The ‘Flow State’ Where Creative Work Thrives 

Curated by Vicki Stockbridge

The term “flow” was coined by Dr Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in the 1960s. “The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one. Your whole being is involved, and you’re using your skills to the utmost.” Dr Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Author & Psychologist.

Try these 5 steps on how to get in the flow:

  • Pick the right task: to achieve a flow state, you need to find the right balance between the challenge of the activity and your own skills levels. The flow state rises from a tension between the two. You won’t be able to get in the zone if the task is too easy or too difficult.
  • Define your goal: you need a clearly defined end goal to get in the flow. If you keep interrupting your work to wonder what should happen next, you won’t be able to lose your self-consciousness.
  • Cut out distractions: this means no phone, no multitasking, only the necessary tools (so closing the tabs you don’t need, or closing your laptop if you’re doing non-digital work), and making sure your belly is full and you had enough sleep.
  • Take a deep breath: focus on the present moment, accept that you may fail, and let go of your ego. Do not think about the present or the future.
  • Work mindfully: keep your mind fully attentive to what you are working on in that moment. Similar to what you would do when meditating, gently bring back your mind to the task at hand if you feel like it’s wandering or slipping off into autopilot mode.

These five steps can help you stay relaxed and focused, so you can do your best work and achieve more. Try to go through them next time you want to work on something or do an activity.

NesLabs posted this article including more detail on each of the 5 steps.

5 Things You Can Do Now.

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