To enter the flow state
  • An activity must have a clear set of goals and progress.
  • A task must have clear and immediate feedback.
  • There must be a good balance between the perceived challenge of the task and the individual's own perceived skills.

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Problem Solving

Tasks that encourage flow

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.

Flow = focusing on the present moment

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.

The flow state

We experience the "flow state" when a given task becomes effortless and time slips by without our noticing. It's an absorbing, intrinsically rewarding state that we enter when performing certain tasks.

When in the flow state we experience mindfulness and actions and awareness merge, so that it seems like the task is almost performing itself. Despite this, there's still a sense of personal control over the task at hand, and performing it feels intrinsically rewarding.

Choosing an activity to enter the flow state

Arguably, the most important criteria in the pursuit of flow is to pick intrinsically rewarding tasks that have high consequences (e.g., rock climbing or public speaking), clear feedback, and take place in a rich and varied environment (so not your office cubicle).

  1. The activity must have a clear set of goals and progress, which adds direction and structure to the task.
  2. The task must have clear and immediate feedback, which enables the person to adjust while performing the task.
  3. There must be a good balance between the perceived challenge of the task and the individual's own perceived skills. Lacking skill for a challenge produces anxiety, while being over-skilled leads to relaxation.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES

Steven Kotler
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.

10

IDEAS

Practice deliberately

Flow depends on having at least enough mastery over your skills to understand when things are going well and be able to adjust on the fly when they’re not. But repeating the same task gets monotonous and make us more prone to small errors, leaving us unable to push and develop our skills and find Flow in the process.

To counter that, take an activity you do regularly, break it down into segments and go through each segment systematically, always looking for ways to get better.

  1. Having clear goals about what you want to achieve
  2. Concentration and focus
  3. Participating in an intrinsically rewarding activity
  4. Losing feelings of self-consciousness
  5. Losing track of time passing
  6. Being able to immediately judge your own progress; instant feedback on your performance
  7. Knowing that your skills align with the goals of the task
  8. Feeling control over the situation and the outcome
  9. Lack of awareness of physical needs
  10. Complete focus on the activity itself

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