Estabilishing a Flow State
1. Have you ever found yourself so immersed in a task that you completely lost track of time? Your focus was so intense that the world around you faded away and all that mattered was the task in front of you.
● Your productivity skyrocketed. You were focused on one thing and only one thing for a long period of time. Because your focus was so intense, you made massive progress on that task - much more than you would normally make.
● Your concentration increased. Normally you find yourself distracted when you’re trying to work on a particular task, but not this time. You were so “in the zone” that absolutely nothing could distract you.
● Your enjoyment of the task went through the roof. Because you were so immersed in and focused on your task, your enjoyment of your work went up significantly. You weren’t thinking about the things you would rather be doing.
2. How often do you experience what I just described? My guess would be not very often. Most of us find ourselves extremely distracted when we try to do our work.
● Just getting any work done requires a significant amount of effort. There are so many interruptions. So many distractions. So many things that take you off the task you’re trying to make progress on.
● But it doesn’t have to be this way. What would you say if I told you that you could reach this state of heightened focus, increased concentration, increased productivity, and overall happiness on a regular basis?
3. That state is called “flow state” and it’s what this report is all about. If you want to achieve maximum productivity, you must understand “flow state.” It sets the highest achievers apart from everyone else.
4. If you want maximum productivity, as well as maximum satisfaction in your day-to-day tasks, it’s important to know how to get into the heightened state we’re calling “flow state.”
What Is Flow State?
1. When you’re in flow state, you’re completely engaged in the task at hand, to the point where you lose track of time and experience great joy simply in doing the job before you. Everything fades into the background except what is immediately before you, and you focus intensely on a single task without any distractions.
2. When you’re in flow state, your mind is 100% engaged. You’re completely and totally focused on the work in front of you. Rather than emptying your mind, you are trying to completely fill it. You are so focused that nothing can distract you from the job in front of you. You’ve got laser focus.
3. Entering flow state is a totally immersive experience. You are fully committed to what you’re doing, and you have no room in your consciousness for anything else. You have no room for other thoughts, distractions, tasks, desires, or worries.
● You are so totally engaged in what you’re doing that your entire mind and body are occupied, leaving room for nothing else.
4. The flow state experience. When you’re in flow state, you’ll experience several significant things:
● Total immersion in the task at hand. You’re so immersed in the task at hand that everything else fades to the background. Being in flow state is highly enjoyable and can turn even the most difficult jobs into pleasant experiences.
● Increase in productivity. When you’re in flow state, your productivity goes through the roof. Why? Because you’re only focused on a single task. You’re not trying to multitask. And because your energy is focused so strongly on one thing, you make significant progress on it.
● No distractions. When you truly enter flow state, your brain shuts out everything except what’s in front of you. Nothing else seems to matter. You are completely oblivious to the distractions that are flying around you and focused on achieving something that actually matters to you.
● Lose track of time. Because you’re so immersed in your task, you may completely lose track of time. This is also why you tend to be more productive when you’re in flow state. You’re able to dedicate more focused time to a task than normal and get significantly more done.
● Increased enjoyment of the task. When you’re in flow state, you’re not thinking about what you’re missing out on. You’re not thinking about the problems in your life. All your attention is in a single spot, not scattered about by a thousand different thoughts and worries. The result is a hyper-productive bliss.
● You’re stretching yourself. Entering flow state requires that you stretch yourself. That you tackle worthy, challenging goals. That you use your God-given gifts and strengths. It’s difficult to get into flow state when you’re working on mundane, tedious tasks.
● You live a more meaningful life. The primary benefit of flow state is that it allows you to live a more meaningful life. How? Flow state ensures that you dedicate a significant portion of time to tasks that are meaningful and allows you to experience joy while you perform those tasks.
How to Enter Flow State
1. Step #1: Choose a challenging task. Set a challenging, worthy goal - a goal that will stretch you and require you to use your skills to the maximum. Your goal with flow state is to make significant contributions to humankind, to achieve something noble and worthy. Something that will make a dent in the world.
