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6 Ways To Get In The Zone (The Flow State)

What is the flow state? We've probably all experienced it at some point.

This topic came up during a wonderful "Intention Setting with the Moon" session hosted by Nomad Haven's in-house astrologer, Candice Young, and we've decided to explore it further.

Nicholas Ng via Unsplash

Flow State is a sense of fluidity and ease between your body and mind, where you are completely focused on a single task or activity. It's also described as being "in the zone" and time seems to slow down. This "flow state" is accessible to everyone, whether you are doing a simple daily task, playing sports or pursuing a creative project. Therefore, it's very useful in boosting our daily productivity in growing our businesses.

“The best moments in our lives are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times . . . The best moments usually occur if a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.” (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990)

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, considered one of the co-founders of positive psychology, was the first to identify and research flow. According to him, the eight characteristics of flow are:

  1. Complete concentration on the task

  2. Clarity of goals and reward in mind and immediate feedback

  3. Transformation of time (speeding up/slowing down)

  4. The experience is intrinsically rewarding

  5. Effortlessness and ease

  6. There is a balance between challenge and skills

  7. Actions and awareness are merged, losing consciousness of the self

  8. There is a feeling of control over the task

(Positive Psychology, 2016)

Karsten Winegeart via Unsplash

6 Ways to Achieve Flow State

Once we understand how flow works, we can set up our schedule and work environment to make it as flow-friendly as possible (Cooks-Campbell, 2022).

Here are 6 ways to get there, and stay there!

1. Pick Clear Goals and Know Yourself

Work on a task with a specific, clear outcome. Your mindset is conducive to flow when you know exactly what you are working on. If you are doing a task you don't like, it's worth asking yourself why you don't like it. Is it too easy, too hard, too boring, or we don't know how to do it well? Trying to find something worth learning in even the most tedious task is the key to flow.

2. Make Your Tasks Challenging

Activities that are the right amount of challenging are more interesting. If you can’t change the task, you might be able to alter other factors to make it harder. For example, if you are washing the dishes, you can have a race to see how fast, or how many you can wash to get them sparkling and clean.

3. Find Time To Focus

Figure out the time of day when you are most productive and alert, and block off periods where you can work without any distractions.

4. Turn Off Your Phone/Social Media

No explanation needed!

5. Create a Pre-Flow Ritual

You can get into the flow mindset by creating a ritual. For example, before writing, you can turn on some music, check your messages, get a snack, or anything else. It does not have to be formal or the same for every activity.

6. Don't Forget To Practice Self-care!

In a state of flow, we may forget to eat, drink or sleep! While this is good for staying focused, it’s not good for your body. Make sure to have a self-care routine to help you stay comfortable by keeping snacks/water on your desk or invest in a comfortable chair.

The brain can’t stay in flow all the time. In a creative, flow state, the mind works optimally for about 90 minutes to 2 hours (Cooks-Campbell, 2022). You can make the most of this time with techniques like the Pomodoro Method. Focused periods alternated with brief periods of rest allow your brain to be its most efficient and creative without triggering burnout.

Here at Nomad Haven, our wonderful community of women are keen to learn and implement methods that grow both their business and soulful sides. By getting in the zone, we can take care of both! Come and join us by clicking below.



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