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How To Hack Into Your Flow State And Quintuple Your Productivity

How to trigger the flow state

  1. Flow follows focus, and taking physical or social risks drives focus into the now.
  2. Change your routine and increase novelty, unpredictability, and complexity
  3. Focus with all senses, listening, looking, smelling, tasting, and touching. Whole body experiences, mindfulness, balance and agility training, and even video games work.

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How To Hack Into Your Flow State And Quintuple Your Productivity

How To Hack Into Your Flow State And Quintuple Your Productivity

https://www.fastcompany.com/3031052/how-to-hack-into-your-flow-state-and-quintuple-your-productivity

fastcompany.com

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Key Ideas

How to trigger the flow state

  1. Flow follows focus, and taking physical or social risks drives focus into the now.
  2. Change your routine and increase novelty, unpredictability, and complexity
  3. Focus with all senses, listening, looking, smelling, tasting, and touching. Whole body experiences, mindfulness, balance and agility training, and even video games work.

Research Findings On Flow

  • When a person is in a state of flow, all five potent neurochemicals massively amplify the immune system.
  • While on flow, stress-causing hormones are flushed out of body, and the autoimmune and nervous systems go haywire.
  • A Gallup poll found that most American workers are disengaged and spends less than 5% of their day in flow.

What Flow is

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.

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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 ...

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."

Self control to trigger a state of Flow

To get into a state of flow more often, we need to be able to increase our level of control over our consciousness:

  • Find standards to determine whether any action you’re going to take is desirable towards getting into a state of flow.
  • Self-control and flow depend on immediate feedback; find ways to constantly monitor your performance and adjust as you continue.
  • Be wary of your mental energy. Define your work schedule to account for the variations in mental strength throughout the day.

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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 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 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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Exercise is a keystone habit

 A change in one life area that brings about positive effects in other area. Exercise it’s not just vanity. What you do in the gym makes you a better, higher-performing person outside of ...

Uncomfortable situations

Besides the well-known health advantages, in a world where comfort is king, arduous physical activity provides a rare opportunity to practice embracing uncomfortable situations.

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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“My vision is sharper, and I’m more sensitive to sounds, my sense of balance and the beauty all around me. … Something sparkles in my mind, and then nothing else in life matters.”

&nbs...

“The activity itself enables experiences that are beyond the everyday. People talk about their senses being alive, about being able to see things much more clearly. It gives them a glimpse of wh...

“The activity itself enables experiences that are beyond the everyday. People talk about their senses being alive, about being able to see things much more clearly. It gives them a glimpse of what it means to be human as in the capacities they have that we don’t tap into in everyday life.”

 - Eric Brymer, psychologist, on the effects of extreme-sports

Extreme Sports Athletes

Many extreme athletes are careful and thoughtful planners, and avoid thrill-seekers when possible.

Most research that links extreme-sports to thrill-seeking, hedonism, and a taste for risk, was done using young subjects, who tend to be impulsive and poor decision-makers regardless.

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The Flow State

Is an optimal state of consciousness where we feel and perform our best. It happens when we are completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Your whol...

Factors that often accompany the flow state
  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
Mihaly Csíkszentmihályi
Mihaly Csíkszentmihályi

 “Flow also happens when a person’s skills are fully involved in overcoming a challenge that is just about manageable, so it acts as a magnet for learning new skills and increasing challenges. If challenges are too low, one gets back to flow by increasing them. If challenges are too great, one can return to the flow state by learning new skills.”

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