How to enter flow state

6 Tips to Achieve Flow State at Work [2022] • Asana


When you’re in flow state, you’re immersed in a task to the point where you lose track of time and ignore outside distractions. Achieving flow state at work can boost your focus, creativity, and engagement—not to mention, it just feels great. While flow state can be elusive, these six daily practices can help you get (and stay) in the zone.

One of the best feelings at work is being in the zone—work feels effortless, everything else falls away, and we even lose track of time. 

Being in the zone has another name: flow state. When you’re in flow state, productivity and creativity skyrocket, and getting great work done can feel almost effortless. Luckily, flow state isn’t as hard to get into as it might seem. In this article, we’ll demystify flow state and help you get into the flow in your day to day. Here’s how.

Flow state is that hard-to-describe feeling of being so in the zone that everything else falls away. When you’re in the flow, you’re totally immersed in whatever you’re doing to the point that you often lose track of time or ignore outside distractions. During flow state, you unlock a sense of effortless attention to the task at hand—as a result, being in the flow can be an energizing experience. 

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The term “flow” was first coined by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the father of positive psychology, which is the scientific study of what makes life worth living. Csikszentmihalyi isn’t the first person to identify flow state—but he recorded this phenomenon as part of a larger psychological study. Csikszentmihalyi named this experience “flow” because, while interviewing people about this feeling, many people described the sensation of flowing along with a river. 

According to Csikszentmihalyi, there are eight key factors that contribute to flow state:

  1. Clarity of goals and immediate feedback

  2. Intense, focused concentration on a specific task

  3. Balance between skills and challenge

  4. Sense of personal control and agency over the task

  5. Loss of reflective self-consciousness

  6. Time distortion or altered sense of time

  7. Consolidation of action and awareness

  8. Autotelic experience (i. e. flow state is intrinsically rewarding)

Benefits of flow state

In addition to simply feeling good, getting in the flow has a variety of benefits, including: 

  • Feeling in tune with (and in control of) your emotions

  • Increased satisfaction because what you produce during flow state tends to be its own reward

  • Increased engagement in your work

  • Feelings of increased creativity because you’re less self-conscious during flow state

  • Increased focus in what you’re doing

  • Confidence that what you’re working on is achievable

Flow state vs. deep work

You may have heard the terms flow state and deep work used interchangeably. In practice, these terms refer to similar experiences, but there is a difference between flow state and deep work—and how you can use both to your advantage. 

While flow state can be experienced in various aspects of life—including sports, meditation, and art—deep work is typically associated with the workplace. Additionally, while flow state is achieved by the balance between skill and challenge, deep work focuses on helping you achieve something complicated. In fact, when Cal Newport first developed his deep work hypothesis, he defined deep work as “the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task.”

Read: How “deep work” changes the way we work

You can achieve flow state in many areas of life—not just at work. Essentially, you can be in the flow during any activity that takes a lot of focus. When that focus transforms into flow state, it can feel like you’re so involved in your activity that time melts away. Here are a few examples of flow state in different areas of life:

Flow state at work

One of the most rewarding things to do at work is to achieve flow state. Flow at work is when you’re so immersed in a task or project that you lose track of time. You might not even realize how much time has passed as you complete an assignment. That’s flow.

I live by my calendar and design my days to have as much focus time as possible. During this time, I mute all of my notifications, quit any distracting applications, and turn on music without lyrics. It usually takes me 10 to 15 minutes to get into flow state. I schedule my focus time in blocks of at least two hours because otherwise, I'll either get cut off before getting to a good point or end up late to a meeting.”

—Catt Small, Product Designer (Goals) at Asana

Flow state during sports

A lot of athletes describe experiencing flow state during sports events, even if they don’t always use this terminology. In sports, flow state can feel like a totally clear head. When athletes are able to focus on athletic performance without being self-conscious or worried about anything else, they are achieving athletic flow.

