How To Enter A Flow State on Demand to Double Productivity - Deepstash

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How to Enter A Flow State on Demand to Double Your Productivity

How to Enter A Flow State on Demand to Double Your Productivity

A flow state is not only an enjoyable working experience but it also will improve your productivity.


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Flow Doubles Productivity

Flow Doubles Productivity

A 10-year study by McKinsey found that if we could increase the time we spend in flow by 15-20%, overall workplace productivity would almost double.


· A state where your complete attention is on the task at hand, so much so that time is distorted—either slowing down or flying by.

· Characterized by effortless effort.

· Described as being “in the zone.”

· Where action and awareness in the present merge and each next action flows seamlessly from the last because you just know exactly what to do next.

· A pleasurable experience that, once you have worked in flow, you will want to do it more.


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Three-Flow State Precursors

Three-Flow State Precursors

Research identified 3 necessary conditions for entering a flow state:

1. Challenge-skill balance

This is a balance between your skills and the challenge of the task. The task should stretch you slightly beyond your current skills, but not so much that you get discouraged and want to quit.

2. Clear Proximal Goals

Having a clear idea of what needs to be done facilitates a flow state. You are able to seamlessly string action after action together as they become evident to you.

3. Immediate Feedback

Receiving feedback on work as you go allows you to self-correct as you go—keeping you engaged on the task


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Ensuring Your Flow

Ensuring Your Flow

1. Challenge-Skills Balance.

Take on tasks once you have the necessary background knowledge and/or information, i.e., don’t start writing an article on a topic until you have done the research and understand it. Learn the skills necessary before attempting to complete a task where it is necessary.


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2. Clear Proximal Goals.

2. Clear Proximal Goals.

Learn to set goals for your tasks and projects, breaking down any larger ones into smaller, actionable steps. Whether it is setting SMART (ER), PACT, or LASER goals, know the type that helps you and use it for all tasks and projects.


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3. Immediate Feedback.

3. Immediate Feedback.

This is easier for those who have coworkers and managers because you can ask others or refer to performance reviews. But setting up a system for feedback is not impossible for those who work solo. Some things you can do include:

· Develop a self-assessment.

· Seek peer reviews.

· Seek a mentor or hire a coach.

· Use online resources.

· Use examples for comparison (but don’t fall into a comparison trap).

· Learn from mistakes.


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Flow State Triggers

Flow State Triggers

These triggers are either related to task- or job-specific conditions, environmental conditions, or individual conditions. A few triggers include:

Environmental Conditions

· Closed office environment vs. open. A closed office environment helps to block distractions so you can keep 100% concentration on the task, helping you get into and stay in flow.


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Individual Conditions

Individual Conditions

  • High achievement motivation. This is a type of intrinsic motivation where the individual strives to work towards their highest performance. Working on things that are driven by an internal desire, where the benefits are within the work itself, helps you work in flow.
  • Strong self-regulatory skills (including goal setting, self-monitoring, self-instruction, and self-reinforcement). Someone with strong self-regulatory skills self-directs their learning and usually does things for intrinsic reasons, which helps you work in flow on them.


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Individual Conditions (pg. 2)

Individual Conditions (pg. 2)

  • Working on things that you are naturally curious about leads to flow. When you are naturally curious about something, it isn’t as hard to give your attention to it.
  • Meaningful work. Working on things that you care about and that are related to your passions or purpose helps you enter a flow state.


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Task-Specific Conditions

Task-Specific Conditions

· Novelty. Shiny object syndrome is real, and many suffer from it, but that is basically the feeling novelty gives us. We have excitement about new things and want to dive in. This feeling leads to flow.

· Task significance. This is how much you feel the task has an impact on others or the organization. If you can choose to work on things that make you feel like you are making a difference, it is easier to get into a flow state.


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“The more we can produce flow, the better our performance, the better we feel, and the more value we can produce for ourselves and others.”



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Final Words

By ensuring that the flow precursors are present, you can enter a flow state on demand. And if you also use flow triggers, it is possible to not only enter flow on demand but also boost the intensity and extend the duration of flow.


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Hi! Let's Connect!

Hi! Let's Connect!

I am a writer on Medium. I write about productivity, habits, personal development, creativity, writing, and mindset.

If you like this content, you will find more of the same here


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I'm a writer obsessed with sharing new ideas in the areas of mindset, personal development, self-help, procrastination, productivity, writing, organization, and health & fitness


Working in a flow state is an enjoyable experience. You genuinely love what you are doing and your actions just flow!


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