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To enter flow, you need appropriated self-control, environmental conditions, skills, task and rewards. Besides that, you must know what you’re doing, be able to see whether or not you’re doing it well, and be pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone.
The last point is especially important, it's mastery combined with challenge that brings flow. Too much challenge and we get overcome with anxiety. Not enough, and our brain loses focus and looks for other stimuli.
To get into a state of flow more often, we need to be able to increase our level of control over our consciousness:
Routine is good for productivity but doesn’t help you enter in the flow state. Instead, find an environment that challenges you on a daily basis and pushes you a bit outside of your comfort zone.
Ideally those are environments and activities where your actions have real consequences to you, challenge you out of your comfort zone and require more of your attention or you to react quickly to changes.
"Steve Jobs artificially created the environmental conditions that massively upped the amount of novelty, unpredictability, and complexity in the environment because people across departments and disciplines started running into each other and having conversations. As a result, flow, innovation, and creativity went up.”
Flow is dependent on finding that sweet spot between your skills and the challenge at hand. Having some mastery and knowing how to use it is necessary to reach flow state.
You can achieve this by not just going through the motions of an activity, but having a specific, analyzable and measurable goal for every practice session and optimizing things to challenge and increase your mastery every new session.
Imbuing your task with a clear sense of purpose greatly facilitates flow. You can do that by creating a personal mission statement and tying your values and skills to how you can make a real change in the world.
Create your mission statement, find what are your passions, values and skills, as well as the value you create, who are you creating for and the expected outcome.
Having work and tasks that we feel real have meaning behind and enjoy doing for the sake of doing is ideal to achieve flow. Money. Awards. Praise. These can be byproducts of the flow work you do, but they cannot be the core motivation behind what you’re doing.
If you can find that kind of task, not only will you find yourself slipping into flow more often, but you’ll naturally shift towards doing work that is truly meaningful to you.
Flow is the mental state where we are so immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity that we lose sense of space and time.
The moment you recognize being in flow, its blissful sensation begins to dissolve and the world, complete with its distractions, comes rushing back into our heads.
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... where we are so immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity that we lose sense of space and time.
It is thought to be t...
... to push your mind beyond its comfort zone. Flow happens when we get a bit out of our comfort zone. Too much, and you get anxious; Too little and you get bored.
You need to know your physical or emotional limitations and consciously push past them.
These are tasks that tend to have high consequences (e.g., rock climbing or public speaking), clear feedback, and take place in a varied environment.
When you are experiencing flow, it seems like the task at hand is almost performing itself.
But there's still a sense of personal control over it, and working on it feels very rewarding.
Is an optimal state of consciousness where we feel and perform our best. It happens when we are completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Your whol...
“Flow also happens when a person’s skills are fully involved in overcoming a challenge that is just about manageable, so it acts as a magnet for learning new skills and increasing challenges. If challenges are too low, one gets back to flow by increasing them. If challenges are too great, one can return to the flow state by learning new skills.”