The flow state is the most creative and productive state of mind that we can achieve. It is a meditative state where the activity that we are performing completely absorbs our attention. When we are in the flow, everything goes right. We are happy and our output is at its highest level of quality. When in the flow state, we are at our most relaxed. The ego withdraws and everything else falls away. We forget our fears, limitations, demands, pressure and pain. Bodily sensations such as thirst, hunger and fatigue don't exist. All that is left is joy in the activity that we are currently performing.
There is a boundless energy within us. It takes over and we are in complete peace and connection with the universe. Actors, athletes, artists, performers, politicians, mathematicians, scientists and other creative professionals regularly talk about the flow. They adore it and strive to enter and stay in it. This is because they know that one is most effective when in the flow. Do you want to boost your daily output and enjoy life on a higher level? Here is a strategy that will enable you to get into a flow state at will.
Find a challenge that brings out your best
We all have something that we enjoy doing that brings out the best in us. This is the challenge that feels so easy and straight-forward to you. It could actually be very difficult for others but it is easy as pie for you and you love it. Examples of such challenges are performing arithmetic calculations, playing an instrument, writing, building and even horseback riding. Once you find it, perform it as much as you can every day. This will regularly get you in the flow state. As such, your mind and body will start getting used to getting into this state. As a result you will be able to achieve this state at will whenever you want.
Suggested Reading : 10 Effective and Efficient Ways to Work Smarter Not Harder
Focus on developing your skills
It is important to have a set of skills so as to navigate daily life. Some of these are essential in accomplishing the challenge that gets you in a state of flow. Identify the ones that you use in this way. After that, spend your time improving and honing them until they are your second nature. Doing this helps you to perform better in your chosen challenge and prevents you from finding it boring and unstimulating. You will also find that the action of simply honing your skill can get you firmly in the state of flow.
Have clear, concise goals
To achieve a state of flow, you need to know exactly what you hope to accomplish. Moreover, you need to know how to measure your success in it. This means that you should identify an objective for getting into a state of flow. After that, a method of measuring your progress in the activity which you are conducting is necessary too. This will not only assist you to measure your progress, it will help you to observe the dramatic increase in efficiency and performance when you are in a state of flow. This will instinctively make u want to enter this state and stay there for longer periods of time.
Get rid of distractions
A state of flow is only achievable if you have no distractions to take away your focus. The mind needs to be fully focused on the task at hand so as to go into this state. There can be no visual, audio or haptic distraction. It should be just you and everything you need to complete the job you want to. Moreover, get your mind into a state where nothing else matters but what you are currently doing. This state of mind gradually gets you into the flow and the elimination of all distractions helps you to stay there.
Have enough time on hand to complete the task
A state of flow allows you to complete a task perfectly. Therefore, set aside enough time to complete the task you hope to achieve. It actually takes up to a quarter of an hour to get into the state of flow. Thus, account for this when you are preparing for your task to ensure that you have enough time. Moreover, it is not constructive to stop the task you are performing in the state of flow before it is complete. Not only does this compromise on the quality of your output, it discourages you from entering the state of flow again. Thus, make time to enter this state and stay in it until the task is done.
Manage your emotions
It is possible to pick a suitable challenge, make time for it, eliminate distraction and then find it difficult or even impossible to enter a state of flow. If this happens, the most likely culprit is unstable emotions. Emotions such as anger, anxiety, nervousness, excitement, worry and sadness can prevent you from entering your state of flow. Thankfully, there is a remedy. You can perform some exercises to calm yourself down. After you are relaxed, you will be able to enter a state of flow at will. Another fact that can prevent you from entering this state successfully is fatigue or lethargy. If you feel as though you have very little energy in your body and you are tired, it will be difficult to enter a state of flow. To overcome this, simply perform some activity to increase your energy levels and get you ready for your state of flow. Examples of these activities are eating your favorite snack, engaging in some light exercise or even laughing at a joke. The increased level of energy will assist you to stay actively focused while in your state of flow.
Suggested Reading : Emotional Intelligence: 5 Habits of Emotionally Intelligent People
The Important Take Away
While in a state of flow, you achieve excellence with seemingly minimal effort. You enjoy every moment of your chosen activity. You excel and your peers marvel at your ability. It is a peaceful, productive and wonderful place to be. The tips above can assist you to get into this state at will and stay there. Practice them and change how you work or play for the better.