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State of Flow: The gateway of creativity and productivity

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

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State of Flow: The gateway of creativity and productivity

State of Flow: The gateway of creativity and productivity

https://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/state-of-flow-equals-creativity-productivity/

pickthebrain.com

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Key Ideas

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

“I developed a theory of optimal experience based on the concept of flow—the state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter; the experience itself is so enjoyable that people will do it even at great cost, for the sheer sake of doing it”

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

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

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.

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The Flow State

Flow is the mental state 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...

Requirements To Enter Flow

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 doing it well, and be pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone.

The last point is especially important, it's mastery combined with challenge that brings flow. Too much challenge and we get overcome with anxiety. Not enough, and our brain loses focus and looks for other stimuli.

Mihaly Csíkszentmihályi
Mihaly Csíkszentmihályi

"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."

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The State of Flow
The State of Flow

Being in flow means focusing your complete attention on the task in front of you. It is an underrated aspect of our happiness at work.
Flow requires simplicity: if a task is too...

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.
Make Boring Tasks More Interesting

You tend to start daydreaming spontaneously when you don’t have something harder to do. To make boring tasks more engaging:

  1. Up your game. Even a slight increase in standards is often enough to make your focus sharper.
  2. Measure your performance, keep track of it as you go and make the stakes higher for whatever you’re doing.
  3. Do it differently. If you change up your explicit strategy, removing the ability to do it by rote, you can increase engagement.
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 bal...
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.

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.

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The Flow State

Flow happens when we hit a rhythm and our work hums optimally; when we find "the zone" of productivity. It’s a state that’s easily disrupted by distractions but can be achieved and sustained...

Tactics To Get Into Flow
  • Separate some time to deep pursuits and leave the rest open to everything else. Channel your inner monastic for a limited stretch of time. Afterwards, return to regular accessibility.
  • Remove the obstacles of “when” and “where” by setting a time and a place for deep work, and making it a habit.
  • When you need to do deep work on demand: fit it into your schedule whenever you can. Developing the ability to "switch on" your deep work muscles is less challenging than dedicating the free time to purposeful work.
Albert Einstein

“We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us happy ..."

Albert Einstein
The Dip
Across language learning, company building, and any kind of creative project, there is a dip. The Dip is the long stretch between beginner’s luck and real accomplishment.
Extraordinary benefits accrue to the tiny minority of people who are able to push just a tiny bit longer than most.
The Start before the Dip
In any goal that has to be accomplished, there is a Start. It usually gets overlooked, as it's always there. 
The Start is a much bigger problem since you can’t reach The Dip if you don’t get through The Start, and many more people fantasize about doing something than actually do it and give up.

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The Flow State

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...

The Six Parts of A Flow State
  1. Intense concentration on the task at hand.
  2. A merging of action and awareness - “being and doing become one”.
  3. A loss of reflective self-consciousness.
  4. A sense of personal control over the situation.
  5. A distortion of the perception of time.
  6. Autotelic experience: the activity itself is intrinsically rewarding, rather than the expected outcome.
What Flow Is Not
  • It’s not easyFlow is not just a state where we love the work so much it just pours out. Flow is a state where hard work meets joy and meaning. 
  • It’s not for beginners. The act of learning how to do something won’t always allow us to get into the flow. Getting into the zone in a specific discipline is something that needs to be learned and practiced.

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Live a 24-Hour Life
Live a 24-Hour Life

We, humans, want pleasure and results as soon as possible. We start taking action, but it often happens that we fall off the wagon because we don’t see results that fast.

From then on, eve...

Commit to Your Health

To increase the level of your health, and by default the level of productivity, because you will be more energetic and focused:

  • Get enough sleep
  • Create a healthy diet for yourself
  • Move more.
Develop a Morning Routine

A morning routine aims to make you alert, help you take care of your health, intellectual and spiritual growth. Develop 2 types of habits:

  • Habits that can improve the quality of your life in the present
  • Habits that can improve the quality of your life in the future

Ideally, you should focus to form habits that give you both — such as exercising.

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Happiness

Happiness and satisfaction are subjective concepts – while for some of us monetary benefits can be equated with job satisfaction, some might strive for recognition of their hard-work and los...

Workplace Happiness defined

In a fundamental sense, workplace happiness comes when:

  • We enjoy doing the tasks assigned to us
  • We feel right about the people we are working with
  • We are happy with the financial benefits we get from the job
  • We have the scope of improving our existing skills
  • We feel respected and acknowledged at work
Importance Of Happiness At Work

Happy employees are compulsory for a growing business.

A study on organizational success revealed that employees who feel happy in the workplace are 65% more energetic than employees who don’t. They are two times more productive and are more likely to sustain their jobs over a long period of time.

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Reduce the stress of clutter
  • Apply constraints and stick to them: to tabs open in your browser, notebooks, magazines etc.
  • Use small storage spaces: Less room means less room for c...
Find places that inspire you

You might not be in a position to choose your workspace, but there are quick fixes: look for a spot with natural light from a window or skylight, take a walk outside when you feel stuck, or simply explore a new location. 

A new environment can quite literally lead to new ideas.

Task association

It's when your brain knows that when you’re in a certain place, you’re taking a certain action.

Take advantage of the way different locations affect you. Our brains love habits, and if we can associate certain qualities with different places, it can help us get into a better working flow. 

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