Reaching a Flow State

Have you ever heard mention of reaching a flow state and wondered how to find this magical place of productivity? Flow states are synonymous with being ‘in the zone’ and functioning at peak productivity. Being in flow not only produces high quality work, but also work that is deeply satisfying and requires less effort to reach optimal results.
What is flow? Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi describes flow as “being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you're using your skills to the utmost.” When in this state, you are able to reach the most productive version of yourself.

Can you create flow? There is no one way to achieve flow. However, there are several ways to increase the likelihood of reaching a flow state in a work. Check out a few of our favorites below: 

  • Reduce distractions. Cut back on open computer tabs, adjust notifications on devices, pop in earbuds, and see if there are ways to dial in your focus to just the work in front of you.
  • Line up work with interests and skills. Not every task can be enjoyable. However, working on tasks that align with your passions and natural skills can increase productivity. Giving employees choice in this area yields happier workplaces, while increasing engagement and flow.
  • Batch work. Instead of shifting back and forth between disparate tasks, work on similar tasks together. Grouping creative thinking (right brain) projects together and working on them separately from more analytical (left brain) work will help you avoid energy disruptions and work with healthy momentum. 
  • Don’t pressure flow. Trying too hard to trigger flow can force a sense of burnout and defeat. Embrace it when you have it and take breaks when you need them.

Reaching a state of flow can be an amazing thing for both work output and employee retention. Productive employees are happy employees, and happy employees are productive employees. So, now the real question is, how can you create an environment for flow in your work and the work of your team?

Need more tips on productivity, balance, and employee retention? Visit our tip library or contact us to learn more about group training topics.

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