Leadership

Focused flow for effortless work

Flow is the state where you need to focus to the task at hand to a such degree that it takes your attention. It causes you to forget petty things, minor distractions, even feelings such as hunger.

People are happiest when they forget themselves for a while. On the other hand we become depressed if we are remember all our suffering.

Therefore to work to improve, even if little the surrounding work is a task that we should be striving to.

I’ve been applying these thoughts in the recent weeks rigorously to my life and indeed I’ve been more energized, and in a joyful mood, while getting more things done than ever. It seems to be that the working for a greater purpose, feels like an innate human need.

Seeing a better tomorrow gives hope too and feeds the optimism to work even further.

Work itself is not a purpose, but a vehicle for a better future. To keep this vehicle running, we need to learn to manage our states, including the state of flow.

(Flow model)

Understanding the mental state is really useful in this. For flow to occur, we need to tweak our experience to be just right. The flow model, devived by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is really good way to think about it and use to adjust the direction.

Managing the flow state through the day is part of the even bigger picture, the whole picture of life. Everything is connected.

Tom Rath has written really good book called Eat, Move and Sleep on this topic. Essentially he is saying that these three topics needs to be tackled together and when we do, we can achieve more energy to our lives. There are easy action suggestions in the book, which you can start to apply right away. I’ve been applying many of the ideas I learned from the book and I do feel like much more energy.

I’ve been looking to create more energizing routines to my life for about 10 months now and until I read the Tom Rath’s book, I think I thought about it in too narrow view. Creating more energy starts with three core habits of eating, moving and sleeping well. And then when that energy is lead with the understanding of the flow concept, we can start to hit flow on most of the days at ease, which then again makes working effortless.

 

Further sources

Talk on Flow

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Eat Move Sleep: How Small Choices Lead to Big Changes by Tom Rath

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