Flow state during art 

Whether you’re creating or experiencing art, you can experience flow state during various types of art—like music, movies, writing, or painting. If you’re creating art, flow state is when you’re so involved in the creation process that it’s the only thing you’re focused on. But you can also get into the flow while experiencing art. For example, have you ever been so immersed in the music you’re listening to that time passes without you realizing? These experiences make up creative flow.

Flow state in education

Flow in education is the feeling of being totally immersed in the subject you’re studying. For example, flow in education might be the feeling of attending such an engrossing lecture that you don’t realize how much time has passed, and you’re surprised when the lecturer finishes their presentation. Or you could experience flow in education while studying a subject and getting in the groove—so much so that hours later, you realized you skipped dinner. That’s educational flow.

Flow state and meditation

One of the most common ways people achieve flow is through meditation. When Csikszentmihalyi was first interviewing subjects about flow state, many of them described flow as a river—where you were simply floating along and letting the current drive you. This sense of effortlessness or mental weightlessness is a key part of many meditation practices. 

Oftentimes, people begin meditating by clearing their mind or imagining their thoughts as a blue sky—where thoughts can come and go like clouds in a sky. Achieving this level of relaxation during meditative practices is mindful flow.

As a Data Scientist, I try to get into the flow before I dive into any kind of analysis. To get into the flow, I first take a five minute break. During this time, I try not to think about anything specific, so I can get to a blank state. After that, I just focus on my breath for the remainder of the time. More often than not, I find myself ‘in the zone’ and ready to take on a challenge after doing this.”

—Avinash Narayanan, Data Scientist at Asana

Everyone experiences flow state in different ways. However, most people tend to describe being in the flow with similar vocabulary. If you say “I was in the zone” to a coworker, they automatically know what you mean—even if they would never be able to get into flow state the same way.  

But if there are so many ways to get into flow state, how can you get into the flow? Even though everyone gets into the flow in different ways, there are a few common factors in achieving flow state. Implement these practices in your daily life in order to achieve flow state at work.

1. Balance challenge and skill

You can achieve flow state when you’re balanced between challenge and skill. If something is too challenging, it’s hard to get into the flow, because you’re probably stressed about being able to get it done. If something isn’t challenging enough, then you’re probably bored, which isn’t conducive to flow state. In flow state, this is called the “challenge-skill balance.” 

I find that I get into the flow when I have an interesting, challenging task to tackle—usually debugging something in an area that I'm at least somewhat familiar with, or implementing something and finding ways in which it doesn't fit with the existing code as smoothly as I had expected—and a long, open block of time ahead of me. I find the right music for my mood and dive in!”

—Gina Bolognesi, Product Engineer at Asana

2. Establish clear goals

Another key element of flow state is having clear goals. When you know what you need to accomplish, it’s easier to get into the flow. That’s because having clear goals helps you understand if you’re successfully completing the task at hand. 

If you struggle to establish clear goals, start by connecting your regular work to larger team and company objectives. When you understand how the task at hand contributes to larger company initiatives, you’re more able to clearly prioritize key work and get high-impact work done. To do this, use a work management tool to connect work across your entire organization.

3. Reduce distraction

Once you’re in flow state, your brain will naturally filter out distractions as you continue to focus on the work you’re doing. But while you’re getting into the flow, distractions can, well, distract you from achieving the mental clarity you need for flow state.  

Read: 7 tips for finding focus and reducing digital distractions

A lot of us deal with distractions on a near-constant basis. In fact, 80% of knowledge workers report working with their inbox or other communication apps open. But these distractions are keeping you from achieving flow state. Instead, try these tips to reduce distractions:

  • Snooze notifications

  • Turn on Do not Disturb mode

  • Schedule a time block

As a program lead, I spend my time on a mixture of reactive work that comes through my inbox and heads-down individual work. I find entering flow state much easier when I ‘batch’ the work in my inbox and schedule a time to respond. Otherwise, I mute my inbox notifications to avoid being constantly interrupted. Very rarely is something in my inbox as urgent as the notification icon makes it seem!”

