In The Flow: How To Master Your Brain's Peak Productivity
Flow is characterized by complete concentration in the activity at hand, resulting in a loss in one’s sense of space and time. It’s a state of both high challenge and high skill—a place where we’re capable of stretching ourselves to overcome difficulty.
Anyone is capable of inducing such a state of deep productivity and creativity.
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It's almost impossible to get into the flow state if you're doing something you don't like. Look for experiences that are inherently enjoyable, meaningful, or satisfying.
Even in our dream job, we might have to do repetitive or unpleasant work. But, if you generally find it difficult to find flow in your work throughout the day, question whether your tasks are challenging or complex enough.
It’s only after you reach a state of competence that you’ll be able to achieve a flow state. How do we get good at getting into this optimal zone?
Distraction is the enemy of flow.
If you can, sit somewhere quiet. If you’re in an office, try using noise-canceling headphones.
Music or ambient sounds can be really helpful; preferably calm, repetitive, atmospheric sounds so your brain doesn’t focus on melody or words.
Your ability to achieve a lasting flow state hinges upon your energy and health.
The four types of rest necessary for creative flow are:
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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 ...
"In the flow-like state, we exercise control over the contents of our consciousness rather than allowing ourselves to be passively determined by external forces."
To get into a state of flow more often, we need to be able to increase our level of control over our consciousness:
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Flow is an optimal state of consciousness, when you feel and perform your best. It’s the moment of total absorption.
Time speeds up or slows down like a freeze-frame effect. Mental and physical ability go through the roof, and the brain takes in more information per second, processing it more deeply.
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.
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