Productivity Technology

6 Steps For Getting Into Flow State and Maximizing Productivity

Focused on Work

We’ve all struggled to get momentum on a venture.

You sit down at your desk, open your laptop computer, and instantly dozens of emails, Slack notifications, and textual content messages are hurtling at you, demanding your consideration. Coworkers pop into your workplace (or cubicle) for “short” conversations that inevitably take thirty minutes. You end up distracted by Fb, Instagram, and “Which Character From F.R.I.E.N.D.S Are You?” quizzes on Buzzfeed.

You’re solely capable of work in your challenge in matches and begins and hiccups, and by the top of the day, you’ve barely made any progress.

With every passing day, you are feeling more and more caught, figuring out you want to end this crucial venture however feeling like there’s no approach ahead. It’s irritating, to say the least, and harm your profession if it continues for a prolonged time period.

However there’s excellent news. There’s a method to get out of the distraction rut, critically improve your productiveness, and end that challenge that has been haunting you for months.

That answer?

Flow state.

On this article, I’m going to elucidate what circulate state is, the way it can supercharge your productiveness and strategies for stepping into the circulate state.

What Is Flow State and Why Does It Matter?

Woman focused

Flow state is a time period coined by psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi to explain being absolutely immersed in a process, to the purpose the place every little thing else fades away. All of your consideration and power is directed towards a single goal and you utterly overlook concerning the outdoors world. Your creativity and productiveness surges and you lose monitor of time.

In some ways, move state is analogous, and even synonymous with, mindfulness. It’s giving your full consideration to the second and activity at hand, and not worrying about anything.

Csíkszentmihályi describes circulate state like this:

Opposite to what we often consider, moments like these [flow state moments], one of the best moments in our lives, aren’t the passive, receptive, enjoyable occasions—though such experiences can be gratifying if we now have labored onerous to achieve them. The perfect moments often happen when an individual’s physique or thoughts is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to perform one thing troublesome and worthwhile. Optimum expertise is thus one thing that we make occur. For a toddler, it could possibly be putting with trembling fingers the final block on a tower she has constructed, greater than any she has constructed to date; for a swimmer, it could possibly be making an attempt to beat his personal report; for a violinist, mastering an intricate musical passage. For every individual there are literally thousands of alternatives, challenges to increase ourselves.

There are THREE key issues to notice from this passage:

  1. Flow state moments are deeply fulfilling, artistic, and even comfortable
  2. Being in movement state lets you obtain troublesome issues (mastering a bit of music, beating a private greatest, and so on.)
  3. Flow state doesn’t occur mechanically or passively and requires strategic effort

In different phrases, being within the circulate state permits you to obtain nice issues, however you need to take motion to realize the move state.

Which, in fact, raises a essential query: what actions can you’re taking to get into the movement state?

Listed here are 6 easy, but extremely efficient steps that I like to recommend.

Step #1: Create A Flow State Ritual

A move state ritual is an motion (or collection of actions) you’re taking each time you’re about to start out engaged on a important process. This motion is a sign to each your mind and your physique that you simply’re about to provide all of your focus and consideration to at least one activity, and that you simply gained’t permit something to distract you. This ritual helps put you within the single-track mindset required to enter the circulate state.

Perhaps your ritual is meditating for ten minutes, clearing your thoughts of all of the distractions and muddle of the day. Perhaps your ritual is slowly and intentionally making a cup of tea as you ponder the duty at hand. Or perhaps you’re taking a brief stroll outdoors to get your blood shifting and the artistic juices flowing.

The purpose is just that you simply carry out the identical process each time earlier than you enter the movement state. This repetition will ultimately trigger the ritual to be a Pavlovian sign of types, triggering a organic response in your physique that prepares it to focus.

Step #2: Select Your Most Necessary Process

Checking Tasks

You don’t need to waste movement state on trivial duties like answering emails or partaking in an earthly dialogue on Slack. Slightly, you need to work on one thing that’s really necessary on your life and profession.

I like to recommend combining the “eat that frog” method with move state. Consuming your frog is a time period coined by Brian Tracy that refers to specializing in and finishing your most essential process very first thing day-after-day. By specializing in what’s most necessary, you make sure that you make significant progress on essential tasks each single day.

Whenever you’re working in your most essential process, it’s a lot simpler to enter the movement state since you’re conscious of the stakes. You understand that in case you don’t accomplish this activity, the challenge gained’t transfer ahead and you’ll come to the top of the day feeling such as you didn’t obtain a lot of significance. Select the factor that’s most essential to you and give your full focus and power to that factor.

