I love to be in the flow, in the zone, on fire, or whatever you want to call it.
The biggest question I have is how do I get there? And what exactly is the flow? I know what being in the zone or flow in sports looks like. In business I have been in the flow also. Is it just random chance?
I was reading a blog on flow by Mark McGuinnes at Lateral Action. In it Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi gave this list of characteristics of being in the flow from his TED talk:
- Completely involved in what we are doing – focused, concentrated.
- A sense of ecstasy – of being outside everyday reality.
- Great inner clarity – knowing what needs to be done, and how well we are doing.
- Knowing that the activity is doable – that skills are adequate to the task.
- A sense of serenity – no worries about oneself, and a feeling of growing beyond the boundaries of the ego.
- Timelessness – thoroughly focused on the present, our sin to pass by in minutes.
- Intrinsic motivation – whatever produces flow becomes its own reward.
So how do you get to the flow? I know it takes many years to get in the flow. But how do you get in daily flows?
These are some ways I get in the flow:
- Have a Routine: Start each day out the same. Figure out what your best routine is to get in the flow and then keep doing it.
- Lock Yourself Away: Well you don’t have to lock yourself in a room. But it might help to get in the flow. Get free from distractions.
- No Multitasking: To truly get in the flow there is no room for multitasking. You need to stay focused for long periods of time on one project or thought.
- Be Excited: Smile and be excited about what you are doing. Even if you aren’t at first you can trick yourself into being excited if you just change your thoughts.
- Minimize Email: Check Email twice a day. That’s it!! Period!!! It will be amazing how much more you can get done.