—Yamilex Avila-Stanley, Software Engineer at Asana

4. Stop multitasking

We all think we can multitask to get work done—but the truth is, multitasking is a myth. Your brain can only focus on one thing at a time. When you multitask, you’re not doing two things at once—you’re just forcing your brain to switch between two or more things at a rapid pace, which puts a large cognitive load on your brain. Yet we’ve all been there. According to our research, 72% of knowledge workers feel pressure to multitask during the day. 

More likely than not, multitasking will immediately interrupt your flow state. Because your brain is forced to focus on something other than your flow state task when you multitask, it requires precious time and energy to get back into the flow. Just like distractions, put your multitasking away and focus on the task at hand.

Read: Overcoming burnout in a distributed world

5. Don’t force it

Tell us if you’ve been here: you’ve been in the flow before, you know what it feels like, you want to get in the flow again to be productive today, but no matter what you do you can’t feel it. Trust us, we’ve been there. This is called the paradox of control—the more you try to control something, the harder it is to control.

If you’re not feeling in the flow today, that’s ok. You can still get great work done without being in the flow. The same practices of reducing distractions and cutting multitasking can help you focus on work—even if you don’t quite get into flow state.

I don't think of flow state as something I ‘get into’ per se. I feel it's achieved as a result of having a clear objective, a reasonable workload, and a positive and creative state of mind. But Do not Disturb mode, some ambient music, and a 2 to 4 hour block of time certainly help.”

—Matt Riley, Brand Designer at Asana

6. When in doubt, do something you like

Similar to not forcing it, you won’t be able to hit flow state if you’re not enjoying yourself. If you aren’t sure where to get started, do something you like. 

Flow state works based off of intrinsic—not extrinsic—motivation. Intrinsic motivation means you want to do something good because it’s satisfying, not necessarily because you will get a reward. That’s the same with flow state. The reason we like flow state so much is because it feels good to get work done.

Get in the flow with your team

Not only can you hit individual flow, you can also create team flow. When your entire team achieves flow state, it can feel like you and your team are working in perfect synchronization. 

To get into team flow, use the six steps you used to get into individual flow and expand it to the rest of your team. Create working blocks or group sessions where you can all focus on a project, together. Not only will you experience the benefits of being in the flow, but you can share those benefits with your entire team for maximum efficiency and effectiveness. 

Read: Team flow: how to make productivity contagious

Go with the flow

Flow state is one of many individual productivity strategies to help you get your highest-impact work done. Like many other productivity strategies, flow state can help you hone in on the most important work and focus on that for a prolonged period of time.  

I’ve noticed that I achieve flow state in three phases: planning, creating space, and tuning in. In order to achieve flow, I need long, uninterrupted time to work. In addition to keeping my Mondays mostly meeting-free, I also group meetings, lunch, and personal breaks to create open blocks on my calendar. By planning my work to support flow state, in the long term, I can ensure a more effective working style where I can get my highest-impact work done.”

—David Brandt, Infrastructure Engineer at Asana

But, like all productivity and time management strategies, flow state isn’t for everyone. If flow isn’t working for you, read our article on 18 time management tips to try.

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7 Ways to Get in the Zone

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What is flow state?

What happens to your brain in flow state?

How flow state benefits physical and mental wellness

How do you achieve flow state?

If you’ve ever been so absorbed in a task that you lose track of time, then you’ve experienced flow. But being in a flow state does more than just make the day go faster. It has a positive impact on your life, health, productivity, and well-being.

To understand what makes the flow state so magical, you’ll need to understand what it is and how it works. Learn more about the science behind flow and how to get carried away.

What is a flow state?

Psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, known as one of the cofounders of the field of positive psychology, was the first to identify and research the phenomenon of flow. Even if you’ve never heard the word before, you likely have other names for the experience. People call it being “in the zone,” “in the groove,” or “losing track of time.

What is flow state?

The flow state is the experience of being so absorbed by an engaging, enjoyable task that your attention is competely held by it. You generally lose sense of time, self-consciousness, and anything that doesn’t have to do with the task at hand.

