Flow

Idea

The flow is a concept of the hungarian Milhály Csikszentmihályi. He interviewed many people about their jobs and everyday activities and ask them to write down about ten times a day what they are doing and how they are feeling. Some of the timing for the questions was random.
If you’ve ever felt like time is just flying by, you were probably in the state of flow. Flow is a highly focused state in which you focus on one topic and ignore everything else. Your task can be quite simple ie. there was a worker who had to put together parts as soon as possible, so the worker challenged himself to be as quick and efficient as possible. This way he was focused, he was in the flow and the enjoyed what he was doing.

I’m often in the flow when I’m mountain biking. As Barbi Benkó a Hungarian mountain biker puts it: “in the forest you have only one chance”. When you’re roaming down the hill with 25-30 kph you better be a hundred percent focused, as I am. There’s no room for thinking and there’s no room for error.

How

Be aware of what you are doing. Never multitask. Clear your mind and focus on one thing at a time. Regardless if it’s work or not, force yourself to avoid any distractions. It is a good idea to switch off your phone or just put it somewhere where you don’t look at it. It takes about 5-15 minutes to get back to the same mental state as before, once you were distracted by your phone. I personally switched off all automatic synchronization on my phone. Less distractions, better battery life.
Switch off your e-mail client too. 99% of the e-mails can wait. If something is urgent you can be sure that someone will call you or simply will come to your desk. You can just open your e-mail client once or twice a day.

The flow book (hardcover, kindle)

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