Step #three: Determine Your Peak Artistic and Productive Time

It’s very troublesome to enter the circulate state if you’re drained and don’t have a lot artistic power. Whenever you’re on this low-energy state, it’s difficult to focus. In any case, your thoughts is sort of a muscle – it could actually solely achieve this a lot in a single day. Should you’ve used all of your mind energy on unimportant duties, you gained’t be capable of generate the laser focus required to enter the circulate state.

The answer? Decide when your physique and thoughts are at their peak when it comes to creativity and power. For most individuals, that is within the morning. They’re recent from a superb night time’s sleep and their physique is on the crest of an ultradian cycle when power is highest. It’s throughout these peak efficiency occasions that you simply’ll discover it best to completely focus and do the deep work that happens within the circulate state.

Step #four: Get rid of All Distractions

Flow state is considerably fragile. In different phrases, it’s straightforward to be yanked out of it by easy distractions. Because of this it’s completely important to get rid of all attainable distractions.

  • Shut your e-mail.
  • Shut down Slack.
  • Put your telephone into “Do Not Disturb” mode.
  • Shut your workplace door (if in case you have one) or placed on headphones and take heed to focus music.
  • Clear your desk of any gadgets which will distract you (memos, mugs that you simply’ve been which means to wash, and so forth.).

Your objective is to isolate your self as a lot as attainable. Clearly, you possibly can’t be remoted for a whole day. There might be occasions when it’s worthwhile to chat with coworkers or shoppers, in addition to reply to emails and texts. However in the course of the interval once you’re within the stream state, you possibly can’t afford to be distracted.

Step #5: Set A Pomodoro Timer

Pomodoro Timer

As famous, you possibly can’t be in movement state indefinitely. Your mind can’t maintain it and your schedule/work schedule might not permit it. Utilizing the Pomodoro technique lets you create each a beginning and ending level in your stream state periods. It additionally ensures that your mind can relaxation and rejuvenate after a interval of deep focus.

Ideally, your movement state session will final for a minimum of 4, 25-minute Pomodoros (90-120 minutes). After you’ve achieved the 4 periods, you may give your mind an extended break (at the very least 15-20 minutes). Throughout this longer break, you’ll in all probability come out of stream state. For this reason I like to recommend making an attempt to do no less than 4 Pomodoros.

Step #6: Maintain Training

Initially, you might discover it difficult to enter and maintain stream state. In the event you’re accustomed to always answering emails, chatting with coworkers, or texting with pals, creating sustained focus won’t be straightforward.

Begin small. Begin with the objective of getting into stream state for 15 or 20 minutes. If that is too troublesome, make the time even shorter. Throughout these preliminary periods, you’ll in all probability discover your thoughts wandering and be tempted to verify your e mail or hop on social media.

Don’t give in to the temptation.

In some ways, focus is sort of a muscle. The extra you employ it, the stronger it turns into and the better it’s so that you can enter the stream state. Don’t be discouraged for those who aren’t capable of instantly work for 90 minutes straight in your most necessary process.

The extra you’re employed at it, the better you’ll discover to realize movement.

The Profound Energy of Flow

In a tradition that’s overwhelmingly distracted, move state may give you a big aggressive benefit. Whereas different individuals are struggling to realize momentum on essential duties and tasks, you’ll be getting an important issues accomplished every single day.

Novelist Neal Stephenson, who writes spectacularly lengthy books, helpfully places it this manner:

The productiveness equation is a non-linear one…This accounts for why I’m a nasty correspondent and not often settle for talking engagements. If I arrange my life in such a approach that I get numerous lengthy, consecutive, uninterrupted time chunks [aka flow state], I can write novels. However as these chunks get separated and fragmented, my productiveness as a novelist drops spectacularly.

Is it difficult to enter move state? At occasions. Does it require self-discipline and a dedication to keep it up? Definitely. However the rewards for recurrently attaining stream state are staggering.

It’s how the best musicians obtain mastery.

It’s how novelists are capable of write 300,000 phrases.

And it’s how one can considerably improve your general productiveness.

Subsequent Steps

Discover out if you find yourself most efficient and artistic in the course of the day and determine what your circulate state ritual goes to be. After you have each info you then have to get rid of all distractions similar to e-mail, immediate messaging, and so on. You can begin the move state course of by doing the ritual at your most efficient time and instantly work in your most essential process for the day. When you have points staying on this state, use the Pomodoro technique and don’t overlook to maintain working towards.

In case you are unable to maximise your productiveness, there could possibly be another underlying causes for this. Our free Productivity Quiz will provide help to uncover what these causes are and we’ll ship you a customized plan on easy methods to overcome these.

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