In flow, you feel as if you could keep doing whatever you’re doing forever. There’s no one experience that leads to flow. It could happen while you’re reading, writing, painting, running, or gardening.

Although there’s no one activity guaranteed to create flow, there are some common characteristics of flow state that people experience. Not all of these are always present. But the more factors are present, the more likely you are to experience flow. 

10 characteristics of flow state

1. Attentional focus

In flow, whatever you’re working on has your complete attention. You’re not thinking of anything else. Someone would have to work to get your attention or to interrupt you from the task at hand.

2. Challenge

The activity has to be the right amount of difficult. Too easy, and it won’t be absorbing enough. Too challenging, and you won’t be able to get into it.

3. Goal-oriented

To trigger flow, the activity has to have some point to it. It doesn’t have to be grandiose — you could be playing a video game or coloring a picture. But in order to direct your attention, you have to have something to direct your attention to.

4. Feedback

There is a give-and-take of energy in the activity. Ever spend hours playing one of those puzzle games on your computer or phone? They’re engrossing because they give immediate feedback. You win a game, finish a level, or earn a star — which keeps you playing because you feel like you’re doing well.

5. Personal control

You’ll have a hard time getting into flow if you feel like the activity or situation is out of your control. As a spectator, it’s difficult to have the mental absorption and sense of engagement that characterizes a flow state.

6. Timelessness

When you’re in flow, you feel lost in the activity. This triggers a sort of altered consciousness around time. It can speed up or slow down — but either way, you’re a little surprised when you check the clock. This transformation of time comes from being completely absorbed in the present moment.

7. Peace

In flow, you have a feeling of calm. You’re absorbed in the task, but not stressed out or worried by it. You feel less self-conscious and even less anxious. This particular characteristic lasts beyond the experience itself, since being in a state of flow balances cortisol and stress levels.

8. Intrinsic motivation

To get into flow, the activity itself has to be rewarding for its own sake, independent of the outcome. For example, if you enjoy swimming, you can be in flow whether you’re competing, exercising, or just splashing in the pool. The results are secondary to the task itself. Csíkszentmihályi called this an “autotelic experience.”

9. Disconnect from physical needs

When you’re in the zone, you might temporarily forget that you’re thirsty, tired, or need to use the restroom. You have a loss of self-consciousness from being fully engaged in the activity. In this mental state, you may forget to eat or stay in an uncomfortable position a bit too long.  

10. Single-mindedness

Perhaps most importantly (and frustratingly) you can’t multitask your way into flow. In order to get in the right state of mind, you have to give all of your attention to the task at hand. It makes sense — after all, you can’t experience attentional focus without giving your entire attention to something.

What happens to your brain in flow state?

What makes the flow state so special? Neuroscience hasn’t completely figured it out yet. Researchers have recognized that flow is a distinct mental state. It arises only when the level of challenge of the task and the level of skill of the person are in balance.

Working on a task that is engaging — but not so difficult as to be frustrating — lets our brains relax in an unusual way. When we are engaged in effortful focus, the brain’s central executive network (CEN) is engaged.

When we are “doing nothing,” the default mode network (DMN) takes over. This part of the brain is associated with daydreaming, but it plays an important neurological role. Our levels of activity are significantly higher when in the DMN, even though we don’t look like we’re doing much at all. Counterintuitively, this part of the brain is also active during flow.

When we are in a flow state, our minds are fully engaged in the task at hand in a way that seems to free up other parts of our brain to make connections. Although you are working, flow is inherently restorative and pleasurable. When in flow, dopamine is released. This neurotransmitter makes you feel more relaxed, optimistic, energized, and dedicated to the task at hand.

How flow state benefits physical and mental wellness

Understanding how dopamine works is critical to understanding human behavior. When we experience something positive, dopamine helps us register it as pleasurable and encourages us to do it again. It’s the source of many of our habits, cravings, and impulses. According to Psychology Today, “It is no exaggeration to say that dopamine makes us human.”

Our physical, mental, and emotional well-being are directly tied to our dopamine levels. When they’re out-of-whack (whether too low or too high) we can become ill or engage in self-destructive behavior.

