Flow state (aka being “in the zone”) is when you feel completely immersed and focused on what you are doing. All sense of time and outside distractions melt away. Hours pass in what feels like minutes and the completed work magically appears in front of you.
To achieve a flow state, the challenge of the project must match your ability. Too easy and you will be bored and disengaged. Too difficult, and progress will be too slow to gather momentum. There are several approaches to help us shrink and expand tasks to match our abilities and quickly achieve flow.
If something is easy, we can complete it:
- More precisely
- In larger quantities
- With automated tools and templates
- By training someone less experienced to master it
- Scheduled for the time of day when we need a mental break
If something would normally be too difficult for us to slip into flow, we can:
- Zoom in to focus on one small piece of it
- Zoom out to examine and plan the broader structure and goals
- Break up the work over multiple iterations
- Seek the help of someone more experienced
- Scheduled for the time of day when our intensity is highest
Whether doing professional work or chores around the house, these methods help us keep our eyes off the clock and laser-focused on the task at hand.
What are your favorite ways to get into and maintain flow?