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Bored with Your Job? The Recipe for Enjoying Your Work | Scott H Young

Make Frustrating Tasks Easier

Work tasks are rarely chosen by you, so they rarely have optimal difficulty. To make them more likely to produce flow:

  1. Slow down on your work and let go of the expectations you have related to your tasks.
  2. Complex tasks can seem very overwhelming and frustrating. So break them up into more manageable sub-tasks.
  3. Lower your standards temporarily to get the faucet running. Perfectionism will not help you in this case.

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Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

“I developed a theory of optimal experience based on the concept of flow—the state in which people are so involve..."

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Defining Flow

Being in a state of flow means being immersed in the activity you are doing that you forget abut the outside world.
And you are most likely to reach this state when your skills are well-matched with your goal’s challenge.

Achieving Flow
  • Set specific goals, that are aligned to your purpose, passions and values.
  • Focus all your attention to the task in front of you.
  • Enjoy the moment, and do not worry about the result
Flow is the state of mind

... 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...

Why it’s hard to achieve flow in your workplace
  • The processes, policies, and busy work gets in the way.
  • Most jobs don’t have a clear goal.
  • Feedback can be inadequate.
  • The pace of work has increased, and it’s hard for people to spend time thinking deeply.
  • Your skills aren’t well matched to the challenges you are allowed to pursue.
  • There’s a lack of control over interruptions or when and how you work.
  • The job doesn’t push you out of your comfort zone.
Take more risks

... 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.

Describing "flow"
Describing "flow"

Flow is a state of mind when we are so absorbed in an activity that we lose all track of time and effort.

Flow happens when we are doing an activity that embraces our skill...

Relax while being productive

People who are in flow can keep going for a long time without experiencing cognitive fatigue. They report feeling calm and detached from negative emotions.

In a study, volunteers had more sympathetic activity in a state of flow, meaning they were more alert and mentally sharp. They had demonstrably less activity in the amygdala, a brain region involved in emotion-processing.

How to get into a state of flow

To get into flow, find an activity you can do with some effort. The challenge should meet your skillset without making you feel overwhelmed or bored.

If your mind is flooded with negative thoughts, then getting into flow can help you detach from emotional reactivity.