Flow is known as a state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter and that the experience of being involved is so enjoyable that people will continue to do so (even at high cost) for the sheer sake of doing it. The flow state can occur across any industry and at any level.
Reaching the flow state means that you are at your most productive and can produce higher-quality results in your output work. If you can achieve this state while working, you are operating at your peak performance and are more likely to create your best work.
The chances are that you may have already experienced a flow state while at work but not been aware that it has happened. If you’ve experienced a state of “no thought” and a quietening of your mind while performing tasks, you may have entered into a flow state.
With the focus and clarity afforded to you by a flow state, tasks that can typically take days to complete may only take hours while performing under its influence.
How To Create A Flow State
A flow state cannot be achieved while under or in a state of pressure, as outside stresses and anxiety reduce productivity. Learning how to manage those is key to creating the environment for flow states to occur.
You also need to be challenged without being overwhelmed by the task. Achieving a flow state relies on a state of constant improvement, where the challenge is enough to keep you engaged without inducing stress.
It’s also important to reframe your brain’s reaction to stress – it’s important to channel the pressures and stress of high-intensity roles or jobs and reframe them into positive reactions that can improve your ability to enter the flow state.
Achieving flow can assist in your productivity and performance levels. When trying to work out the trigger for entering into your flow state, reflect on what was happening, what you were doing and how you felt during the period that it occurred.
You can better your chances of invoking the flow state through:
- Quieting the mind by applying relaxation techniques
- Creating an environment free of distractions or focus-breakers, such as turning your phone off
- Associating items/objects with the feeling of the flow states (e.g. a photographer might get into flow states better when behind their camera)