Flow rewards us for the mental engagement and attentional focus that keeps us growing. The neurological and subjective experience of flow has benefits — both in and out of flow state. Here are some ways flow benefits your well-being:

1. Higher productivity

People in a flow state often find that it correlates with peak performance. These peak experiences are often due to the total attentional focus — coupled with a lack of self-consciousness. This enables people to be more productive while using less energy.

2. Increased satisfaction

Because of the high levels of engagement in flow, people often feel more satisfied with themselves and their work. They experience a dopaminergic reaction, boosting their positive experience both during and after flow.

3. Improved emotional regulation

Improved focus and increased confidence help to reduce anxiety and stress. These gains are also associated with improved emotional regulation. Researchers suggested flow as a positive alternative to unhealthy and unproductive coping mechanisms.

How do you achieve flow state?

Once you understand how flow works, you can set up your schedule and work environment to make it as flow-conducive as possible. Here’s a guide to how to get into flow more often — and stay there.

1. Choose clear goals

Part of getting into a flow state means working on a task that has a specific, finite outcome. You’ll find that it’s easier to achieve the right frame of mind when you know exactly what you’re working on. While you could set a time goal, it’s often more effective for the task to have a designated end or completion point. Knowing what you’re out to accomplish also gives you a sense of control.

2. Make it challenging

Activities that are the right amount of challenging are more engaging. If you can’t alter the task, you might be able to change other factors to make it harder. For example, I used to work in a role that required a lot of data entry. When I got bored with it, I’d race myself to see how fast I could complete the entries or how many I could do in a certain amount of time. Finding ways to make a routine task more challenging made it more enjoyable.

3. Make it easy to focus

Take time to look at your calendar and block off periods where you can work without distractions. You may want to schedule these blocks around certain activities or times of day when you’re naturally more productive and alert. Learning more about your circadian rhythms can help you identify your most productive times of the day.

“Inducing flow is about the balance between the level of skill and the size of the challenge at hand.” 

 Jeanne Nakamura, positive psychologist and flow researcher

4. Take care of yourself

In the state of flow, you forget about food, water, sleep, or how long you’ve been sitting on your foot. While this is great for staying focused, it’s not so great for your body. Create self-care routines that help you stay comfortable and taken care of so you can stay in flow longer. You might leave a bottle of water on your desk, a protein bar within easy reach, or invest in a supportive desk chair.

5. Turn your phone off

Part of eliminating distractions means turning off your phone. It deserves its own category, though, because it doesn’t help to block off your calendar if you’ll be carrying a distraction in your pocket. Once you’ve communicated that you’ll be unavailable for a certain amount of time, put your phone away. Turn off your notifications or use an app like Forest to prevent you from sneaking back.

6. Create a pre-flow ritual

You can help your brain get into the zone by creating a ritual. For example, before I write, I check my messages, put my phone on silent, grab a beverage, and turn on “focus” music. It doesn’t have to be formal, practical, or the same for every activity. It’s just a way of cueing your brain that you’re about to get to work — and that it should, too.

7. Get to know yourself

It’s hard to get into flow when we’re doing something we don’t like — but it’s worth paying attention to why we don’t like it. Is it too easy? Too hard? Too boring? Do we not know how to do it well?

Take the data entry example. I love working with computers, I’m competitive, and I love to learn new things. Data entry involves computers, but not usually a whole lot of learning. Making it a game worked for me because it tapped into my competitive nature.

I could also have made data entry more engaging by turning it into a learning experience. I could use it to learn proper finger placement on the keyboard or macros (shortcut keys). Although the activity itself wouldn’t change much, the perceived challenge of the activity would. This is what Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi refers to as challenge/skill balance in his book, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience.

I truly believe that we might not enjoy everything, but we can find almost anything enjoyable. If we work to find something worth learning in every task, we can transform nearly anything into a flow experience. Aiming to experience this state of mind as often as possible leads us to happier, more satisfying lives.

