There’s a lot we can do with our environment, intentions and mindset to promote conditions that lead to flow.Flow state meaning was first introduced by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in the 1970s. It involved a mental state where we are immersed in a feeling of energized focus and in the process we lose sense of space and time. Flow states lead to increased satisfaction, personal fulfillment and growth.
- Set Clear, Achievable Goals: If the task at hand lacks clear and achievable goals, it can be difficult to enter a flow state. Uncertainty about what needs to be done can lead to distraction and a lack of focus.
- Avoid Distractions & Multitasking: Distractions such as noise or interruptions can disrupt concentration and prevent the deep focus necessary for a flow state. Similarly, trying to juggle multiple tasks simultaneously divides attention and can block the experience of flow.
- Find the Right Balance of Challenge and Skill: Flow occurs when there is a balance between your skill level and the challenge presented by the task. If the task is too easy or repetitious, it can lead to boredom, while if it’s too difficult, it can result in frustration or anxiety.
- Do What You Enjoy: Engaging in activities that don’t align with your interests or values can make it challenging to achieve a flow state because genuine interest and motivation are important drivers of flow. While not everyone loves their day job, building a familiarity with a flow state in everyday life will help you achieve it more during the workday as well. Make time in your life for the things you love.
- Work On Your State of Mind: Being overly self-conscious or concerned about how you’re perceived by others can interfere with the ability to fully engage in the present moment. This is related to perfectionism because if you’re too focused on a very high personal standard and fearful of making mistakes then the anxiety that comes from that will prevent the relaxed focus needed for flow.
Achieving and maintaining a flow state is a dynamic process that requires intentionality and practice. Achieving flow will help you see the many benefits that it can bring to your life—if you would like to know more about flow states and high performance states please feel free to reach out.
Liane Wansbrough | High-Performance Coach