Getting into the flow is great. Suddenly, everything seems to be working out, and there is time for everything you need to get done in life!
But how do you get into the flow? More importantly – how do you stay there? Keep reading to find out!
- Add New Challenges Regularly. Although it may seem counterproductive, adding new challenges to an activity can help you achieve and maintain flow. Flow is all about ensuring your attention is where it needs to be, and if you include enough of a challenge here and there, this will keep you from getting bored and ensure the task holds your attention. For example, if you are learning a new skill, try an advanced technique now and then. If you don’t get it, let it go for now (don’t stress yourself over it) but keep circling back to it weekly until you master it!
- Eliminate Interruptions Beforehand. A major aspect of flow is getting things done and staying in this zone to stay productive. It is impossible to stay in the flow when there are many interruptions. For example, don’t take your phone with you when you know you need flow. At least turn off notifications on your phone when you need to be focused. Controlling distractions will ensure that you will find flow more quickly and stay in it once you are there.
- Know Your Goals. While working on a project or task, you may experience setbacks along the way. To overcome these setbacks quickly (and maintain flow), it’s important to keep the final result in mind and let the small challenges go.
Say you are working on an important project that you need to get finished in the next few days. Maybe you get part way through, and you realise you are missing an important piece of data or need to reference some information. This could be frustrating and lead you to go online and research what you need – but this will cause a delay and break your flow, especially if you end up down a few rabbit holes.
Instead, you should continue progressing the project and then later go and find the missing piece of data or information. This way you will be most productive by saying in the flow and not breaking your focus.
. . .
Overall, getting into the flow isn’t always easy, especially if your work is filled with distractions. If you use the above three ways to approach the things you need to do, you’ll find that you are much more easily able to find and maintain your flow, therefore increasing your productivity.