FOCUS follows FLOW - Deepstash
FOCUS follows FLOW

FOCUS follows FLOW

If the challenge and skill required for the work both are low then it falls in apathy. Again if the challenge is high but our skill is low, then we feel anxiety.

If the challenge of the work is low and our skill is high, we feel relax, If we can increase the challenge to 104% from our current skill level, we can get into flow. The challenge is just little bit high from our skill level, this type of work take us to flow state. To increase the challenge you can just shorten the time for that work.

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Mind Map

Mind map will help you remember this BETTER.

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Meta-awareness: Becoming aware of what we’re thinking right at the moment. This is one of the best practices for managing our attention.

So for this practice we can set a timer in every 10 minutes, when the timer stops just notice what I'm thinking at that moment - is it about the work what I'm doing - if yes, then just carry on your work, but if NO - then just write the thought down in a notepad and gently take your mind to the desired work.

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FLOW State

As Steven Kotler describes the 'The FLOW State' as to where we feel our best and perform our best. 

Where we feel Selflessness, Timelessness, Effortlessness, and Richness (of information). It is the only time when our brain releases all five pleasure chemicals at once and we forget about everything and become one with the work.

Flow state increases our productivity by 500% and creativity by 400%.

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Scientist say this state 'The source code of Intrinsic Motivation' because it is the only state of mind when all the five pleasure chemical (Dopamine, Norepinephrine, Anandamide, Serotonin and Oxytocin) release at the same time.

Our prefrontal cortex beings to shut down, as a result of that the voice in our head that always doubts our thinking and distract us, goes away.

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In the state of flow, we feel STER — Selflessness, Timelessness, Effortlessness, and Richness.

  • Selflessness: Our inner voice shuts down and we become one with the work.
  • Timelessness: The sense of time distorted, sometimes 5 minutes feel like 5 hours and vice versa.
  • Effortlessness: Every work is done effortlessly.
  • Richness: We can collect information and process them with ease.

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Define the goal very clearly. We can write it down in paper with clear end point or finish line i.e. there should be a clear indication of completion of the work just like submitting a project or publishing this post.

After creating a clear goal, we need a clear feedback. For that you can track your progress in any app or you can check the box of "Writing 2 blog post for this week" (it's for me) or something like that. We just need to see our progress that will keep us going for the next step.

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"You are so involved what you are doing [that] you aren't thinking of yourself as separate from the immediate activity... You don't see yourself as separate from what you you are doing."

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"...the concentration is like breathing—you never think of it. The roof could fall in and, if it misses you, you would be unaware of it."

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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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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 triggered by a clear set of goals and having your skills pushed just beyond their breaking point while receiving and reacting to continuous feedback. Through Flow, we can work more and be happier, feel more accomplished, and get better at our jobs. 

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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.

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