There are so many different types of jobs and activities that can be considered “work”, but the core principles of reaching a state of flow stay more or less the same between them all.
I would guess that most people reading this particular article have some sort of work that requires a desk and computer. Statistically, you will have more time to search and read about “entering flow state at work” than someone working outdoors for example on an oil rig or construction site.
If you don’t work in an office environment, you will still gain plenty of “flow state at work” knowledge from this article.
What would it even mean to be in flow state at work?
You might have an idea of how flow state feels. It’s those times when you are just doing what you are doing, focused on your task at hand, without distractions, yet with heightened awareness and a sort of perpetual sense of achievement.
Flow state is a term usually reserved for sporting endeavors, but there is no reason why it cannot be applied to a work situation.
For someone in a creative field, this state is almost a requirement to complete a job. For example a designer, an artisan or even a computer programmer all benefit greatly from entering flow state at some point during their working time.
That focused, engaged, active state of being is beneficial for more or less all work. If everyone went to work in a state of flow, the world would be 100’s or 1000’s of times more productive.
The keys to flow state at work are:
- Being present in the moment
- Concentration on the current task
- Awareness of the bigger picture
- Honest self feedback at every stage
- Clear knowledge of what the end goal is
How Can I Apply This Today At Work?
The first step is to get your mind in the present moment. How do I do this? Try this trick from the Buddha himself to start with:
Look at your hands.
Notice what they are doing and just observe. If you are typing, as I am at his moment, you may have trained yourself not to look at your hands while you work. Doesn’t matter. Just look at your hands. Then do the very next thing that you need to do. That could mean to type the letter ‘W’. Just continue from there and allow your task to unfold.
It doesn’t matter what your task is. You almost always have a chance to look at your hands.
One of the most common complaints people have is that they do not like their job. If you are doing a task that you actively dislike, it is all the more difficult to get into flow state. You need to be interested and engaged in what you are doing. For those super-repetitive jobs, such as a line worker in a factory, you might not particularly like your job, but you have a great opportunity to get into flow state every day.
Perhaps find more efficient ways to do your tasks. Increase the challenge level any way you can as your skills at the job grow over time.
For the best flow state at work experience, either do a job that you are really interested in, or make your current job interesting in ways that activate your abilities.
What Are The Benefits of Flow State At Work?
There are numerous advantages to regularly entering flow state during work time. Here’s another list that springs to mind:
- Reduces stress at work. Being in flow completely eliminates any stress you may be feeling. You can’t be in flow all the time, but you can quite a lot of it. So there will be less time for stress.
- Increases productivity. You are actually focused on, and doing, your work. Not avoiding it or watching the clock. You will be the most productive at your job that you possibly can be.
- Fills you with a sense of purpose. Every day, you know that by getting into a flow state, you are going to get something done. You are also continuously improving your skills. You know that you are on the path to mastery (of your skill/craft/art).
What should I do right now?
If you like the idea of regularly entering into a state of flow during your working hours, then you should start by getting yourself familiar with the basics of flow state. A good place to start is by reading this article in which I have done my best to explain the concept in terms which are easy to understand.
Also, come back later and re-read this particular article and check out the promoted offer link. There you will find some tried and tested flow state material.
You can start practicing immediately by becoming present. Try the trick you read earlier about looking at your hands as they do what you guide them to do. Being present is the first step of getting into flow state. Right now you should take that first step.
Getting into flow state during working hours is not some way to escape a mundane reality. In fact it is the opposite. You are effectively accepting and dealing with your situation by completely immersing into it. Conversely, this has the effect of freeing your mind to think more clearly about what the best next step for you is.
As an employer, it would be very good for productivity to encourage workers to find their flow state while doing the job for which they are getting paid. Basically, you will get a lot more work done for your money, and everybody stays happy and content.
It is a very good way to maintain stability throughout an organization or workplace. Stable, constant output is what will make the whole operation move forward.
If you work for yourself or are employed, you can apply flow state under your own initiative as part of your working day. By doing so, you will eliminate dragging periods or motivational lulls during your working day.