● Choose the ONE thing that will make the most difference when you accomplish it. Pick a worthy goal that will stretch you and force you to fully engage with the task. Choose a task that will require your full attention.
2. Step #2: Set clear goals on what you’re trying to achieve. When seeking to enter flow state, be specific about exactly what you’re trying to accomplish during a specific period of time. Set a time limit for yourself and then choose what you’re going to accomplish during that time.
● By putting boundaries on yourself, it forces you to concentrate very quickly, so you don’t waste time. Do one thing and only one thing during your period of intense concentration.
● You may want to consider using the Pomodoro method to help you enter flow state. By using the Pomodoro method, you force yourself to focus intensely for 25 minutes with no distractions. This allows you (even forces you) to enter flow state much more easily.
● It’s important to note that you give yourself enough time to get into flow state. For example, if you have to pick up your kids in 15 minutes from school, that’s probably not a sufficient amount of time to fully immerse yourself in your task.
3. Step #3: Cut out all distractions. Put your phone on airplane mode. Close your email and silence all notifications. Block social media sites if necessary. Listen to background music that will drown out distracting conversations.
● Your goal in all of this is to clear away anything that might distract you from the task at hand. Remember, your goal is to give 100% of your attention to a single task. If anything cuts into that attention, it needs to be completely eliminated. Be extremely vigilant about this.
4. Step #4: Eliminate multitasking. If you want to enter flow state, it’s absolutely essential that you eliminate all multitasking. It can be tempting to try to work on multiple things at once but doing so will absolutely kill your flow. You must give all your focus, drive, and energy to one thing.
● You must become so immersed in one thing that all other things fade away. This simply can’t happen if you’re simultaneously trying to work on a sales report, talk to coworkers on Skype, respond to emails, and text your spouse about dinner.
● Do you respect the work you’re doing? Do you want to do it with the excellence that inevitably comes from being in flow state? Then stop multitasking. Your brain simply doesn’t have enough power to focus on multiple things at one time.
5. Step #5: Strengthen your concentration. If you want to enter flow state, you absolutely must be able to concentrate fully. If your concentration is wandering, you’ll struggle to give 100% of yourself to what’s in front of you.
● How can you ensure that your concentration is at peak capacity? One of the primary ways is to ensure that you get enough sleep. High-performers know that sleep is absolutely essential to peak performance. They go to bed at a reasonable hour and ensure that they have good sleep habits.
● If you need an extra jolt of concentration during the day, consider drinking a cup of coffee or tea a short time before you seek to enter flow state. The caffeine can aid your brain in concentrating.
6. Step #6: Monitor your emotional state. If you still find it difficult to enter flow state, take a step back and look at your emotions. Are you feeling angry? Frustrated? Worried? Overwhelmed?
● If this is the case, you may need to do some work to calm down first before you try to enter flow state. After all, it’s very difficult to concentrate if you’re feeling extremely angry. At times, your emotional state will govern whether or not you can enter flow state.
7. Creating a flow state ritual. One thing that can be extremely helpful when seeking to enter flow state is creating a ritual or series of actions that you perform every single time when you’re seeking to enter your flow state. When you begin this series of actions, it’s a sign to your body that it’s time to enter flow state.
● The ritual is a trigger – an indicator to your body and brain that something important is about to happen. The more you perform the ritual, the more your body interprets it as a sign to enter flow state and the easier it is to get into flow state.
● For example, your ritual might look like the following:
○ Make a cup of coffee.
○ Take 10 deep, cleansing breaths.
○ Say a brief productivity affirmation.
○ Close your door.
○ Close your email.
○ Turn your phone on airplane mode.
○ Mute all notifications on chat applications.
○ Put on your headphones.
○ Turn on Brain.fm to keep you from being distracted by sound.
● Every time you want to enter flow state, follow this exact series of steps. In doing so, you’re training both your body and your brain. This, in turn, makes it easier for you to get into a state of optimal focus and productivity.