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Flow state are usually described as the state where you will engage in an activity and simply lose track of time...and when it seems as if there is nothing else on this planet besides you and your activity.
The flow state is a very powerful state of mind and whilst in it, it will seem as if you are ‘flowing’ through your work.
So, How do we get there?
It’s been proven by research that in order to reach flow state, you must eliminate all external distractions. Every time you get pulled out of your focus, you’ll be taken further away from flow state. Only when you can focus with undivided attention for around 10–15 minutes, you can get into flow state.
Therefore, it’s critical that you put your phone away and disable all alerts and notifications, close all social media tabs, remove all unnecessary files and objects from your workspace, and preferably go to a quiet environment.
This will protect you and allow you to enter a state of hyperfocus.
Besides eliminating external distractions, you also need to eliminate internal distractions if you want to reach flow state. Whenever you experience stress or have too much on your mind, it’ll be incredibly hard to keep your mind focused on your task at hand — and therefore it’ll be impossible to reach flow state.
If this happens regularly to you, I recommend you try two things:
Flow is being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz.
Getting into flow state is hard if you are low on energy. You need to have the willpower to focus on just one thing and not get distracted along the way. Tapping into your willpower and attention is energy draining, so you need to do it when your mind is sharp and energized.
If you try to get into flow state when you are tired and energy drained, it’ll feel like an uphill battle where you get distracted much easier and have less willpower to stay with your tasks.
Therefore, It's recommend you use your mornings to get into flow state, or right after you took a real break of around 15-30 minutes.
Music can help you become highly focused and, therefore, highly productive. Especially when you listen to music on repeat.
Listening to music with your earbuds in helps you to block external distractions such as any chatter. Furthermore, it helps to keep internal distractions at a minimum.
It’s important that the song you put on is familiar. When new or various different songs come up, the music starts to compete for attention in your brain.
Putting one song on repeat for 1–2 hours or listening to repetitive type music will help you reach a state of flow with more ease.
If you want to reach flow state, the task that you’re working on must be challenging enough for your brain to be fully engaged, but not too challenging as this will lead to anger and stress.
If a task is too easy, you’ll be bored quickly and your mind is likely to wander, so you won’t reach flow state. But, if a task is too hard you’ll likely get overwhelmed and not be able to achieve that subconscious level that is necessary for the flow state.
Flow state can only be achieved when an activity is hard enough to keep your brain interested, and when you’re skilled enough to tackle the challenge.
The last method is to create a mental cue for yourself to enter flow state. In other words, do something special each time before you go into flow state. Whether it’s repeating a special sentence or affirmation, taking a few deep breaths or anything else — do that same thing each time you want to get into flow state.
Over time, this will help you create a mental cue for your brain. Each time you follow it, you tell your brain 'it’s time to get into flow state'.
Our behaviour is largely based on neuro-associations, by creating a mental cue, you are essentially creating a neuro-association.
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