Have you ever achieved a flow state? It’s a unique feeling of intense concentration and productivity achieved by being ignorant of external and internal distractions. It’s not exclusive to certain groups of professionals doing creative work, as this state can be achieved by anyone.
Such synchronization of body and mind is particularly beneficial in working environments, as it induces productivity, creativity, and motivation in employees.
If you are interested in learning how to induce flow state, you’ll find the information below helpful.
A definition of flow state
This term can be defined as a feeling of high productivity and deep concentration without being affected by any distractions. Individuals in such a mental state are entirely absorbed in the tasks they perform while losing track of time. Flow theory was introduced for the first time by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in the late seventies, who was fascinated by artists who were so focused on their work they neither slept nor ate.
In order to achieve such a mental state, a person is supposed to commit himself/herself to an activity with the whole human being. By immersing yourself completely in a particular task, you’ll find the world around you irrelevant. When the body and mind work in harmony, intrusive thoughts are eliminated, while performance is improved.
Almost a decade later, Csikszentmihalyi came up with the experience fluctuation model to gain a better understanding of what leads to the flow state. Read more about Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a pioneering psychologist and the father of the “flow.” Two factors are believed to contribute to inducing such a feeling, including the challenge level and skill requirement imposed by the task. For instance, a feeling of apathy is induced when the activity has little to no skill requirement, and the challenge level is low.
In contrast, a relaxed mood is achieved when a person is incredibly skilled, but the task is not challenging enough. However, if an individual isn’t very skilled and the challenge level is too high, a feeling of anxiety is inevitable. The ideal conditions for inducing flow state occurs when the skill and challenge level are both high. It’s paramount for individuals to be confident in their skills to complete the pending task.
Nevertheless, achieving a flow state takes plenty of practice, time, resilience, and repetition. Five factors are responsible for reaching such a condition. Firstly, the activity is supposed to be rewarding, as people are more focused and motivated when performing an activity they like doing. Clear goals must be set for individuals to experience a sense of progress.
Moreover, individuals are supposed to get immediate and clear feedback both in the course of the process and after it ends. As previously mentioned, the challenge and skill levels should be a match. You should be intensely focused on the present moment without paying any attention to internal and external distractions.
If you cannot figure out whether you have achieved such a mental state in the past, reflect on your feelings during a particular situation. In case time flew by and you felt effortless while performing a challenging task, you’re likely to have experienced the flow. Regardless of the intensity of the task, the person performing it should be relaxed.
What are the benefits of inducing such a state?
There are numerous advantages of inducing a flow state, which is important for improving work performance and business management. People are likelier to enjoy their work and experience a feeling of fulfillment and satisfaction. Since individuals are maximally concentrated, tasks are almost always completed with remarkable results.
While experiencing the flow, individuals shut out all distractions and disruptions, which is of tremendous importance in the workplace. The human mind is prone to wandering almost fifty percent of the time due to the increased number of external distractions like social media. Employees and business managers can become more productive by learning how to achieve a flow state. The following article, https://www.huffpost.com/archive/ca/entry/social-media-at-work_n_1183507, discusses the dilemma of whether social media at work is distracting or part of business.
When your mind is free of external and internal distractions, it operates at a more advanced level. Consequently, employees can think more freely and be more creative. Intrusive thoughts threaten the confidence of individuals and their ability to complete a task.
In addition, by reaching a flow state, you’re expected to experience more happiness. When a person is capable of using his/her skills to solve a challenge or engage in work that’s fulfilling, the feeling of happiness is induced. Happier employees and business managers are believed to be far more productive.
Another benefit of learning how to induce such a mental state is becoming more motivated. The more satisfied you are with the work you perform, the more your motivation is expected to grow.
How to induce such flow?
If you are interested in synchronizing your body and mind, you should learn how to reach a state of flow. It’s more easily reached when a person is rested because of the lower levels of anxiety. You should be as much relaxed as possible before starting work. Make sure to introduce some routines to help you feel more relaxed, such as going to the gym, doing yoga, practicing daily meditation, etc.
Another tip to follow is finding the ideal working space, as the working environment has a tremendous influence on concentration and productivity. Clutter is thought to affect the ability of workers to process information by making them feel stressed and less creative. Your working environment can be optimized by reducing clutter and listening to relaxing music.
Repetition is another method to try when inducing a state of flow. After learning a particular skill, you should repeat it until you achieve a sense of mastery or competence. It takes a certain amount of time for an individual to master a new skill, which is best achieved by repetition.
The bottom line
By following these tips, you can improve your work performance in no time!