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A flow state is not only an enjoyable working experience but it also will improve your 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
These triggers are either related to task- or job-specific conditions, environmental conditions, or individual conditions. A few triggers include:
· 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.
· 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.
“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.”
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.
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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