Flow-State How to Become 500% More Productive

We have all heard of the terminology “runner’s high” or “being in the zone”, psychologists and other researchers are defining this as the “flow-state”. Flow is an optimal state of consciousness where action and awareness merge, time dilates and we feel and perform our best. Ultimately, this research challenges the infamous 10,000-hour rule that Malcolm Gladwell highlights in his bestselling book “Outliers”; inducing the flow state can significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to achieve optimal performance. For example, a 10 year McKinsey study, found top executives are 500% times more productive in flow. Watch my Ignite Tampa Bay talk to gain more insight into this optimal state of consciousness.

Who is experiencing flow?

As humans, we all have the potential to induce ourselves into flow whether it is competing in the X-games, focusing in world class chess or collaborating in Montessori education. Have you ever lost an afternoon to a great conversation or gotten so involved in a work project that all else is forgotten? If so, then you have experienced flow. In flow, every action, each decision, leads effortlessly, fluidly, seamlessly to the next.

How can you induce flow into your life?

First, remember that flow follows focus so engaging in activities that require heightened focus will help induce this powerful state of consciousness and heightened performance.

Triggers to help you induce flow:

Clear Goals

When goals are clear, the mind doesn’t have to wonder about what to do — it already knows. Thus, concentration tightens, motivation heightens, and extraneous information gets filtered out.

Immediate Feedback

If we know how to improve performance in real time, the mind doesn’t go off in search of clues for betterment, we can keep ourselves fully present and fully focused.

Challenge/Skills Ratio

The idea behind this trigger is that attention is most engaged, when there’s a very specific relationship between the difficulty of a task and our ability to perform that task. If the challenge is too great, fear swamps the system and if too easy, we stop paying attention.

High Consequences

When there’s danger lurking in the environment, we don’t need to concentrate extra hard to drive focus, the elevated risk levels do the job for us. Since survival is fundamental to any organism, our brain’s first priority is to assess all incoming information for any sign of a threat and focus intently upon it to mitigate any danger.

Deep Embodiment

Focusing on being fully submersed in learning through actions as an interactive process. For example, Montessori education which is often called embodied education which means they emphasize learning through doing, not just learning through reading.

Leave your comments below explaining how you induce flow into your life!