Getting Into Flow
I’m sure you’ve had times where you’re in the zone. You’re engrossed in an activity and doing really well with it, performing better than you ever have before. You’re so focused on what you’re doing that you have little concept of time. The sensation I’m describing is actually a brain state called “flow” and it’s known for providing heightened productivity and accelerated progress on a task through extreme concentration.
As it relates to personal development, this is important to learn about because it gives you an ideal to attain in how you feel while working on a task. In order to produce more flow states in your life, there are a few conditions that will help you to enter this state more frequently and successfully that I want to share with you.
First, the activity itself needs to have the right tension between difficulty and attainability. If something is too easy it doesn’t require the same level of focus, and if it’s too hard then it’s not rewarding enough. So the solution there is to set goals that have that proper tension.
Second is to eliminate distractions. Flow is a fragile state that is difficult to enter, and if you’re interrupted, then you will lose it. So when you’re engaging in focused working sessions make sure you silence devices and eliminate distractions.
Then finally, you need to enjoy what you’re doing. Your brain will not concentrate so strictly on something that you don’t find inherently interesting. So take note of when you feel really focused on a task because that’s indicative of the things you like to do, and you can do those things more often to improve your productivity.
There are many great resources available about flow, primarily from Steven Kotler and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi that are well worth checking out if this interests you.