How long can you stay in flow state?

The brain can’t stay in flow all the time. In a creative, flow state, the mind works optimally for about 90 minutes to 2 hours. You can make the most of this time with techniques like the Pomodoro method. Focused periods alternated with brief periods of rest allow your brain to be its most efficient and creative without triggering burnout.

It is possible to have multiple periods of flow in a day, which is very healthy for both you and your brain. For example, you might get your best work done early in the morning, go for a run to clear your head in the afternoon, and get lost in a book before bed. These are three distinct flow experiences, but each contributes to your well-being in a different way. And to be honest, that sounds like a great day.

Learn to go with the flow

Flow may be the most enjoyable of all human experiences. It might even be the secret to happiness. Flow is intrinsically rewarding, lowers our stress, and brings meaning and joy to just about any experience.

Looking for ways to maximize the amount of time we spend in flow state makes us more engaged, satisfied, and creative. Whether you’re working, playing, or something in between, you feel better when you’re in flow.

Bringing the concept of flow to our everyday life helps us to stay present as we continue to grow.

The state of flow: what it is and how to achieve it

The state of flow is characterized by complete concentration, a sense of freedom and self-confidence. You are completely immersed in tasks, not noticing what is happening around.

The state of flow is the feeling of maximum productivity when you are fully focused on a task. Surely you have been in this state more than once, for example, playing computer games, flipping through product pages in online stores, or discussing your favorite hobby with a friend. Then you were at the peak of your effectiveness involuntarily, without affecting your feelings in any way. However, there are several ways that will help you artificially enter the flow and increase your performance.

The secret to entering the flow state is to get the right amount of external and internal stimuli. When we lack motivation, we feel apathy and unwillingness to do anything. When its amount rolls over, we become wound up and irritable. In both cases, it is difficult to concentrate on work and be as efficient as possible.

How to get into the flow state if you are stressed?

If you are annoyed by everything around, any little thing makes you angry, there are a lot of thoughts in your head, you feel overwhelmed and breathe often - these are signs of stress. To reduce stress, try one of the following:

  1. Take a rest break. It takes 10 minutes to fully reboot. At this time, you can do meditation or take a walk in the fresh air.
  2. Use breathing practices. Relax, inhale slowly, then exhale. Repeat several times.
  3. If you're worried about whether you can handle a particular task, try splitting it into several parts. This is how you create a plan and relieve stress.
  4. Clear the brain from the flow of thoughts. In life, you have to solve a lot of problems. Sometimes they make it hard for us to focus on a particular task. A piece of paper and a pen will help unload the brain. Just write down the questions you can't find answers to.
  5. Take a shower. Water will help relieve fatigue and relax.

How to get into the state of flow if you are depressed?

If you feel tired, bored and indifferent, although you have a lot of work to do, you want to eat something, then try the following steps:

  1. Think about how you will feel when you complete the task. What happens if you miss the deadline. Match pain with pleasure.
  2. Turn on the music. There are many compilations of songs on the Internet that will help you focus on work.
  3. Have a snack, drink water/coffee, take a walk outside.
  4. Try multitasking for 20 minutes to get energized. Call someone, write a letter, then return to the main task.

Let's sum it up: In order to be in the flow more often, you need to learn to observe your body, thoughts, feelings and apply one of the reboot methods in time. If you want to learn more about the resource state, how to increase personal efficiency and always be in good shape, then watch the free webinar "Fundamentals of the leader's resource state". You will learn how to quickly restore your strength after stressful loads and transform irritability into the ability to achieve your goals.

what it is and how to learn to enter into it

In the flow, a person plunges into work with his head and becomes as efficient as possible. How to learn to enter the state of flow on demand?

Our author is Oksana Patselya, business coach, career coach, founder and business coach of the Self made Person personal development center.

Have you ever experienced a state of intense inspiration and passion for what you are doing? I'm sure yes. Everyone has experienced this at least once in their life.

