on improving your skills and get back into the Flow Channel.

Flow lead to growth and discovery. Every single activity you perform falls somewhere on the diagram, and the activities that let you experience flow are the ones that will make you the happiest.

When you feel a challenge, you might need to find a challenge that is easier for you. Or if your skill level is too high, try to find something that is just right for you.

Hints on how to achieve flow

People want to achieve a state of flow often. It is not just for elite athletes, artists, or performers. You can have this during many things you do such as work, exercise, or hobbies. What does it take to get in a state of flow?

Your skills must be well matched to the task. If your skill level is not good enough, then it will be hard for you to reach a state of flow. For example, a runner may only experience flow when he or she is well-prepared for the marathon. And someone who can’t play chess might not find that they are able to enter into the state of flow during games that present too challenging of a challenge.

To get into a flow state more easily, you can stretch your skills. This means trying something that is a little hard. For example, for dancers, it might be doing a move that is hard. Graphic designers can also try new things on the job to try to find their flow. It is good to try new things often because then you will become better and you might find that it will be easier to be in a flow state.

Know why you are doing the task. In other words, have a clear goal.. It is not good to only do something because you want to win an award or get a reward. Sometimes you should just do it because it’s fun and feels good.

Avoid interruptions. It is important to focus on one thing without distractions. It is hard to concentrate when there are other things that get in the way. Avoid distractions like your phone or TV. Turn them off and work without interruptions at a time when you can do it for a while.

Focus on the process and not just the end product. Enjoying the journey and not just worrying about the outcome of your efforts is important to achieving flow. You can enjoy yourself and become better at a task by focusing on improving your skills, which will help you build your self-esteem in that area.

When you’re in flow, your brain is operating at the highest level. You feel engaged and energized by what you are doing. Your attention to detail increases as does your creativity and productivity. While it may seem like getting into this state of mind could be difficult, there are ways that anyone can achieve a state of flow more often than not with just some small tweaks to their daily routine or environment. Try out one or all these tips for achieving a state of flow!