How to Enter the “Flow State”

- Mindfulness

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by Silvia Woolard

Imagine yourself starting a running routine. At first, it’s tough. You don’t have the stamina and you have to struggle to reach your goals. You’re tired, but you keep going. As you maintain this practice, you slowly improve. At one point or another, you’ll find yourself being very aware of the way your body moves while you run. There’s no room for giving up and you’re fully committed to the running while you do it.

That’s called the flow! It’s a state in which your mind shifts into a new space. You’re more attentive, alive, and connected with the task at hand. You feel in tune with what you’re doing, and you’re happy you’re moving towards a particular goal.

What does this have to do with your job, I hear you ask?
Just as you tune in with the physical activity, you can tune in with the tasks at work.

The flow state makes you more successful. It makes you more productive. It certainly boosts your job satisfaction, too.

But how do you achieve it?

Entering the flow state tip #1: Take Deep Breaths Before You Start

When you’re overwhelmed by a complex or lengthy task at work, you tend to procrastinate.

Nathaniel Smith, a writer at UK BestEssays, shares his experience: “When I have a huge project to work on, such as a doctoral dissertation, for example, I’m overwhelmed. I know I have to enter the flow as soon as possible, but that’s exactly when I’m most prone to distractions. I was surprised to see how proper breathing helps me stay focused.”

When you’re anxious about a particular task, deep breathing is the fastest way to calm yourself down. The way you breathe affects the activity of your brain, and deep breaths send signals that make it focused.

So here is what you do: close your eyes and take a few deep, steady breaths. Focus your entire attention on the sensation of air throughout your nostrils. Imagine how that air goes through your body. Just be there. Breathe!

This technique will make your brain focused, so it will be ready to enter the next task without being tricked by distractions.

Entering the flow state tip #2: Find an Aspect of Your Job that You Enjoy

Do you remember how enthusiastic you were when you started this job? Somewhere along the way, you lost that enthusiasm. Your job turned from something you wanted to do into something you have to do. If that’s the case, it’s exactly what prevents you from entering the flow.

Remind yourself of the reasons why you opted for this career path. Emphasize the aspects you love. How is it connected with your moral values?

A writer can change someone’s life through their work. An office worker solves problems that also affect people’s lives. Every job is useful in one way or another, so you can easily find the motivating factor. You enjoy doing something useful, so remind yourself about those aspects of your job.

Entering the flow state tip #3: Stay Away from Distractions

There you are, working on your project. You just wrote two or three sentences of the introduction and things were going well. Suddenly, you get an inner drive to check Instagram. You promise yourself that you’ll spend only five minutes on the app. Half an hour goes by without you even noticing.

Distractions are the most powerful weapon against the flow. Fortunately, you can fight them.

First, you have to make yourself aware of them. You can track the time you spend on distracting websites through a Chrome extension like Webtime Tracker. When you recognize your greatest distractions, you can block them with an extension like StayFocusd. It lets you spend a limited period of time on those websites. After that, it will block your access to them, so you’ll have no other option but to use your computer for work.

Entering the flow state tip #4: Discover Your Peak Time

The circadian rhythm issue has been sparkling controversies for quite some time. In 2017, three U.S. scientists got the Medicine Nobel Prize for their research on circadian rhythm. This theory is focused on the relationship between the external environment and our internal biological clock. That biological clock regulates our eating and sleeping patterns, as well as the blood pressure and hormone release in our body. But it’s not the same for everyone.

For some people, the peak of activity is in the morning. For others, it’s during the afternoon or even the evening. If you’re lucky enough, your office hours will match your activity peak. If you have an option to choose when you’ll work, then you must observe your productivity patterns. Try working at different hours of the day and measure your productivity. Over time, you’ll understand how your biological clock works and you’ll be able to determine the activity peak.

When you work during the activity peak, it’s much easier to get into the flow.

Sometimes you will find your flow without even trying. Most of the time, however, you have to work for it. The above-listed tips will help you get into that state!

Photo: Pexels

Entering the flow state can be a great way for you to release stress and improve your overall well-being. Let us know what you do to release stress and find peace!

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