Tapping into your Flow State
This article by Kara Cutruzzula espouses the positive impact of finding ‘flow’ in our work. We have provided a summary and commentary below with link to her article.
‘Flow’ is a positive state of mind when one becomes completely absorbed in the activities in which they are participating. Popularised by positive psychology researcher Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, ‘flow’ state involves total commitment to a task, to the point where the task is carried out with ease and a person becomes so engrossed that they lose sense of time.
What does ‘flow’ feel like?
This sensation will be familiar to most, as we experience ‘flow’ frequently, though we may not always aware of it. Csikszentmihalyi describes the mental state of ‘flow’ as “being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you’re using your skills to the utmost.” Learning how to access this ‘flow’ state when working can help us to reach peak productivity and potential.
How does ‘flow’ work?
‘Flow’ creates a “positive feedback loop”, in which a person is completely engaged in a task and they receive positive feedback/results from their engagement, making them more likely to continuing engaging deeply with the task. In this pattern, we can become absorbed in a task, executing it without any difficulty. Learning to work in our state of ‘flow’ means that work can become effortless and we feel a greater sense of achievement when tasks are completed.
The benefits of ‘flow’
‘Flow’ is a state which promotes self-motivation and self-assurance. Creating a regular habit of ‘flow’ fosters a positive mental state, creating an incentive to commit to tasks and realise our full potential. This is important as the process of ‘flow’ can help us achieve our goals, although goals may be challenging – they are still achievable. ‘Flow’ creates feelings of positive empowerment over tasks and goals which in turn promotes confidence and self-belief. It also enables us to increase our concentration and focus, so that we can successfully complete tasks. Finally, when in ‘flow’ we get this sense of timelessness, almost like being a child again, when we are so focused on a task, that we don’t feel time passing by. Gaining more awareness of our ‘flow’ allows us to work diligently and conscientiously so we can accomplish our goals and pursue further success in our ‘flow’.