Flow is the state of being in the zone. Time melts away, you feel like you’re really getting things done, and sometimes even forget to eat. These things would sound scary to anyone who has never experienced flow, but it’s actually a good thing!
Here is a great infographic from Visually which explains the stages of entering flow:
Accessing flow remains elusive. But, there are still some factors which can increase your chances of entering this state. So here are 3 ways to increase the likelihood of flow on your next project:
Access Flow By Choosing The Right Task Or “Flow Activity”
Since flow is connected with being engrossed in a task or endeavor, choosing the right activity matters.
“Flow tends to occur when a person faces a clear set of goals that require appropriate responses. It is easy to enter flow in games such as chess, tennis, or poker because they have goals and rules that make it possible for the player to act without questioning what should be done, and how.” – Psychology Today
So whether you’re building a model, playing a game, or attempting to master a hobby, choosing the right flow activity will greatly increase the chances of you getting in the zone!
Access Flow By Becoming Good At A Task & Pushing Through Difficulty
Some parts of a task will be more difficult than others. But once you get over the initial learning curve of a new task, you’ll have a better chance at accessing flow.
Flow seems to occur more when the level of difficulty a task requires intersects with your particular skill level. The key is finding a task that is difficult, but not too difficult.
If a task is too easy, it’s hard to stay motivated and feel challenged. However, if a task is too hard, you run an equal risk of giving up or feeling overwhelmed. Balance is key.
Access Flow By Getting Feedback & Satisfaction Along The Way
Flow is accessed more easily when you have immediate and continual feedback proving you are on the right track.
When there is intrinsic value in the work itself, you are less focused on the outcome and more likely to let go and embrace the process. The satisfaction from a flow activity doesn’t come from its completion, but rather, from the act of completing it. Flow is what happens along the way.
Since everyone is motivated by different challenges, environments, and tasks, the factors contributing to an individual’s flow can be difficult to pinpoint. So while it is still unclear what exactly brings about flow, we hope these tips help stare you in the right direction.
If you have questions or would like more information, I’d be happy to help. Please send an email, and my team will get in touch with you!