This is the state when you are completely immersed in the process of creation and completely forget about everyday problems and fatigue. You don’t think about what is happening around, you are absolutely passionate about your work and get high from it. It is at such moments that unexpected ideas and new results appear.

The well-known psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi called this state a flow. It is this that helps us to use our talents in the best possible way. And gives a feeling of complete satisfaction with their work.

Why is flow state so important?
  • Every day we devote at least 60-80% of our time and attention to work. And outside the office, we continue to scroll through work issues in our minds. What feelings we have in the process of work directly affects the quality of our life. That is why it is important that your activity has a state of flow.
  • Staying in the state of flow contributes to the development of personality. Because it always appears at the intersection of the complexity of the task and the level of our competencies. By raising the bar for ourselves, we develop new skills. It is at this point that it is easy to enter the flow.
  • Built into the nature of the flow experience is the need for development. You have to constantly improve your skill level. Because the flow begins where the task being performed creates a challenge and there is a need to develop existing skills or acquire new skills.
  • In the state of flow, our activity becomes valuable in itself, fills life with meaning and brings great satisfaction.
  • The ability to enter into a state of flow increases productivity and speeds up learning by 2-3 times! Just think - we become several times more productive in activities that completely engage us.
  • Flow states are characterized by a feeling of great inner clarity about what you are doing and why. It helps you understand your goals, values, and intrinsic motivation.

How to know this condition?

Like every state, a flow has its own characteristics. When people describe their experiences, they most often name some of the following.

  • Complete concentration and concentration.
  • Clear goals. You clearly understand what you want to get as a result.
  • Task with call . The challenge must be slightly above the average level of difficulty.
  • Balance between the complexity of the task being performed and the existing skills to perform it.
  • Quick feedback. You immediately see the result of your work and can make adjustments. Feedback can be both external (for example, from other people) and your internal.
  • The feeling of time is lost, hours fly by in one breath.
  • The release of consciousness from the worries and anxieties of everyday life.
  • Feeling of complete control over what is happening.

What does it take to enter the stream?

Research has shown that you can learn to create a state of flow in any activity on your own.

1. Learn to concentrate

Learning to set goals and focus on them is important for the state of flow. Anxiety and an excess of tasks can interfere with this.

To relieve stress, unnecessary fuss and anxiety:

  • clear your head of unnecessary information — write down on a piece of paper all the scraps of thoughts that haunt you;
  • find something that relaxes you - a warm shower, tea with honey, a walk;
  • divide the task into a sequence of small and specific steps - this will allow you to calm down and focus on one task.

To concentrate, look for your own techniques. These may be:

  • breathing exercises;
  • specific fragrance;
  • melody;
  • certain memories, places, images.

The main thing is to form a relationship between the use of a particular technique and the state of concentration. Receptions should become a habit. Make them your rituals. Gradually, the brain will form stable neural connections and get used to responding to these stimuli in a certain way.

Our timer-player Moody 9 will help you to concentrate on the important and enter the state of flow.0003


2. Do what you really enjoy

In activities that are exciting and enjoyable, flow occurs naturally. Fill your activities with tasks that interest you. Do you enjoy your work? This is a clear sign that you are in the flow. Look for joy and meaning in your usual tasks, and if this is not possible, there is reason to think.

3. Raise your bar

You already know that flow is a balance between challenge and skill. Look at your activity. Where do you feel bored or relaxed? To develop skills, it is necessary to raise the complexity of tasks. Without it, we are sucked into a routine in which flow does not occur. To create a flow state, you need to increase the complexity of the tasks. Only in such conditions can you feel the need to do something differently: to study new information, develop a new approach, come up with new ideas, create a unique program ...

It turns out that the most joyful moments in our lives are associated with the state when we strive to achieve something difficult and valuable.

4. Develop your competencies

Gain new knowledge to meet new challenges. Then you will be able to constantly practice points 2 and 3.

To better understand the phenomenon of the state of flow, I recommend reading Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's books: “Flow. Psychology of optimal experience”, “In search of flow. Psychology of involvement in everyday life”, “Personal evolution”, “Running in the stream”.

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