At times, you may have felt like you’re ‘in the groove’ or ‘in the zone’ while working. It’s that state where you have an almost laser-like focus and you’re wholly absorbed by what you’re doing. So much so that you can’t tell how much time has passed or what’s happening outside of your work.
You’ve experienced a flow state, a state where you are concentrated on a task and doing your best work.
When you’re in a flow state, you can be more productive, but more importantly, you’ll be happier. Experiencing wellness is the primary reason why you should learn to harness your flow state. The fact that you’ll be more productive and creative is important, but not as much as feeling centered and fulfilled.
The idea of harnessing flow grew from the work of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and his book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. According to him, the real aim of achieving a flow state is to have a better life.
There are many activities where you can achieve a flow state:
- Doing the dishes
- Taking a walk or jogging
- Stocking shelves
You feel powerful when you’re in a flow state; you’re pushing yourself but enjoying your tasks. It can feel like you’re giving your best and creating something worthwhile.
You can learn to enter a flow state with practice and by using different means. Let’s dive into ways you can create a flow state and make use of it to be more creative.
A flow state, by definition, is one where you feel pure focus and concentration. You can’t achieve flow when you’re distracted.
Take control of your environment and remove distractions like your phone or gaming devices.
Add browser extensions that block you from visiting time-wasting sites if you work on a computer and are struggling to write more content.
Removing distraction is one of the first things you need to do to enable flow. Create a clean workspace, shut your door, or wear headphones and listen to soothing music to minimize distractions.
Focus on a Single Activity
This tip ties into the previous one. You can only focus on one thing at a time to experience flow. Organize your work and break it down into separate and distinct tasks.
It’s only when you spend some time on a single task that you can feel ‘in the groove’. You break this feeling by moving from one task to the next without focusing on any one of them.
Work on a single task at a time and use the Pomodoro technique mentioned next to get it done.
Use the Pomodoro Technique
Entering a flow state can be challenging. You can ease your way into a flow state by using the Pomodoro technique.
Getting started is something that everyone finds difficult. With this technique, you start by setting a timer for 25 minutes. You work continuously until the timer goes off. Then you take a 5-minute break before starting again.
It’s a helpful way to organize your time, and you feel like you’ve achieved something when the timer goes off.
Use the Pomodoro technique to make it easier to get started and start working.
You can experience flow even when you’re bored in a meeting or while attending a class.
Doodling is a simple but effective way to create ‘microflows’ when doing something that bores you. All you have to do is have a pen and paper before you and to let your hand keep drawing and writing short notes.
It can keep you from feeling restless. Doodling is also an effective way to retain information because you convert thoughts and ideas into a visual format.
It’s a great way to express creativity that can help you come up with unique solutions for a business problem or innovative designs when creating a site.
Over to You
Being able to enter a flow state brings out your creativity and makes you productive. However, the real goal is to create happiness in your life by bringing out your capabilities.
There are many ways to enter a flow state. Use the tips given here and support them with activities like running, yoga, meditation, or Taichi. It’s even possible to do meditation or Taichi at home through membership sites in your spare time.
It takes time to achieve a flow state that brings out your creativity, start today and keeping working at it to have a happier life.