The Environment & Requirements of Flow (+MP3)
Flow is the key to productivity...
(Your free worksheet and hypnosis mp3 are at the bottom of this post.)
Where does flow come from?
And, is it possible to choose to get into flow?
In case you have not heard of flow, let’s start there…
Flow is a state of being in which you are so present and absorbed in the task at hand that you lose track of time and the task and your thoughts flow easily and effortlessly.
Writers and artists may speak of this as a muse appearing to them allowing their creativity to pour out of them unconsciously. And indeed, it is an altered state of trance.
So where does flow come from?
It can happen all unexpected but just like deep love, flow benefits a great deal from planning for spontaneity!
Flow State needs a few crucial pieces:
- A project that is within your ability.
- A stretch skill that pulls your attention.
- A specific goal that is very, very clear. You will know when it is achieved.
- Time blocked off to focus entirely on this.
- The elimination of distractions.
- Cues that remind you to go into flow (chair, music, a certain scent or tea maybe that are used when in flow)
- Mindfully choosing to be committed to the task.
Notice something interesting about this? All of these items are doable. As you read the list, think about a time when you were in flow. A specific time. Notice how many of those seven items were present. Chances are at least 3 were there. Three? Not all seven? Yes. Not all of these elements are necessary for spontaneous flow to happen. Sometimes inspiration or urgency will pull us into flow out of necessity.
My question is, why wait for inspiration or urgency to get into flow state? As the CEO of your life, why not block of 2 hours every day to be in flow; working on something that will drive you forward with velocity. How would your future look if you spent 500 hours a year in flow?
In flow state, creativity and problem solving happen at an exponential rate. Instead of working harder, you work smarter.
Let me share an old story with you with a tiny twist.
I was sitting in my office one day last week with the autumn sun beaming in and the branches swaying outside my window. It was very attractive and I was contemplating taking my laptop outside to work on the deck.
As I thought about this, a fly caught my attention.
He was buzzing along the window pane, bumping off it repeatedly.
As I watched him, I mused about what he was doing. He also wanted to be outside, and as he bumped off that pane, he came more desperate.
On the other side of that barrier, was his vision. He could see it. I fancied he could almost taste it. Harder and harder he banged against the window to no avail.
Behind me, not eight feet away from this fly was an open door. The breeze out there would have lifted him easily and effortlessly to the achievement of his vision. And yet I knew that he would eventually tire and die there on that window sill. Telling himself, “work harder”.
Are you working toward your vision?
When we get caught up in working in our business rather than on our business, we hope that we are heading toward our vision. That is not always the case, especially as urgency and anxiety put blinders on us.
It is essential to take the time to stop and work on our business, enlisting a third party perhaps to help us widen our perspective – maybe even head for it through a different “frame”.
So how can you set the stage for flow in your business? There is a process. You need to prioritize your vision. Make the time – start small if need be. Perhaps, 30 minutes a day. Or a block of two hours once a week.
During that block of time, only focus on the task at hand. At first, you may feel that you are wasting your time, you may get frustrated. Stay with it. Once you begin, and your unconscious mind understands that you are staying with it, the resources become available and the answers come.
- Flow Factors Worksheet and,
- Flow State Installation Hypnosis track
Follow the steps in the Flow Checklist – here is a copy for you to use the first few times as you build the habit.
You may appreciate the extra benefit of a guided hypnosis to induce the flow state and give you some practice: Flow Installation Hypnosis mp3